18 in '08

by Jennifer on April 23, 2008

For a while now, I have meant to pass along the link to this website: 18 in ’08. To quote from the site:

18 in ’08 started as a film to turn out young voters for the 2008 election. Now 18 in ’08 is leading an unprecedented peer to peer movement to register, engage, and mobilize America’s youth. We have designed this site as a place for you to join our efforts, engage in the political process, and of course register to vote.

David Burstein, who is now a high school senior, produced and directed a documentary aimed at increasing youth interest in the political process and encouraging young people to vote.

According to the FAQ page of the site:

18 in ‘08 is aimed at encouraging 18-24 year olds to vote and become politically involved. However, we hope this film will be able to encourage all people to vote and engage in the political process. Hopefully this film will engage people who are not engaged before they see the film as well as inspire the engaged to get more people involved.

Burstein spent two years traveling all over the country, as reported on the site, “interviewing over 60 Congressmen, Senators, presidential candidates, policy makers, activists…young and old,” for this non-partisan documentary.

I applaud what this movement and the documentary are trying to accomplish. If you have children who are teenagers or college students, and you would like to encourage them to be more active in the political process, this might be a good place to start. I think it would be great if high schools would show this documentary in assemblies or civics classes, or if colleges and universities would host viewings on their campuses.

The website offers a ton of information, including a link to a site called Declare Yourself that offers voter registration right from their site. What could be easier?

And, as 18 in ’08 is trying to impress upon everyone in this country, what could be more important than our right and responsibility to vote?

Here’s the trailer:

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

leendaluu April 24, 2008 at 4:46 am

Great website. I have two that will be 18 and 19 in ’08 and this is their first Presidential election. They are very excited and one is already registered to vote. They are seeking information and I’m glad to say they are not picking their candidates based on whomever Mom or Dad vote for….(though if they want to keep their inheritance, they *better* vote Democratic….hee hee….*what* inheritance…..)

Melissa April 24, 2008 at 5:33 am

Excellent. I am passing this along to several friends that teach high school social studies…Thanks!

Brenda April 24, 2008 at 5:50 am

My first presidential election was when I was 19. I registered to vote in the state where I was attending college. It was on campus where I registered, or I might not have done it. I was interested in it, but just not sure I would have made the effort to even find out where one did register at that point.

Young people need to vote, but it needs to be an educational process. Is that not covered in school? I have no idea, but it should be. Where and how to register. Where and how to learn about the candidate choices. I hope the majority are like leendaluu’s kids and WANT to know this stuff. I’m afraid many may not be, however. Education is the key. And I guess I need to point out that education is not the sole responsibility of schools, but of parents as well as the “village.”

Come to think of it, that age group probably doesn’t always (not making an across-the-board statement here) have good examples in their lives in this area.

Meg April 24, 2008 at 7:21 am

Thanks for posting this! I am passing this on to my daughter, who doesn’t seem to think her one little vote will make a difference!

By the way I LOVE the new look…guess this happened while I was away, congrats! Your blog looks amazing!

SteveCinNM April 24, 2008 at 7:53 am

Hear, hear! We need more folks involved in the political process. Our system of government is built on the right to vote, and we (the people) ought to use it.

However, I think we can all agree that voting is more than just checking a box — it depends upon education and people understanding what they are doing and why. Anything less makes a mockery of the system. Thomas Jefferson (the architect of many of our very American notions of government) said: “Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government…” Or as one of my personal heroes (Teddy Roosevelt) put it: “A vote is like a rifle: its usefulness depends upon the character of the user.”

And where does a voter get useful information these days? The media seems only to put hollywood-esque emphasis on both candidates and issues. Clear and complete descriptions of positions and the rationale behind them is woefully lacking.

Yes, encourage voters (young and old) to vote — but responsibly. There is indeed a presidential election approaching, but what about all the other offices and measures that will be on the ballot? Enthusiasm alone does not create a well-thought-out political philosphy from which to evaluate the myriad of candidates and propositions.

Daryl E April 24, 2008 at 8:12 am

Oh this is wonderful. I am telling my friend Carole about this .. her husband teaches social studies in FL.

Jennifer Harvey April 24, 2008 at 8:33 am

Steve, I think if you look around that website and maybe watch some of the interviews with David Burstein, you will see that they are encouraging that kind of advanced thought about the candidates. They are encouraging young people to figure out what their positions and opinions are, which is why I really like what I see there.

Declare Yourself April 24, 2008 at 10:33 am

Register to vote at http://www.declareyourself.com today!!!

Julie Pippert April 24, 2008 at 10:35 am

A friend and I were chatting in the concession stand line at the movie theater the other night, and the concession guy—maybe 18—jumped into our political discussion.

I think it’s working.


Just Jamie April 24, 2008 at 10:43 am

Wow. So well done. Good message to pass along. Thanks for getting it started.

Amy Cates April 24, 2008 at 11:19 am

I can’t imagine NOT being excited about voting for the first time. I voted for president for the first time during my freshman year of college. Had to do the stupid absentee ballot, which was not nearly as exciting, but just as empowering. And that was an election year when the contest wasn’t so much a contest.

Thanks for passing it along … and for stopping by my blog recently.



the mama bird diaries April 24, 2008 at 12:26 pm

Very very cool. Now someone needs to motivate everyone 24 – 99 that don’t get out to vote.

voting is such a privilege. why don’t people do it????

flutter April 24, 2008 at 1:51 pm

that is pretty cool!

DP April 24, 2008 at 6:03 pm

I’m happy to say that my kids voted as soon as they were able. They are still not all that involved in anything but the presidential/primary process, but I’m just happy they do pay attention and exercise their right to vote. It’s too important to throw away.

Peace – D

Lisa Milton April 24, 2008 at 6:54 pm

What a great link. It’s sad how few people vote…I could go on & on about it…

liv April 25, 2008 at 11:21 am

Why did I just automatically assume that this was a project to lose 18 pounds this year? BDD has taken over my life.

Milena April 25, 2008 at 4:37 pm

Indeed. I can’t vote myself (not a US citizen) and I’m always stunned by people who abdicate their right to have a say. All of my friends still have too young children but I’ll see who I can send this too. Thanks.

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