Now that the fall season is on its way in, The Greater Good Initiative is excited to continue our mission of creating policy solutions, lobbying to legislators, and pushing for youth voice in the policymaking process. The Greater Good Initiative has been hard at work over the last month, centrally focusing on three major projects—the Vote for the Greater Good Initiative Campaign, our Time for 9 Toolkit, and the Fall Sustainability Plan.
A popular notion within political circles is that young people don’t vote—one that falsely leads to the conclusion that young people are uninterested in current events. While there’s certainly credence to the idea that young voters lag behind the rest of the population in voter turnout, every year, young voters work harder and harder to put the idea to rest. In fact, Gallup News reported that young people turned out in 2018 at their highest rate ever for a midterm election, a figure that doubled youth turnout in 2014. However, surveys conducted by Gallup found that youth voters often lack information about voter registration and mail-in voting—issues that are only more pertinent in the midst of a global pandemic. The Vote for the Greater Good Initiative is a campaign led by the Greater Good Initiative to fill gaps for young voters where they lack access to information about voting procedures. Over the course of the next two months and leading up to the 2020 Election, taking place on November 3, the Greater Good Initiative will be working to provide this information through regular webinars, social media campaigns, and question and answer sessions. The key date to bear in mind will be September 14, when the Campaign launch event will take place via live stream on YouTube and Facebook. From there, we will regularly be hosting Instagram story takeovers, each with a specific State’s policies to be highlighted.
In the midst of a global pandemic, voter registration isn’t the only issue that’s become a more onerous task. Though data about the virus is still incredibly limited, In May of 2020, National Public Radio found that “the pattern is clear” when it comes to which communities COVID-19 targets. Hispanic and African American communities, as well as low-income communities across the board, have born the brunt impact of the pandemic. The Greater Good Initiative’s Public Health team set out to address one of the most essential issues created by COVID-19—a lack of aid geared towards minority groups and socioeconomically disadvantaged communities. On July 24, our launch event took place via live stream to Facebook and YouTube. If you missed it, a recording of the event can be accessed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JQMXZwieTk&feature=emb_logo . Several elected officials in Maryland and Virginia have endorsed the toolkit, as well as several members of the directors of several public health interest groups. The nine Recommendations made within the TimeFor9 Toolkit’s thusly titled plan each have specific applications for communities that have been hurt the worst by this pandemic. Among the issues highlighted in these recommendations are testing equity, improved communication and partnership efforts, and access to resources. Each of these broad issues has three recommendations highlighted within it, the full details of which can be observed in the accompanying infographic. As with all of the Greater Good Initiative’s proposals, the ideas put forth in our TimeFor9 Toolkit are nonpartisan. Our proposals—while they are pressing and need dedicated advocacy to bring them to fruition—do not align with any party nor political identity. The Greater Good Initiative focuses these recommendations on pragmatic solutions that both parties should reach common ground upon. Through social media, email, or phone, the Greater Good Initiative encourages motivated advocates to use the templates published on our website to encourage their legislators to put these recommendations into effect. More comprehensive information, including the full plan, can be found at https://www.thegreatergoodinitiative.com/timefor9toolkit .
As members of our organization transition into their school years, GGI’s Development sector has implemented a Fall Sustainability Plan. The goal of this plan is to ensure the continued growth and success of GGI while acknowledging the importance of having sufficient time for team members to commit to academics, community and civic engagement, and quality time with their loved ones. The Development Team has worked to achieve that by recommending and supporting vertical leadership stratification, equitable delegation of work, and the formalization of human resources policies and rights. The latter includes expectations of professionalism in the workplace. GGI also aims to put out clear, adaptable deadlines for each sector’s projects- rather than use an informal precedent. GGI is a resilient and youthful group of dedicated leaders, and the return to school for all of our members will breed more new ideas and a better GGI.
Updates compiled by: Yukta Ramanan (Co-Director of Strategic Planning and Public Outreach) and Andrew Lichtblau (Strategy Fellow)