Press Release

Youth Voters Lead Decisive Victory Against Big Oil, Defeat Prop 23

For Immediate Release: November 2nd, 2010

Gabe Elsner, Power Vote California Campaign Director
(310) 738-3738, [email protected]
Whit Jones, Power Vote National Field Director
(914) 671-1880, [email protected]
Young voters lead decisive victory against Big Oil, for climate
Thousands stand up to Big Oil and defeat Proposition 23 & 26
Young voters celebrated a decisive victory against Big Oil in defeating Propositions 23 and 26, two deceptive ballot measures to wreck California's clean energy economy.
The California Student Sustainability Coalition's Power Vote Campaign united thousands of young Californians behind a creative grassroots campaign that exposed Big Oil's dirty ploy, and mobilized thousands of voters to defeat it. The campaign partnered with student networks across the state to turn out the student vote, worked with a community coalition to launch a Clean Energy Hip Hop Tour that merged arts and activism, and directly confronted oil interests like the Koch Brothers through creative protest” said Gabe Elsner, Campaign Director for the Power Vote California Campaign.
Power Vote California's “No on 23” campaign, in partnership with CalPIRG and Environment California, organized on over 50 campuses and collected over 160,000 pledges to vote.
In the final days, campuses across the state used brass-tacks organizing tactics and an online new media strategy to get out the youth vote:
  • At CSU Chico students paraded voters to the polls – they hosted a concert at the center of campus to attract thousands of voters, and called over 600 of them with get-out-the-vote reminders.
  • On the eve of the election, the Clean Energy Hip Hop Tour stopped at Sacramento State University to mobilize hundreds of young people to help get out the vote against Prop 23.
  • City College of San Francisco, while watching the World Series, called over 1000 students to ensure California had multiple victories over Texas this week.
In an election that's been characterized by record corporate spending, capitulation to moderation, and a lack of leadership behind clean energy, the victory against Proposition 23 demonstrates that the youth vote is capable of delivering a victory for clean energy when the choices are on the table,” said Courtney Hight, Executive Director of the Energy Action Coalition, a national youth coalition of clean energy organizations, “Clean energy victories will continue to motivate young voters and we'll build off of this decisive victory to create more of them.”
The battle against Proposition 23 and 26 illuminated that across the country Big Oil and special interests are corrupting our democratic process. Joel Francis, a student leader at Cal State, Los Angeles brought national attention to this issue when he challenged oilman Charles Koch to debate Proposition 23. It drew coverage from New York Times, BusinessWeek, Forbes and Huffington Post.
**Interviews and images are available upon request**
Gabe Elsner, Power Vote California Campaign Director, (310) 738-3738, [email protected]
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