Newsletter: We’ve got our sights on 2016 + we need your help

October is off to a solid start as a month of client building and 2016 planning for us here at Polithon. We closed out September with a great event in Florida and are working toward another event in Texas, while in talks with others for the end of this year/early next. As always, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest!

Florida Student Association: On September 26 and 27, our fearless leader, Julia Hurley, was down in Tallahassee, Florida, at Florida A&M University facilitating a polithon at the invitation of the Florida Student Association on student debt in the state. Over the course of a day and a half, 23 student government representatives from 8 public universities across Florida came together and crafted a detailed outline of policy prescriptions on student debt. They were assisted by experts from the Lumina FoundationFlorida College Access Network and Postsecondary Analytics, and focused mainly on reforming and increasing access to financial aid, increasing financial literacy, and ensuring timely degree completion. The first draft is off to experts for feedback before being developed into a full policy paper. Next, with the support of Young Invincibles, FSA will be advocating for the adoption of their solutions – and they’ve already gotten some interest….

Ohio results are in…: Did you catch our blog post on the results from our Ohio Polithon at Ohio State University in June? While it may not have been perfect, we were really happy with the outcome and the dedication of the participants. Check out what they came up with and what’s next for OH on the website!

Upcoming Polithons:

  • National Women’s Business Council, DC, December/Early 2016: After a few slight delays, we’re working to reschedule the NWBC Polithon for December or Early 2016 and should have lots more details after the first week of November.
  • Texas, November: Polithon + YI-South have teamed up to run a student debt focused polithon in Houston sometime in November. As soon as we firm up venue, we’ll have a concrete date and more info. Check out the website for more details and the application! 
Don’t just sit there, DO something!
As always, we appreciate your help and are putting out some calls to action:
  • Connections: We’re actively seeking out to clients to set up Polithon’s schedule for 2016 and we’d love your help! Do you have a connection to an existing advocacy organization, government agency, or company that is looking to better engage young people in policy? Or one that wants to bring more voices to the conversation on a specific issue? Put us in touch! Email Julia (julia@polithon.org) or Evanna (evanna@polithon.org) and make a connection to help expand our reach.
  • Donations: As you know, no organization can run without funding and while we’re focused on a sustainable, revenue generating model for Polithon, as we build that out, we still need your support. We’re seeking event specific funding in TX as well as general operating funds. Help us give our generation a voice in policymaking and invest in change!

Onward,
Julia + Evanna

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Ohio: The results are in….

On June 20th, we hosted our second polithon since our founding on the issue of student debt in Ohio. We brought together 17 participants or “Policy Disruptors” (PDs), split into teams of 5 or 6, to spend 12 hours debating, discussing, and ironing out potential solutions. They were given a briefing book about two weeks out to read up and get more acquainted with the issue and we had two experts on hand the day of the event to help guide the conversations and answer questions. In the end, three policy papers were developed with each team having the following week to clean them up before they were sent to judges. Our panel of judges then reviewed the papers and passed them back to the teams with feedback and scores based on a rubric they were provided.

At the end of Ohio Polithon, the PDs had asked if, instead of picking one of the papers to be the “winner,” which advocacy efforts would be focused on, we could allow them more time to collaborate and piece together a final platform. In theory, this was a great idea, and we loved the enthusiasm of the participants; however, in practice, with busy lives and commitments, this was probably not the best route forward. It was difficult to coordinate schedules for calls to gain consensus and ultimately, the drafting of the final paper landed on one participant with others chiming in and adding research, but it took away from the original process.

For this reason, we’ve decided to release the three raw policy papers from the Ohio Polithon and pull back on our advocacy in Ohio. This is by no means a perfect process and was really part of an A/B split test to further refine the model, with the major focus being on the length of a polithon, so ultimately, we are still very pleased with the outcomes. We learned a lot and were grateful for the honest feedback from PDs, experts, and judges, so we could improve upon the methodology and move forward. In fact, we’ve already implemented most of these changes with upcoming events in Florida with the Florida Student Association and Texas with Young Invincibles. (See our lessons learned below.)

All this being said, we do still want these great ideas circulated, especially since we’ve seen two that were put out there come to fruition already. One team had an idea similar to the Obama Administration’s new rating system for colleges. Locally, Ohio is taking steps to improve advising of students in public universities so they not only complete their degrees on time, but also have a better sense of how to build their resumes and find success after graduation, which was also something the teams outlined. That’s remarkable and proves that our generation has great ideas that deserve to be heard – because they’re already happening!

Next up for the Ohio papers is that they’re now posted on our website and will be circulated via partners and social media. We’re also in discussion with partners to see if they can work with various pieces of the papers and with two online platforms to see if it would make sense to post them up there for further distribution, discussion, and potential implementation. So fear not, this is all still going somewhere!

Lessons learned:

  • A single day Polithon doesn’t cut it on larger, tougher issues, or when the end goal is a developed policy paper. We will now be primarily running day and a half to two day polithons depending on the goals of the event.
  • We don’t have the capacity to handle the events and the advocacy. As a brand new organization, we have only a few staff and simply don’t have the capacity to do all we wish we could right now. That doesn’t mean that in the future we won’t have a policy team to direct advocacy, but for now, we realize our limitations.
  • Along the same lines as #3, it’s critical for us to partner up with an “Anchor Partner” ahead of a polithon, who ideally is bringing us in to use our methodology to develop new policy solutions in the area in which they work. Thus, they can better guide the process, setting concrete goals, and take the reins of advocacy immediately after a polithon.
  • That Briefing Book we send out to our PDs two weeks ahead for background information is critical. Not only do we need to make sure more is put into their development so our PDs are aware of existing policies as well as those that have been tried and failed, but we need our PDs to read them – in full – to be full prepared to tackle the issue at hand.
  • Communication needs to be as clear as possible from Polithon and It’s really important that PDs are fully aware, upfront, of the time commitment and any other expectations. The same message should come from both Polithon and partners and is outlined in our brief Participant Guide, which PDs also need to read in full ahead of an event.

Check Out the Proposals

Leave comments, feedback, ideas, etc., and continue the discussion. We’re eager to hear your thoughts!

Team 1

Team 2

Team 3

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More polithons on the horizon….get ready for an exciting couple of months!

There’s some serious wind in Polithon’s sails heading into August after establishing Polithon Labs, LLC (our for-profit arm), partnering with the National Women’s Business Council, and gearing up to run polithons in Texas, Florida, and Washington, DC, between now and October! There’s lots more on the horizon too, so be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to keep up!

DSC_1017

Polithon Labs, LLC: Knowing how challenging fundraising can be and recognizing that we want a sustainable growth model, Polithon has established Polithon Labs, our for-profit arm. It will focus on consulting for clients using the polithon model to help them come up with innovative solutions to an issue they’ve identified; turning discussions and venting sessions into actionable solution development. Polithon Labs will remain mission driven. We’re not selling out, working primarily with clients that support our broader goal of increasing civic engagement among millennials while giving our generation a voice in policy making.

Upcoming Polithons:

  • Florida Student Association, September: Still ironing out details, but this will be a closed event for student government representatives in FL following an advocacy training with Young Invincibles.
  • National Women’s Business Council, DC, October: Our first polithon under Polithon Labs, the event will focus on student debt as a barrier to entrepreneurship.
  • Texas, October 24-25: Polithon + YI-South have teamed up to run a student debt focused polithon in Houston in late October. Check out the website for more details and the application!
  • California, POSTPONED: Sadly, due to scheduling challenges, we’ve had to postpone the California Polithon until later in 2015. We’ll send more info as soon as we have it, but in the meantime, let us know if you’d like to help organize.

Make Progress: It was a marathon of a Thursday at Generation Progress’ Make Progress Summit on July 16th. Polithon was proud to sponsor this great event where we were able to connect with millennial leaders excited about our model and wanting to support our work. We also got a chance to meet Analiese Eicher, Program + Development Director at One Wisconsin Now, an organization taking the lead on student debt in the state, and CT State Rep. Matt Lesser, a student debt warrior in a state seriously stricken by the issue. As a result of the Summit, we also connected with the offices of (millennial!) Reps. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) and Seth Moulton (D-MA), both enthusiastic about our model for change.

ICYMI: Polithon was a featured guest on a #MillennialMon Twitter chat hosted byYoung Invincibles on #studentdebt alongside TICASGeneration Progress, and many more working in this space. MM-July-13


GETTING INVOLVED
As always, we love your help and are putting out some calls to action:

  • Donations: As you know, no organization can run without funding and while we’ve established our LLC to support a revenue generating option for Polithon, as we build that out, we still need your support. We’re seeking event specific funding in TX as well as general operating funds. Help us give our generation a voice in policymaking and invest in change!
  • Applications: Help spread the word about upcoming polithons! We’re seeking dedicated Millennials between 20 and 40 who are passionate about changing policy to apply to participate as PolicyDisruptors and shape policy during our polithons – TX application now up!
  • Run a polithon: If you’re interested in bringing Polithon to tackle a policy issue in your community, city, or state, let us know! We’d love to work with you!

Onward!

Julia + Evanna

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The “summer slowdown” isn’t stopping us

 

Love won, the US women’s national soccer team won, and Polithon keeps on rolling! What a great last few weeks to be an American. This month, our judges are reviewing the solutions to student debt proposed at our Ohio Polithon, we’ll be attending the annual Make Progress National Summit, and we’re looking toward longer term strategic planning while establishing a firm revenue model. With this and more on our plate, July is looking good!

Ohio Polithon Debrief: Thanks to our Policy Disruptors’ enthusiasm and drive, our gracious hosts, Ohio State University, and our partners, the Ohio Polithon was a success! We have uploaded pictures of the event to Facebook, and our judges are now reviewing the Policy Disruptors’ solutions to student debt in Ohio. We’ll also be starting major discussions with partners and PDs on the campaign for those solutions next week. Especially the first time around, the advocacy effort will require significant collaboration. If you’re interested in supporting our efforts in Ohio, please let us know by sending us an e-mail.

Partnerships: Polithon is proud to be partnering with Generation Progress on their 10th annual Make Progress Summit in Washington, DC, on July 16. This will be an amazing opportunity to connect with passionate millennials, policy wonks, activists, advocates, and lawmakers, and we’d love for you to join us. RSVP here.

Upcoming Polithons: We’ve had some challenges finding partners in NH + IA, but given all the focus on those states for 2016, we’re not surprised! For now, our CA Polithon is slated for September 26, though we are still working out the kinks with our venue at UC Berkeley. After consulting with our friends at Young Invincibles and a few other millennial/issue focused orgs, we are looking into co-hosting events in FL, IL, and elsewhere. We’ll provide more information as it comes in, so stay tuned!

Other Items: With no Polithons slated for July, we’ll be going back to the drawing board to brainstorm more ways to expand Polithon’s reach and better advance our mission of empowering millennials to be part of the policymaking process. This strategic planning will coincide with a concerted search for business partnerships and donors, and finalization of our board. Keep an eye on our website, Twitter, and Facebook for more info.

Blog: Be sure to check out a new blog post from our Operations Assistant, Abraham Fraifeld, a rising junior at Georgetown University. He discusses the impact of frustration on political participation and how to channel that “negative” energy to mobilize voters and bring about change.

GETTING INVOLVED

As always, we love your help and are putting out some calls to action:

  • Make Progress Summit: Spread the word about the Make Progress Summit July 16 + join us for what should be an amazing day!
  • Donations: As you know, no organization can run without funding and while we’re seeking longer term solutions and exploring a revenue model to ensure sustainability, we need your support. Support us, and invest in change here!
  • The Blog: We’ve already posted pieces from us, our interns, and other contributors on what we’re doing, lessons we’re learning, and why Polithon matters in the scheme of things, and will be adding much more. We love outside contributions, so email if you’re interested!

Julia + Evanna

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Millennials are frustrated with politics: Why this “negative” energy could be a good thing

Record election spending, the regularity with which moneyed interests win out in politics, and officials’ inability to persuade the American people that they can “get stuff done,” have seriously harmed Americans’ confidence in our democracy. Recent surveys from the Brennan Center showing that 41 percent of Americans believe that “votes don’t matter very much” and from the Harvard Institute of Politics indicating that fewer than a fourth of young Americans said they would be “definitely voting” in 2012 are dangerous omens.

We are stuck in a vicious cycle: cynicism leads to reduced participation. But to politicians and pundits, the lack of participation looks an awful lot like apathy, leading to the further detachment of politics from social and economic realities. This detachment fuels cynicism, continuing the cycle. Studies show that disillusioned political observers are significantly less likely to perceive media outlets as important sources of information, and in fact, Gallup polls show that confidence in radio, newspapers, and television fell from 72 percent in 1976 to 43 percent in 2010. So as the political system neglects large chunks of the population, those voters become more disengaged and less informed. Eventually, they will be ignored all together.

The only way to break this cycle is to make politicians listen. We have to keep a bug in their ears, but it has to be singing a very particular tune. Hashtag-activism and political complaining do not get very far in Washington. Instead, millennials need to mix creativity with proven methods for persuading politicians: visitations, phone calls, letters, and protests advocating viable solutions to problems. We need to harness our frustration. Polithon is committed to providing advocacy guidance and channeling distaste towards inaction into solution building.

Once we develop solutions to political problems, a plethora of statistical evidence shows that the average citizen has the power to push politics forward. We can act on our change potential by sending letters, calling, or sitting down with their congressmen or state representatives, or mobilizing voters by organizing rallies. A  1993 study by Rosenstone and Hansen concluded that had social movements been as active in the 1980s as they had in the 1960s, voter turnout would have been more than 8 percent higher than it was.

Successful 1960s social movements advocated for a slew of welfare programs, civil rights, and an end to the draft. The difference between those movements and, say, Occupy Wall Street, was the lack of ambiguity in their visions and the concreteness and viability of their demands. For protests to lead to voting and change instead of cynicism, they must articulate a tangible, realistic vision.

Once that happens, higher millennial turnout will have a threefold effect on policy. It will send a clear message to politicians that spending political capital on millennial policies is worthwhile, it will signal millennial approval for policy propositions that otherwise may not be given as serious consideration, and it will help put politicians who have millennials’ backs get into and stay in office.

Abraham Fraifeld is Polithon’s Operations Assistant. He is a rising Junior at Georgetown University working towards a BS in Foreign Service and a Certificate in International Development. Abraham wants to motivate voters to think outside the box and take advantage of the power of loud advocacy .

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Summer is here and so is our OH Polithon!

As we transition into shorts and t-shirts to greet the sunny humidity of our nation’s capital, we look forward to what the summer has in store. We’ll be hitting the road soon to host our first Polithon of the year, we’re on the hunt for organizations interested in helping us run more events, and we will soon begin identifying and vetting candidates for positions on our board. Who said summer is for vacation?

OHIO!: We’re coming for you Columbus! Our June 20th Ohio Polithon is just days away now, and we are ecstatic! The event, an all-day policy hackathon with the goal of crafting a student-loan-debt-busting plan for the state, will feature twenty highly intelligent PolicyDisruptors and will be held at the Ohio State University Student Union. A few preliminary stats on the participants:

  • 71% have student debt themselves
  • 26-30 year olds make up 25% of the participants
  • And the male to female ratio is 1:1.

They come from a flurry of different industries but all share the same drive to end the political gridlock. We can’t wait to share the results of their efforts with you, which you should be seeing within a week or two following the event. All outcomes will be posted on the website with the winning solution pushed out as our platform for Ohio.

Upcoming Polithons: The application is live on the website for ALL of our events, and we’ll add deadlines as we finalize dates, with CA up next! After meetings with advisors and potential sponsors, we have decided to run Polithons on slightly leaner budgets, opting for one-day events for now that will serve as pressure cookers for innovative policy solutions and allow us to further stress-test the model. For more information check out our blog!

Board: We are in the process of identifying candidates to join our board. We will be releasing an application for perspective candidates soon, so keep an eye on our newly improved website, Twitter, and Facebook for information regarding that process.

Exploring Partnerships: As we set our eyes on other states, we are searching for sponsors to help us round out our continental tour. We are especially interested in partnerships with advocacy groups, people and organizations interested in millennial politics, and groups that want to see changes in higher education policy. If you have anybody in mind, let us know by sending us an e-mail.

GETTING INVOLVED

As always, we love your help and are putting out some calls to action:

  • Donations: As you know, no organization can run without funding and while we’re seeking longer term solutions and exploring a revenue model to ensure sustainability, we need your support. Invest in change here.
  • Applications: Help spread the word about upcoming Polithons! We’re seeking dedicated Millennials between 20 and 40 who are passionate about changing policy to apply to participate as PolicyDisruptors and shape policy during our Polithons this year.
  • The Blog: We’ve already posted pieces from us, our interns, and other contributors on what we’re doing, lessons we’re learning, and why Polithon matters in the scheme of things, and will be adding much more. We love outside contributions, so email if you’re interested!

Julia + Evanna

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Springing Forward: Updated website, new video, + more!

We’ve been more radio silent than planned, but that’s because we’ve been head-down, working as hard as we can to bring Polithon fully to life and begin to change the way policy is made in this country. Thanks for your patience and continued support as we go through the growing pains of going from an idea to a full-fledged organization. We couldn’t do this without you!

Over the last month, we updated the website to be more user-friendly (with some graphics still on their way) and had an awesome communications advisor, Irene Moskowitz, help develop stronger materials to get our message out, including this fantastic introduction video to Polithon. Please check them out and share!

Upcoming Polithons: Due to a scheduling issue, our Ohio Polithon was postponed to June 20, but is now moving forward! California planning is well under way, and we’re excited to announce a partnership with UC Berkeley to run our event out there August 8th. The application is currently live on the website for ALL of our events, and we’ll add deadlines as we finalize dates.

There has also been one small, but significant, change to the model we’ll be moving ahead with. As part of our effort to learn lessons as we develop, we’ve decided to shift the focus of local Polithons to what can be done on the issue at the state level, while the national Polithon in January of 2016 will bring winning teams from each state together to hack the full national solution. Read more on our blog.

Nonprofit Status: Polithon, like any organization, can’t grow without proper funding. We have been lucky to have Cadwalader, Wickersham, and Taft’s pro-bono department take us on as clients and handle all of our 501(c)3 nonprofit filings – making our lives a lot easier! This is a process that can take up to a year, so we are currently in talks with two organizations about taking us on for fiscal sponsorship, allowing us to begin to receive tax-deductible donations.

Funding: As we await our nonprofit status, we’ve applied for the Knight Foundation’s NewsChallenge, which divides a $3M prize between winning applicants. The applications are public, so feel free to check out our entry! We’re also accepting donations via PayPal, which will be eligible for tax deduction as soon as we receive our status or finalize an agreement with a fiscal sponsor, so please considercontributing to help us run our events.

Exploring Partnerships: We have been constantly talking with other phenomenal organizations in the millennial/innovation/policy/advocacy space, and are excited by the prospect of working with these groups on various aspects of the Polithon process. Some notable folks that we’ll likely be working with this year and next on outreach or in other capacities include Young Invincibles, Common Sense Action,National Campus Leadership Council, Roosevelt Institute Campus Network, and YouthVoices USA. As a mission driven organization, we’re committed to working with a coalition of groups to ensure impact.


GETTING INVOLVED
As always, we love your help and are putting out some calls to action:

  • Partners: We are still seeking supporters and potential partners, for upcoming Polithons, especially in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Texas, so if you have any connections in those arenas locally, or at the national levels,shoot us a note!
  • Applications: Help spread the word about upcoming Polithons! We’re seeking dedicated Millennials between 20 and 40 who are passionate about changing policy to apply to participate as PolicyDisruptors and shape policy during our Polithons this year.
  • Interns: It’s that time of year again, and we’re seeking summer interns!
  • The Blog: We’ve already posted pieces from us, our interns, and other contributors on what we’re doing, lessons we’re learning, and why Polithon matters in the scheme of things, and will be adding much more. We love outside contributions, so email if you’re interested!

Julia + Evanna

 

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Pivot!

Something I’ve learned very quickly as a new entrepreneur is that when something isn’t going right, it either means your target is off or you need to pivot because you’re not going in the right direction – even just a slight bit. As we’ve pressed forward developing Polithon into the organization we want to become, we’ve kept a running list of the problems, pitfalls, and solutions, making sure we’re holding ourselves accountable. We’re calling it our “lessons learned” doc and as things began to not work out as planned with our first anticipated Polithon of 2015 in Ohio, slated originally for this coming weekend, we dug deep to see what needed to shift.

Our original focus was only national – bring together 25 people in five different states, hack a national comprehensive solution through a full weekend hackathon, and then bring the winning team from each state to DC to compromise and come up with a final outcome to be pushed out. We thought we’d start big and then look locally and test the model on both levels separately.SS quote

What we’ve come to find though, is that people are even more eager for a chance to do something locally, especially since it’s tangible and in their own backyard. This also helps us determine where we can have the most impact during the early stages of Polithon as an organization.

So instead of a strictly national focus, we’ll be running Polithons in the same five states as planned – Ohio, California, Iowa, New Hampshire and Texas – but focusing on what the state governments can do to fix the issue. From there, the teams in each state with the best solutions will still be brought to DC in January of 2016 before the first caucuses of the Presidential Election, and hack a solution to the issue at the national level. These local and national outcomes will be developed into a full policy proposal which will be pushed out by local and national partners and acted upon.

This shift will also allow us to run the state level Polithons in just one day – typically a Saturday – and then have the final outcome document cleaned up and fully developed over the next 3-5 days via GoogleDocs and email before being sent to the judges for review. The event will still be preceded by an informal dinner on Friday and then run from roughly 9 am to 9 pm the following day. We hope this adjustment will make the events more accessible and facilitate a better overall outcome by ensuring local focus, collaboration, and buy-in. The national Polithon will still be run over a full weekend, helping us to further prove the different levels of the model.

Our mission, vision, and goals remain the same and even though this is just a small pivot, we wanted to make sure we remained as transparent as possible and kept our loyal supporters up to date. Thanks for continuing on this journey with us!

– Julia

And for laughs….the title reference via Friends:

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Polithon from an Intern’s Perspective

As an undergrad student living in DC, I have the pleasure of competing for the most prestigious of classes, jobs, and internships. College students may often appear to be easygoing and nonchalant, but make no mistake – everything is a battlefield. There are a finite number of positions available and more than enough eager students to fill them. We live in a city where students concentrate on the quantity of experience on their resumes. They’re focused on joining clubs, seeking leadership positions, being a “Hilltern,” and making as many personal connections as humanly possible.

I find that there is a difference, though, between those who claim they want to “do something” and those who actually go out and do it. Many students find themselves in dull internships where the most they might accomplish is filing papers, answering an important phone call, or providing proscribed information to those who request it.

Working at Polithon, I am lucky to avoid the typical monotonous “intern life” that has become commonplace and generally accepted as inevitable for someone of my age and my experience. My work doesn’t drone on for hours, I don’t spend my time wishing I were elsewhere, and I don’t leave feeling as if everything I accomplished for the day was futile or redundant.

At Polithon, I have the ability to actually learn from those that I work with, try my skills at new tasks, and test what I can actually do on my own. I’m given real work to do, which at the end of the day is actually important for our team. I don’t go on coffee runs or sit and answer phones; I actually can tell that what I do is worthwhile, for myself and for this organization.

Part of the reason why I enjoy working at Polithon so much is because its mission is similar to my own way of operating. I like to feel as if my actions matter, that I can influence something, and not just do uninteresting, rote work. Polithon‘s goal is to help an entire generation feel and act this way. I literally get to help an organization that works to turn my peers, my very same school competitors, into young adults that actually take action and do something.

Everyone at school constantly talks about what they do, where they go, and how they have a “leg up” over everyone else. There is consistent pressure to take what you can before others get to it, but why does it have to be a zero-sum game? Often we choose to distance ourselves from our peers rather than work collectively, effectively weakening our strength as a cohesive generation. Polithon provides the opportunity to create a unified generation of millennials that work together, use their voices, and make an impact. When I leave Polithon, I don’t have to wonder if I’ve done anything other than build my resume—I know I’ve helped make a difference.

Danielle is Polithon’s Operations Assistant. She is a second-year student at The George Washington University working toward her BA in Political Science and her MA in Public Administration. Danielle wants to work to establish a more involved generation of voters and engage social media to support political change. She is also an avid traveler and chocolate connoisseur.

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Happy February!

We are officially off and running with our plans for 2015 and wanted to make sure we kept our loyal followers in the loop with all that’s happening. First of all, Julia has just wrapped up her first week full time as President and Co-Founder (check out her blog on the experience), and we’ve also had two fabulous assistants join us to help with research and operations, Danielle Apfel in DC, and Beebe Sanders in California.

Ohio Polithon: We’ve solidified our partnership with Ohio State University and will be running our first event of 2015 on student loan debt in Columbus, Ohio, on OSU’s campus, hopefully April 10-12 (still firming up dates). We’re also in late stage talks with partners there, but are always looking for more, so email us at info@polithon.orgif you’re from the area and would like to be involved.

Upcoming Polithons: Following Ohio, we’ll be running events in California (May), Iowa (September), New Hampshire (October), and Texas (November) before the national Polithon in DC in January 2016.

Applications: The application is up and as always, help spreading the word would be great! It is a national application for all of the 2015 Polithons with differing deadlines for each state, so feel free to apply whenever you’re able, or Tweet, Facebook, email, or Instagram…just share with your networks!

Media: The United Nations Foundation’s Global Accelerator Blog, featured a post by Julia on the power of Millennials locally and internationally and why we should be taken seriously. Check it out: Millennials: Not a Generation of Hashtag Activists.

GETTING INVOLVED
We are so lucky to have an amazing network of supporters and people excited about what Polithon is working toward. In that spirit, if you want to be part of the movement in a deeper way, we could use more help on the following:

  • Partners: We are starting the search for supporters, local experts on student loan debt, and potential partners, for upcoming Polithons, so if you have any connections in those arenas, either locally in CA, IA, NH, or TX, or at the national levels, shoot us a note!
  • Applications: As we said above, help us spread the word!  We are looking for dedicated Millennials between 20 and 40 who are passionate about changing policy to apply for our Polithons this year.

Thanks as always for all that you do for us and others working in this space.

Here we go!

Julia + Evanna

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