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    Archive for the
    ‘voting’ Category

    Meet Summer

    Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

    What’s the coolest job you can think of? Flight attendant? National Geographic photographer? How about Voter Advocate?

    Rock the Vote — in partnership with the Campus Election Engagement Project — has recruited a team of fellows across Virginia that are working on college campuses to register voters and educate their peers about the upcoming Virginia gubernatorial election. It’s the dream, I know.

    The media have us pegged as lazy, self-centered punks who can’t care about politics — but that’s only because they haven’t met any of our fellows. These fellows are the best of the best. They’re smart, they’re dedicated, they’re passionate, and we love them like family. Over the next few weeks we’re going to highlight some of our fellows and take a few minutes to brag about how cool they are.

    So why don’t we start by introducing you to Summer?

    • Give us a little background. Who are you? Where did you come from? Where do you go to college? What are you studying? 

    My name is Summer Gupta, most know me as Summer Siddiqui. I am from Woodbridge, Virginia. I go to Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia , and I am a sophomore. My major is Political Science and my Minor is International Studies.

    • How did you first get involved with Rock the Vote?

    My best friend told me about it, she saw an email from Rock The Vote and the CEEP. She said she thought it was something I would be interested in so I took a look at the program and loved it so I applied to it!

    • Tell us a little bit about your work as a Rock the Vote fellow. What have you been doing to register voters? Do you have any cool stories to share?

    I have been setting up tabling events, doing class raps, canvassing, and a lot of visibility activities to get Rock The Vote’s name out there. My team and I have gotten several people to register and pledge. We are having a big Halloween party for those have volunteered, registered, or pledged with us here at Old Dominion University. It has been a pleasure working with Rock the Vote at our campus. We have several wonderful volunteers and professors who are engaging and stressing the importance of Voting.

    • Tell us something inspiring about yourself

    I have came along way in my life, with the support my two very amazing parents. they have been my role models, my motivation, and my strength for the past 19 years. I am who I am today because of my parents. My mother has a political and Law based background, I am following her footsteps. I wish to become a very successful political figure in the United States of America.

    • Name one person who you think is changing the world

    I cannot name one person, I believe that there are several people who are taking the stand and changing the world for the better in several different ways.

    • What is the most embarrassing concert you’ve ever been to?

    I took my little cousin to go watch the Sesame Street concert last year, and I knew every word to every song..that was probably the most embarrassing. 

    • Do you have any unique talents?

    I have major stage fright but when it comes to Indian dance, I forget anyone is watching and just do what I want. It is my ultimate stress reliever and it makes me really happy and feel positive about everything.

    • If you had the attention of the entire population of American youth for 15 seconds, what would you say?

    Do not take your life for granted, make something big out of yourselves. Education is the most beautiful gift you can give yourself. Do something with your life by giving others what they don’t have in their lives. Love, Respect, and Treasure your family, And most importantly, exercise every right you are given.

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com

    An Open Letter to Cory Booker from Rock the Vote

    Friday, October 18th, 2013

    Dear Senator-Elect Booker,

    Congratulations! I am writing on behalf of Rock the Vote to commend you and your team on Wednesday’s victory. You brought important issues to light throughout the campaign cycle from reducing gun violence and better educating our country’s young people, to economic empowerment. We are confident that New Jersey will continue to prosper under your leadership.

    As you know, Rock the Vote’s mission is to register, educate, and empower young people such that they can participate in our country’s democracy. This begins at the local level – which is why we’ve been there – in high school classrooms, at concerts and festivals, and on college campuses – talking to young New Jersey voters about this important special election.

    As you know (and further evidenced by the young people who worked on your campaign and those that cast their ballots for you on October 16th), young people are a powerful collective that not only care about their state, but that are engaged! And they will play an increasingly important role in shaping the future of politics.

    We hope that as the Senator of New Jersey – especially as the Senate’s seventh youngest member, ninth-ever African American and only the fourth black senator ever popularly elected – you will continue to support our efforts to educate and engage this rising American electorate, and stand up for the interests of our 80,000+ friends in New Jersey.

    Again, we offer our congratulations and look forward to working with you as the newest Senator of New Jersey. We wish you the best of luck!


    Heather Smith

    President of Rock the Vote

    Heather Smith
    Bio: Heather is President of Rock the Vote.
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com

    National Voter Registration Day

    Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

    National Voter Registration Day

    From coast to coast, Rock the Vote is blowing out the first ever National Voter Registration Day with concerts, events, videos, and new technologies, all with the goal of registering more voters than have ever been registered to vote in a single day. In Philadelphia, Rock the Vote is having a huge concert at the Community College of Philadelphia with Talib Kweli, a guest DJ set by Jeffery Tonnesen, and an appearance with Miss USA Olivia Culpo. It is also the first stop of the second leg of the Road Trip, which will be coming to a city near you soon. Make sure to keep tabs on them #RTVRoadtrip.

    In New York City, Rock the Vote has teamed up with NYC Votes to put on the Youth Voter Registration Jam, which will bring DJ’s from radio station Hot97 together with stars like Rosario Dawson all together for a great time to get young people registered.

    In LA Rock the Vote is doing 2 amazing events with Amoeba music. In the store there will be a live show with Murs and Fashawn celebrating both National Voter Registration Day. They have a new album coming out today called This Generation. If you can’t make the show tonight at 6pm at Amoeba Records in Hollywood, be sure to check out the live cast of the concert. Across the street at Space15twenty Band of Horses are playing an intimate show for National Voter Registration Day and to mark the release of their new album Mirage Rock.

    We are also having events in places as far and wide as Austin, Boston, Detroit, and many many more. See which ones are happening near you and go out and register!

    Not only that, but we have teamed up with Funny or Die for two awesome, and very funny videos with today’s biggest stars. Don’t miss them!

    All of this is to bring people together, both in person and online, to register to vote and be heard. Join us, and share the the link to rockthevote.com today as much as you can to make sure everyone you know is registered to vote today! It’s easier now than ever, and you can even do it right on Facebook!


    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com

    Primary Day in New Hampshire

    Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

    It is Primary Day in New Hampshire. The first primary in the 2012 contest. And while voters are heading to the polls for the Democratic and Republican primaries (polls close at 7pm!), some misinformation is being spread about the voting laws.

    So here is the low-down:

    1/ If you are registered to vote already, you do not need to bring ID to the polls.
    2/ If you are not registered to vote, you can do so at the polls today (!) and you must bring proof of who you are and where you live (utility bill, student ID, etc)

    Last year, the state of NH tried to pass legislation that would make it nearly impossible for out-of-state students to vote, end same-day voter registration, and require very specific voter ID at the polls. But students and citizens in NH rallied and won! The measures were all rejected.

    But today there has been a bunch of confusion caused by misinformation about voting rights flying around NH.

    Check out this message from Rock the Vote’s Amanda Brown (who used to be a student voter in NH) as she sets the record straight.

    If you have questions about election information, go to electionland.com for more information.

    And, clearly the attempts to make it harder for students to vote whether through laws or confusion are not going away. Rock the Vote will be fighting back. If you want to help, sign up to join our ‘Rock the Vote, Don’t Bock the Vote’ campaign.


    Heather Smith
    Bio: Heather is President of Rock the Vote.
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com