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    News Round-Up: Thursday, March 13, 2014

    Thursday, March 13th, 2014

    More people are pronounced dead after East Harlem building explosion; G.M. reveals new information about a safety defect linked to 12 deaths; and a hit and run driver kills 2 people at SXSW in Austin, Texas. Meanwhile, Shailene Woodley makes Jimmy Fallon blush; Emma Watson graces the cover of Elle magazine; and Harry Styles gets rescued by AAA.

    - Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Malaysia Disputes report that missing plane flew on for hours,http://rtvote.com/1ihA8sK
    Sadly, little progress has been made in the search for the missing Malaysian passenger jet that went off the grid nearly a week ago over the Gulf of Thailand. In response to speculation about the fate the of the plane carrying 239 passengers and crew, Malaysia’s defense minister held a press conference dismissing a series of leads. Officials are describing this incidence as an unprecedented aviation mystery, and it is still unknown whether the plane is on land or in water, east or west of the country, or far beyond.

    Building collapse kills at least 7 in Manhattan,http://rtvote.com/1nn7mvN
    Updates are emerging after a massive explosion yesterday in East Harlem, that leveled two five-story apartment buildings. At least 7 people were killed and firefighters are still searching through the rubble for survivors. More than 40 people were reported with injuries. Authorities believe a gas leak caused the explosion but are still waiting to announce the official cause. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio visited the site, commenting that this was a “tragedy of the worst kind.”

    Hit and run driver kills 2, injures 23 at SXSW,http://rtvote.com/1m0m222
    Tragedy struck last night at one of the most anticipated festivals of the year: South by Southwest. A drunk driver, said to be fleeing from police who tried pulling him over, went the wrong way down a one-way street and drove into a crowd of people waiting outside of a popular bar and music venue. Two people were killed in the accident and 23 others are injured.

    G.M reveals that it was told of ignition defect in 01’,http://rtvote.com/1i89q5d
    In an expanded chronology of events filed with federal safety regulators about the recall of 1.6 million cars, General Motors reveals it had reports of a safety defect in its cars as early as 2001. This particular safety defect has been linked to 12 deaths and at least 31 accidents over the past decade. According to GM, in 2001 a study found that the ignition switch in the Saturn Ion could turn off easily, but the company said a design change “had resolved the problem.”

    CULTURAL

    28 Modern Proverbs for 20 Somethings, http://rtvote.com/1ftr0MB  

    Harry Styles Rescued by AAA Tow Truck After Motorcycle Breaks Down,http://rtvote.com/1m0gmoP

    Emma Watson Covers Elle Magazine, Explains Why She’s “So Jealous” of Certain Actresses, http://rtvote.com/1cV2Ikg

    Shailene Woodley Gives Jimmy Fallon a Phallic Herb—And it Makes The Tonight Show Host Blush, http://rtvote.com/1nn5GlY 

    Pharell Williams Up With Comme Des Garcons to Release New Fragrance,http://rtvote.com/1nn5WRU

    Maura
    Bio: Maura graduated from the University of Dayton in 2011 with a BA in International Studies and French. During the course of her studies she was elected Student Body Vice President where she worked to make student activity funding more affordable & fair to the campus community. Following graduation, Maura joined the 2012 Obama Campaign as grassroots Field Organizer in Ohio (the battleground of all battleground states). She now continues her passion of engaging and building political power for young people with Rock the Vote.

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



    News Round-Up: Wednesday, March 12, 2014

    Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

    A building in Harlem collapses in an explosion; the White House continues to court Millennials in healthcare enrollment; the missing Malaysian Airline search continues; a Guantanamo Bay prisoner files a lawsuit against President Obama; and Jerry Sandusky’s wife defends her husband’s innocence. Meanwhile, Chris Pine gets arrested for a DUI; the Big Bang Theory is renewed for 3 seasons (Hurrah!); and two mash-up videos will help you giggle your way through Hump-day (they are NSFW though!).

    - Maura + Austin

    CRUCIAL

    1 dead, 15 Hurt Harlem Building Collapse, http://rtvote.com/1nM8hTg
    A deadly explosion Wednesday morning has caused the collapse of two five-story buildings in East Harlem, NY. There were 15 people injured and one person pronounced dead. A witness said that locals have been smelling gas for weeks and when the explosion occurred she saw people flying out of the building.  Con Edison, the NY utilities company, had been called to the area to check a possible gas leak at 9am ET this morning.

    Obamacare Enrollment Hits 4 Million, Including 25% Youth http://rtvote.com/1esr7s9
    According to the Department of Health and Human Services, enrollment in the federal healthcare exchange has reached more than 4.2 million. Of those enrollees, only 25% are between the ages of 18-34, a key demographic that the administration has been targeting. Most recently, the President appeared on comedian Zach Galifianakis’ show “Between Two Ferns” to plug the healthcare site to Millennials. If the administration fails to hit its goal of 40% youth enrollment, it fears that insurance costs will increase for the millions of other enrollees. 

    Malaysia Airlines MH370: Last Communication Revealed,http://rtvote.com/1iArRi5
    New information released to the public shows that the last moments of communication from Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, showed that everything was normal. The China bound plane went missing on Saturday with 239 people on board. As the plane reached the boundary between Malaysian and Vietnamese airspace, the Malaysian air control announced it was handing over to Ho Chi Minh City Control. Minutes later, all contact was lost. The search continues for new information on what happened…

    Sandusky’s Wife Says He’s Innocent, Victims Manipulated,http://rtvote.com/1i6g8Zt
    The wife of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, insists that her husband “did not do the horrible crimes” that sent him to prison. Dottie Sandusky, who has been married to her husband for 47 years, claims that he is innocent, the victims were manipulated, and that the case against him was built on lies. Jerry Sandusky, 70, is serving a 30 to 60-year prison sentence for his 2012 conviction on 45 charges of child sexual abuse of young boys for over a period of 15 years.

    Guantanamo Bay Prisoner Files Historic Lawsuit Against Obama Over Force-Feedinghttp://rtvote.com/1hcoCfH
    On Tuesday, a historic lawsuit was introduced against the U.S. military prison’s force-feeding of detainees on hunger strikes, by an inmate of Guantanamo Bay. The Yemeni inmate, Emad Abdullah Hassan, contends that he has been “abusively force-fed” more than 5,000 times in the past seven years in an effort to end his hunger strikes, causing him severe internal injuries. The case marks the first legal challenge requiring a federal judge to oversee an inmate’s testimony on Guantanamo prison conditions. 

    CULTURAL 

    Chris Pine Arrested for DUI in New Zealand, http://rtvote.com/1gpXHLL

    Angelina Jolie Plans to Have More Preventative Cancer Surgery,http://rtvote.com/1idBx3u

    The Big Bang Theory Renewed! CBS Orders 3 More Seasons of the Smash Comedy, http://rtvote.com/1iANVZW

    Here is the Wolf of Sesame Street Mashup You’ve Been Waiting For,http://rtvote.com/1iANVZW

    Justin Bieber’s Bratty Deposition Video Gets Remixed by Seth Meyers,http://rtvote.com/1i6ANwA

     

    Maura
    Bio: Maura graduated from the University of Dayton in 2011 with a BA in International Studies and French. During the course of her studies she was elected Student Body Vice President where she worked to make student activity funding more affordable & fair to the campus community. Following graduation, Maura joined the 2012 Obama Campaign as grassroots Field Organizer in Ohio (the battleground of all battleground states). She now continues her passion of engaging and building political power for young people with Rock the Vote.

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



    News Round-Up: November 6, 2013

    Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

    Results from the 2013 elections are analyzed after victors are announced—with wins by Christie, McAuliffe, and De Blasio capturing the headlines; talks of gay marriage being legal in Illinois emerge; and the mayor of Toronto publically admits to smoking crack. Meanwhile, excitement brews around the 2013 CMA’s and a Hunger Games star cuts off their hair (can you guess who?).

    - Sandy + Maura
    CRUCIAL

    Christie wins re-election; seen as prelude to 2016http://rtvote.com/1cEFYEh
    Last night, Republican incumbent Chris Christie won re-election in New Jersey’s governor race with the help of female and Hispanic voters, beating out Democratic Senator Barbara Buono with over 60% of the total votes. This sets Governor Christie up as a very possible Republican candidate to run for president in 2016. However, Christie has yet to reveal his plans for a presidential candidacy.

    De Blasio Is Elected New York City Mayor in Landslidehttp://rtvote.com/1cEG0fz
    Bill de Blasio won NYC’s mayoral race, defeating his opponent, Joseph J. Lhota, by a margin of 49 percentage points, with 99 percent of the votes counted. De Blasio, a supporter of very liberal change, won over many New Yorkers by acknowledging rising frustrations with income inequality, aggressive policing tactics, and lack of affordable housing. The new mayor will become the first Democrat to lead NY in a generation.

    Why Terry McAuliffe barely wonhttp://rtvote.com/19DNkV2
    In the days leading up to Election Day, public opinion polls showed that Democrat Terry McAuliffe had a very good lead on Republican Ken Cuccinelli for Virginia’s governor race. The final results pegged McAuliffe as the winner, but only by less than 3 percentage points leaving the race much closer than expected.

    Lawmakers approve gay marriage in Illinoishttp://rtvote.com/1hNol4Q
    Will Illinois be the 15th state to legalize gay marriage? It sure seems like it! Lawmakers approved a bill that extended the right to wed to same-sex couples yesterday. Governor Pat Quinn plans to sign the bill, which would go into effect on June 1, 2014.

    Toronto Mayor Admits Crack Use, as Wild Ride in Office Continueshttp://rtvote.com/1baaqkI
    Mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, 44, is no stranger to public acts of drunken belligerence and other inappropriate behavior. In May, Ford denied smoking crack cocaine when questioned, but yesterday he officially admitted to using the drug. However, don’t expect him to be stepping down anytime soon. Up until this point, his right-of-center, suburban supporters have remained loyal. However, this most recent scandal may have been too much for his core constituency.

    CULTURAL

    Jennifer Lawrence Cuts Off Hair—See Pixie Cut on Hunger Games Star, http://rtvote.com/18ZxEHe

    Miley Cyrus’ Bangerz Tour Kicks Off on Valentine’s Day 2014, http://rtvote.com/17F8UtU

    CMA Awards Ballot: Who should/will win?, http://rtvote.com/HxFMIB

    Lady Gaga to Sing In Space in 2015, http://rtvote.com/1arWPT8

    Kris Jenner Celebrates 58th Birthday with Family, Given Cake with Her Face on it, http://rtvote.com/17N1zGz

    sandywu
    Bio:

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



    Young Americans Will Help Change History This Election Day — If They Vote

    Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

    When you live on the outskirts of our nation’s capital, it is easy to sense that history is writing itself around you. The striking all-white dome of the Capitol serves as the backdrop, the directors have chosen their cast, and the scene is set for a drama that unfolds in newspaper headlines, TV interviews, and bar conversations. But what is the driving narrative? What story will be told?

    The media think they have us pegged: young people are frustrated about the shutdown; they’re angry about the rocky rollout of healthcare.gov; they’re disillusioned with the entire political process. According to U.S. News and World Report, more than 1-in-3 rising American electorate voters (which includes young people, women, and minorities) who voted in 2012 won’t return to the polls in 2014.

    They’re trying to write history before it happens, and we can’t let them get away with it. Truth is, young people are angry, but we’re sure as hell not lazy.

    Tuesday is Election Day and all eyes are on the Virginia gubernatorial race. Candidates Terry McAuliffe, Ken Cuccinelli, and Robert Sarvis represent a host of diverse ideals that each resonate with different groups across the Commonwealth. This race is no done deal, and the polls predict a tight race. Not to mention, the Virginia gubernatorial contest is the first competitive election since the government shutdown and the rocky rollout of healthcare.gov. Everyone is watching with bated breath to see how dysfunction in the neighboring capital will affect Virginia voting behavior.

    One thing is for sure: young people will play a significant role in electing the next governor of Virginia. Over the course of his campaign, Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe visited 23 community colleges and, in the past week alone, toured five college towns with former President Bill Clinton. Republican Ken Cuccinelli tipped his hat to the youth vote as well with a stop at Virginia’s Liberty University. And even Sarvis, the popular Libertarian candidate, has made his fair share of college stops over the past few months.

    There’s little wonder each candidate is eyeing the youth vote: In 2012, 1.16 million young Virginians between the ages of 18 and 29 were eligible to vote. Of those, more than half participated in the 2012 election. Young people in Virginia have a loud voice and the 2013 candidates for governor know it.

    The youth vote is a powerful weapon, but it is a weapon we must exercise. For too long, politicians have written off young people as disengaged, lazy, or ignorant. But they are wrong. As much as the media enjoy predicting election outcomes, history is written ex post facto, and nothing is certain until it happens. Young people are poised to take action in 2013 and reclaim their right to a representative voice in government. All we have to do is show up.

    So let’s do it. 

    We have a vision here at Rock the Vote: a vision of widespread bipartisan youth participation in the 2013 Virginia election. Whoever bears the title of governor-elect on Wednesday – be it Cuccinelli, McAuliffe, or Sarvis – MUST know that young Virginians gave him that title. Let’s show up and hold our leaders accountable. Let’s make sure they don’t forget the youth. 

    In 2013, young people have a tight grip on history’s pen. We must hold our hands steady and craft the narrative that we want to see. 

    PS: Rock the Vote’s Election Center has all the info you need on when to vote, where to vote, who is on the ballot, and what ID you need to bring to the polls. Take a minute to review before you vote this afternoon.

    PPS: If you’re a twitter fiend like me, give us a shout out from the polls with the hashtag #RocktheVote. And follow us at @RocktheVote.

    austin@rockthevote.com
    Bio:
    @austin_estes
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    Meet Carina

    Friday, October 25th, 2013

    We’re currently obsessed with Carina. She’s a first generation student at Old Dominion University and one of our esteemed Fellows working to Get Out the Vote in Virginia! If you’ve lost faith in the Millennial generation, it’s only because you haven’t met Carina yet. Shall we introduce you?

    • 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 Carina Wicker. I’m was born in Norfolk, Virginia, but raised in Lynchburg, Virginia. I am a proud representative from both locations. Lynchburg and Norfolk have both made me who I am today. Right now I am a sophomore at Old Dominion University double majoring in Political Science and International Studies.

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

    I got involved with Rock the Vote because I am currently the Director of Legislative and Diversity Affairs for the Student Government Association at Old Dominion University. Sam Menefee-Libey contacted me, and told me about Rock the Vote because of the work I have done in Student Government. I was incredibly excited about the opportunity because Rock the Vote sounded exactly what I was passionate about.

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

    As a RTV/CEEP fellow my main goal was to always inform the students about the true significance of voting. My co-fellow and I have worked endlessly with emails and tabling. We have tabled in the Old Dominion Student Union Center, or Webb Center, and grabbed students’ attention if only for five seconds to tell them about the power they could potentially have if they voted. We have reached out to different organizations and first year students to make sure all of them were ready for the Election Day. We had the awesome opportunity to work for the Lieutenant Governor Candidate Debate at Old Dominion. There we were recognized during the debate and then recognized by different news channels that recorded the debate. In my opinion, if I had gotten only one person registered or helped one person see how powerful their voice is, I feel like that is a successful run.

    • Tell us something inspiring about yourself

    Something inspiring about myself… Well, I am a first generation college student. I barely got any financial aid, and most defiantly did not have money coming out of pocket for school. I did not receive much help going towards college, so I completely relied on myself and God. I work two jobs, I have this fellowship, and I am a proud director of the Legislative and Diversity Committee at Old Dominion’s Student Government Association. I also work with Virginia 21, an organization where I represent the voice of students my age to leaders in government. Not to mention I am a full-time, double major student. I feel like opportunities only come when you are willing to work hard for it. I do not take no for an answer, and there are no such things as excuses, only solutions. My favorite quote that motivates me is “If you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe then you will be successful.” -Eric Thomas. In life I want to inspire people to keep going forward, and even when you are exhausted, keep fighting. To the first generation college students who barely have any help, you can do it. Keep working and don’t allow yourself to make excuses. Do not take no for an answer, make your opportunities, and always remember that you CAN do it. 

    • Name one person who you think is changing the world.

    I believe that my generation is persistently working to change the world. I think a lot of people have goals to make this planet a little better than it is now. Those people who dedicate hours upon hours, work vigorously, and do not take no for an answer for their cause are the people who are changing the world.

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

    I don’t think I’ve ever been to an “embarrassing” concert. I’m always so engaged in the music that even if something embarrassing happened to the performer I would not mind. My first concert was M83 then Twenty-One Pilots which both were a dream come true. I absolutely love them, and I’m actually listening to them right now as I type this. They inspire me greatly, and one day I hope to tell them both how incredible I actually think they are.  

    • Do you have any unique talents? 

    My unique talents would have to be that I can play the violin and I’m really good with a camera in my hand. I’ve played violin for nine years. The ability to make music is a blessing for me. I have shot photography for only five years, but I am passionate about it. Beauty sometimes is only a glimpse, and when I can catch that glimpse I get thrilled. 

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

    If I had the attention of the entire population of the American youth I would have to tell them how great life is. God gave you a great life, so live it. In life you need a passion, and when you have that passion work until you’re exhausted for it. That is when you will find happiness. Life isn’t easy, but it is worth it.

    austin@rockthevote.com
    Bio:
    @austin_estes
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com