On September 17, the New York City Football Club (NYCFC) announced its new youth-led voting campaign in partnership with Vote.orgthe nation’s largest nonpartisan voter registration and advocacy organization (GOTV).
POWER the vote was created following a conversation within the NYCFC-supported Youth Leadership Council around social injustices in local communities and across the country. POWER the Vote is created, managed and executed by young leaders who design and implement free soccer initiatives that promote youth health, education and entrepreneurship in all five boroughs.
“In 2016, 100 million Americans did not participate in elections, and too many of them were young people,” said Vote.org CEO Andrea Hailey. “Their turnout is important, and Vote.org is excited to work with NYCFC to provide these voters with the resources they need, fostering the energy of this summer’s protests to ensure youth voices are heard and represented.”
Using football, the POWER the Vote campaign aims to educate and mobilize young adults, teens and others in New York City to exercise their right to vote. In partnership with Vote.org, the campaign will work to register voters, allow people to check their registration status, and amplify a Pledge to Vote initiative that will register New Yorkers without the age to vote to receive an SMS from Vote.org on their 18th birthday reminding them to vote.
Since the club’s inaugural season, the NYCFC has focused on youth development through the City in the Community (CITC) foundation and youth leader development programs. POWER the Vote builds on this history of uplifting the next generation of New Yorkers by offering leadership roles within community programs.
NYCFC defender and Bronx native Tayvon Gray described the importance of youth involvement.
“I think it’s important for young people to know what’s going on in the world today,” Gray said. “If you want change, voting is the solution. To make your voice heard, I think you should go vote.
In addition to encouraging fans and young people to vote, NYCFC signed up for Electionday.orgjoining more than 700 companies that have taken steps to make it easier for staff to vote by providing paid time off.
NYCFC’s support for the new campaign will come to life in many ways, from engaging first-team players to amplifying messages on club platforms, and more. The club kicks off the campaign today with a video featuring players and young managers.
Additional POWER the Vote activations include:
- Town Halls – A series of virtual town halls for an audience of young New Yorkers with voices from various speakers, including local elected officials and National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) Sky Blue FC players, to discuss topics around civic engagement; Town Hall on September 24 will feature a powerful discussion with NYCFC first-team players.
- National Voter Registration Day – Along with POWER the Vote youth, NYCFC and CITC will host voter registration events on September 22 at five NYCFC and NYCSI mini-football fields throughout the city, including:
- Hostos Academy (Bronx)
- J Hood Wright (Manhattan)
- Flushing Meadow Corona Park (Queens)
- PS24 (Brooklyn)
- IS 49 (Staten Island)
- In-Game Recognition – During Phase 2 of the 2020 MLS season, the club will integrate POWER the Vote messaging into the in-game presentation.
- Staff Volunteering – NYCFC will recognize Election Day as a holiday to allow staff to go out and vote; NYCFC staff will also volunteer on Voter Registration Day to get fans, youth and other New Yorkers registered to vote.
As the POWER the Vote campaign continues to grow, NYCFC has also joined Gather the votea non-partisan coalition led by the Sacramento Kings alongside when we all vote and TO AUGMENT to bring together professional sports franchises across the country committed to encouraging fans to register to vote and participate in elections.