Hoosier Action Democracy Fellows: Fighting to Restore American Democracy
Applications are now open for five Democracy Fellows who will work as a team to increase voter turnout on the I.U. Bloomington campus. As part of Hoosier Action’s efforts to empower disenfranchised groups within Southern Indiana, these fellows will be trained in the methods of community organization and will employ them to help students recognize the vital importance of voting and to create an organization that can greatly increase turnout in 2018 and beyond.
Goals of the Program
In the 2016 election, of the tens of thousands of students on the IU Bloomington campus, fewer than 2800 people voted in the precincts where most students live. Hoosier Action and its campus affiliate are determined to improve participation in our democracy. This initiative is crucial because the current generation of college students brings a special perspective to issues such as gender, the environment, race, and social justice that should be represented in our electoral process. Moreover, democracy depends on participation. Young people who begin to vote in their college years are apt to continue to play a role in maintaining a free and open society. Those who do not participate may never find a role for themselves as citizens.
The Responsibilities of the Fellows
The Hoosier Action Democracy Fellows will play a crucial role in this initiative. Among their duties will be the following:
- Structured conversations and on-the-street surveys of I.U. students to identify what issues are most apt to get them to the polls and to encourage them to become involved with the effort to increase turnout.
- The creation of teams to assure that groups of students in dorms, Greek houses, campus organizations, and other units are organized, register, and vote
- Working on social media campaigns to encourage students to associate issues that they care about with the act of voting
- Helping organize creative events, such as concerts, visits from nationally known figures, etc. that will serve as occasions for registering to vote and informing students about crucial issues
- Coordinating voter registration with other groups working on campus
Benefits to the Fellows
This is an unpaid internship, but those accepted as fellows can expect to derive the following benefits that should be useful in their future careers and public involvement.
- Systematic training in community organizing by Hoosier Action staff, including director Kate Hess Pace, who has a decade of experience running successful organizing campaigns. This training will include a day-long boot camp designed to introduce the fellows to a process that has laid the foundation of the careers of many successful public figures, including Barack Obama.
- Experience at outreach, organization, and advocacy
- Opportunities to develop media campaigns and organize events
- Occasions to network and to develop and demonstrate leadership skills
The Application Process
By November 1, 2017 applicants to these positions must:
- Submit a resume and a 1-2 page statement explaining why they wish to play a leadership role in this effort and sharing any ideas that they may have for increasing voting among I.U. students
- Provide at least two references
- Commit to at least 5 to 10 hours of work each week in the spring and fall semester of 2018 and participation in virtual planning sessions during the intervening summer
More information can be obtained and applications can be submitted by emailing David Pace at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to indicate how best to get in touch with you.
General information about Hoosier Action is available at https://www.hoosieraction.org/.