Parish Government

SYWV – Henri L and Zander M

In Action on November 3, 2010 at 9:55 pm

“Our government is crumbling. Our economy is trashed, our military is a joke, and our representatives don’t represent us like they are supposed to.”

“So why don’t you vote?”
“Uh . . . that’s a good question.”

This is an all-too-common scenario among youth across America today. Less than 50 % of youth between 18 and 24 years of age voted in the 2008 presidential election. Today, these numbers don’t affect our country exceptionally; however, what happens if this trend continues ten years from now, when the baby boomer population has declined, and the previously-considered youth are the majority of America? The declining numbers of non-voters will increase, political efficacy will shrink ever more and become more of a problem than it is now, and the power of majority will be lost. Something needs to change. The youth need to become more involved. That is where Strong Youth, Weak Voices comes into play.

The best way for people to change government is through voting. It is a powerful right among Americans, and a privilege, to be part of the choice for who comes into power. Strong Youth, Weak Voices – or SYWV– is dedicated to increasing the number of young voters, and provide a way for youth to be heard. SYWV is doing this through the inter-connectivity of the internet. It has reached three well-known internet mediums of the time.

A primary aspect of SYWV is its Youtube series. SYWV plans to have a Youtube series that revolves entirely around the youth of America. In fact, SYWV will only personally publish two videos: an introductory video and a video demonstrating a series of interviews. From these two videos, all viewers are encouraged to submit their own videos spreading the words and ideals of SYWV. This way, the purpose and message of SYWV will spread as far as possible.

Another important aspect of SYWV is its forum. This forum provides a place and community for the youth of America to present and discuss their ideas about politics. The forum is the primary place where each youth has equal footing and voice in an area where members can discuss the pros and cons of laws, the future of politics, aspects of elections and the issues that government officials discuss themselves.

Finally, SYWV has created a blog that ties closely with its forum. The entire point of the blog is for it to be used as a stepping stone from one aspect of Strong Youth, Weak Voices to another. The blog only has one “post,” and the plan is for it to remain that way. It works solely as a way to explain the point of SYWV to those who do not frequent forums or Youtube as often as they do blogs.

The process behind SYWV’s actions began with a long brainstorming process. Administrative members spent a remarkable amount of time discerning the best way to appeal to the youth of America.  It was decided the internet would be best because it offers the greatest, most expansive level of connectivity, with the easiest methods of information dispersion, like StumbleUpon, Google, and Youtube. Similarly, these programs represent the greatest of ways to find material that should be spread as far as possible, like Strong Youth, Weak Voices.

The next step in the process of the creation of SYWV was enlisting the help and endorsement of friends and people with power, with the hopes of spreading the message of SYWV. Members of SYWV communicated with friends in places such as Austin, San Antonio, Minnesota and California. Similarly, letters were sent to public office holders such as the Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Oprah Winfrey, Rick Perry, John Cornyn, Kay Bailey Hutchison and Tom Leppert. Friends responded positively: half of people contacted decided to aide the progress of SYWV, performing their own Youtube interview videos. However, the office holding officials were far less responsive, and no letters garnered a response.

The power and message of SYWV is a growing, steadily-increasing machine. It acts like a locomotive train in that its influence grows weekly. The weekend of Halloween brought one visitor to the forum of SYWV. From Monday, November 1, until the writing of this paper, the forums have had twelve visitors. That number, standing on its own, is minimal, but when seen as an increase of over 1000% in visitor-per-week output, it is significant. By the end of November, the projected visitor numbers of the forums alone of SYWV, could be well over 100 visitors every week.

“All of that could change if you voted.”
“Why have I never thought of these things like this?”
“Because you don’t have a community of like-minded youth to support you and your ideas. That’s why we’re here.”
“Well now I don’t have a choice do I? I’ll have to vote.”

This too is a common story, with the involvement of Strong Youth, Weak Voices. It provides a service to American youth through its Youtube series, its forum and its blog. America is changing. American youth must change as well. That is why Strong Youth, Weak Voices was created, and it will make a difference.

  1. As a collaboritave group, we think that your action statement was extremely well-written and well thought out. We simultaneously agree that you made your project because you truly did want to make an impact; the thoughts behind it and the way they were followed through are brilliant and extraordinary. We also agree that you put an obvious effort into it: good title for the forum, good quotes and good video idea. Congratulations on making an impact; we think this much can be stated as a fact and we believe that you will continue to recieve more viewers and forum writers who will engage in strong, expressive arguments.

  2. I think you had a very ambitious idea to make an impact on younger adults. You definitely accomplished parts of your goal; on your forum you have five members and seven people have viewed your youtube channel. I think it was a great idea to write certain public icons to get them involved. I do think, however, that if you had put as much time into one aspect of this project (the letters, the forum, the channel) as you did on the entire project, you might have had a more powerful effect. You all obviously worked very hard on this project and it shows.

  3. I think that your idea of allowing the public to interact with your organization through three different platforms can be highly effective. However I do feel that relying on the youth, which you have previously described as lacking “political efficacy”, will prove to be uneffective. Relying on the young Americans, who have proven that they don’t particularly care about politics, will inhibit the expansion of your organization and therefore limit its effectiveness. Yes, you did call upon people of high influence to help start and advertise your organization and its “forums”, but your organization’s upkeep and expansion will rely on the participation of the disinterested youth of America. Your plan is to make uninformed and uninvolved youths feel like they should vote or want to vote, but yet you are solely relying on these same uninformed and uninvolved youths to extend the effectiveness of your organization. I do feel that your idea is exemplary, the internet has a lot of ways to allow interaction between you and those same uninformed and uninvolved youths, but
    I feel that you should not rely on them to broaden the effectiveness of your organization. It is not my place to offer an alternative, as it is not my project, but your ideas are solid and your interaction with the public through the internet can be highly effective.

  4. Our group thinks that this is a GREAT idea! It’s a very enthusiastic and informative way to encourage people to get involved. However, we believe it will be even more effective if carried on past the due date of the project. If continued, we think it could really blossom into an official, well-known organization. Good job and keep on keepin on!

  5. First off, great job guys. I like your approach to the project. I agree with your method of connecting with youth over the internet. The internet is where most young Americans spend the majority of their time and creating a youtube series, blog, and forum should reach a lot of people. I also like the purpose for your project. I feel like your intentions were good, and your impact can extend far beyond this election. Like you said, the train has just begun to roll, and should pick up speed with every passing week. I encourage you guys to continue with your blog, forum, and youtube series. Continue to reach out to young Americans and inspire them to vote.

  6. First off, thank you guys for taking the time to read our work and write us a comment. We are grateful for the feedback. We have noticed a lack of proactive involvement of the youth of our nation, even in the workings of this project, as we continue to see limited progress on our work, but we remain hopeful. It only takes a spark to ignite a fire with the appropriate fuel, therefore we remain hopeful in increased involvement as time goes by.

    Thanks guys!
    Zander and Henri

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