In 2012 and 2013, YP4 ran a Money in Elections Collaborative Campaign that educated young people about the negative effects of big money in our political system, especially since the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision. The campaign empowered youth to implement projects focused on engaging peers in corporate accountability efforts. YP4 Fellows called on campus leaders to ensure schools were driven by student values and the principles of education, rather than the interests of corporations.
YP4 Money in Election Campaign Results
The campaign resulted in many exciting outcomes. In 2012, YP4 Fellow and UC Berkeley student Ariel Boone successfully worked to divest $3.5 million of her campus’ Student Government funds from Bank of America and invest it with Union Bank, a bank rooted in California that gives back millions to local California communities. Additionally, 2013 YP4 Fellow and Howard University student Brendien Mitchell spoke alongside Senator Bernie Sanders and other movement leaders about the importance of hearing young people’s voices in the midst of massive political spending by the wealthy at affiliate People For the American Way’s McCutcheon v. FEC Rally for Democracy. 2013 YP4 Fellow and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute student Ernesto Villasenor met with New York State Senator Neil Breslin to address issues surrounding money in elections. These are only some of the accomplishments achieved by YP4 Fellows through our Money in Elections campaign, and their impact continues to grow as they wade further into the progressive movement.
Throughout and since the Money in Elections campaign, YP4 has worked closely with the Students United For Democracy initiative, a campaign led by advocacy organizations to pass campus resolutions calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. Additionally, YP4 is a member of the Corporate Reform Coalition, a coalition of diverse organizations working to fight back against growing corporate influence in our democracy.