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"Voting is a way to voice our opinions on the issues that affect our everyday lives. I want our country to be a place that people feel safe in, a place other countries look up to, and a place where those who are willing to work hard can succeed. Voting is our responsibility, and we can use it to make the changes we want to see in order to make our country a better place for all."

Jackie DiGiacomo is 17 and a junior at North Allegheny. She is on the North Allegheny track and field team and plays viola in the NA Chamber Orchestra. Her passions include climate action and sustainability. She is excited to help Gen Z gain a powerful voice in 2021.

To the Vote Z community:

Last year, when Vote Z got its start, we imagined that we would be on the front lines of democracy. We would be the ones pushing boundaries to activate the youth vote, informing our generation of the power we have each election day, making clear that we are here first and foremost for the American voter—not a party, creed, or any political agenda. On Wednesday, our entire team was appalled to watch the events at the nation’s capital unfold on our screens. Our team condemns the January 6th attacks on the central seat of American democracy at the highest possible level.

Egged on by President Trump and encouraged by months of false electoral fraud claims, a group of domestic terrorists filled with extremists and white supremacists attacked the heart of our republic. Trump’s refusal to accept the result of the election, as well as in his initial response to the attack, is a critical failure of his oath of office and highlights the fragility of democracy.

Our republic deserves elected officials who respect the will of the American voter. We condemn all baseless objections to the certification of the November 3rd vote made by the President or any other elected officials and the violence that these claims incited.

Going forward, we hope that our future elected officials recognize that their words have consequences and that we all should take time to reflect on what caused this week’s unconscionable riot. Our priority at Vote Z has always been to empower you, the voter, through action and education. Wednesday has only reinforced that motivation for everyone on our team. We thank you for your support thus far and look forward to healing and building our democracy together.

In solidarity,

The Vote Z Team

Starting in June, Vote Z aimed to target Gen Z through digital organizing, including hosting online voter registration training, text banking, socially distanced literature drops, and social media posts. Over the last year, we reached thousands of young people across the country through digital organizing and 756 voters through literature drops. We produced a podcast (Creating Good Trouble hosted by Ashari James) to create a community where our generation can learn and engage with activists to rebuild civic dialogue. Together we partner with larger organizations to promote civic engagement by registering poll workers. Limited to digital outreach, we signed up 136 poll workers, registered or received pledge agreements from 69 new voters, and provided 42 people with absentee ballots. While these numbers pale compared to the size of the national election, we see our efforts as part of an effort that collectively can make America's elected officials more responsive to the values of those they represent. In the future, we plan to grow the organization, promote civic dialogue and work to engage with Gen Z candidates running for office, and continue registering young voters.

- Jordan

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