By Pam Maldonado
The way campaigns are run has changed drastically over the last few years and many campaign professionals are convinced that the outcome of the 2020 elections will be determined by social media. In a January 2019 study, the Pew Center reported that the leading edge of Generation Z (people 18-23 in 2020) is projected to comprise 10% of eligible voters and is on track to be more racially and ethnically diverse than their predecessors–55% white, 45% non-white.
To meet this new reality, the League is developing a strategy to increase our presence on social media as a way of reaching Gen Z where they hang out—which is online. Societal disruptions have primed millions of young people to be attuned to current events and open to receiving political information, as well as participating in the process themselves.
Such a young person is Helena He, this year’s Atlantic High School valedictorian, who will be heading to the University of Florida to study Computer Engineering this fall. Helena was profiled in the Palm Beach Post, and after reading that she has her own YouTube channel with several hundred followers, we were anxious to contact her. She definitely qualifies as one of the “influencers” we need to reach to help us connect with her age cohort.
We were not disappointed. As a matter of fact, we were blown away! Helena readily offered to help us by producing a video, but we were not prepared for the final product she sent us. It was far beyond what we had expected—incredibly complex and professionally put together, with a vibe that “speaks” to young people. Be sure to check it out—I promise you will be impressed! We’ll be posting it on all our social media platforms – Facebook, Instagram, LWVPBC.org, etc.
Helena shared with me that she cast her first-ever vote in the March Presidential Preference Primaries. She voted early, saying it felt good, but awkward since she didn’t know what to do at first. We are looking forward to her communicating her civic pride to her age-mates as we get closer to the elections. Here’s hoping she becomes a Super Voter.
Thank you, Helena, for the wonderful job you’ve done. We foresee a terrific future for you in your chosen field and hope you have a great time at UF! To view Helena’s article in the Palm Beach Post please use the link below. https://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/20200511/atlantic-valedictorian-revving-up-to-fight-climate-change