Community Based Efforts Towards Youth Civic Engagement in Philadelphia

Every Voice Every Vote

<p>Philly BOLT member Amaiyah Parker speaks to candidates and youth at PA Youth Voices event | (Kasey Shamis/Bullhorn Photographer)</p>

Philly BOLT member Amaiyah Parker speaks to candidates and youth at PA Youth Voices event | (Kasey Shamis/Bullhorn Photographer)

Philadelphia’s next mayoral election will take place on May 16, 2023. The impact of this election will be felt in every corner of the city. At times like these, taking action to make your voice heard is more important than ever. Regardless of your age and ability to vote, there are organizations around Philadelphia that are able to uplift youth voices and promote their hopes for this election on a larger platform. 

This election cycle, the Bullhorn has partnered with the Lenfest Institute’sEvery Voice, Every Vote” coalition, which is a collaboration between community and media organizations in Philadelphia. This coalition aims to inform Philadelphia voters and ensure their voices are heard during this election cycle. 

In this collaboration, several community organizations have come forward to provide their support to youth voters during this election.

PA Youth Vote is one such organization working around the state of Pennsylvania to support youth voters and voices. Their goal is to educate younger people on how to constructively advocate for the things they wish to see in their communities and push for a brighter future. They promote youth voices by providing educational resources to students. They have voter registration teams in Philadelphia schools, comprised of students as a part of their ambassador program. They also educate students on the various goals of candidates and how their interests align with various candidates. By educating youth, they hope to dispel the myth of young people being apathetic to political issues. Young people aren’t apathetic, they aren’t being taught about civic issues. To learn more about PA Youth Vote and how to get involved with their ambassadorship program, go to their website:  

Another organization is the Committee of 70 (C70). C70 is a group of people dedicated to combating corruption in Philadelphia politics. Through their partnerships with groups such as PA Youth Vote, they make sure that Philadelphia’s high school and college students have the information needed to prepare to vote. They have many resources available for students to engage with. One of which is their Voter Guide, which provides readers with accessible information about the candidates for each position up for election this cycle. Their WeVote program ensures that campuses have the resources needed to get students registered to vote. Their Youth Civics programs prepare students, while ineligible to vote in this election, for upcoming elections. These programs include a 17-year-old poll working program, allowing students to get paid to work the polls. Students or teachers can reach out to to get further involved if interested. 

East Point Breeze Neighbors is an organization dedicated to serving the diverse community in Point Breeze. They are serving the community by providing a non-partisan voter guide, tailored for their neighborhood. This voting guide will be available in English as well as Vietnamese, Spanish, Chinese, Indonesian, Mon-Khmer, and Tagalog. This voting guide will be accessible to youth in the Point Breeze neighborhood if they speak any of the languages listed above. If young people are interested, they are welcome to attend their general meetings, held on Zoom on the fourth Wednesday of the month at 6:30 pm. They are also invited to participate in neighborhood events that East Point Breeze Neighbors sponsors, such as clean-ups, outreach events, and their annual cookout. 

The Athletic Club of Fairhill is an athletic club for youth based in North Philly. This election, they are amplifying youth voices by providing voter guides and other information sources to their students and their families. While a majority of their youth are elementary and middle school-aged, it is important to AC Fairhill to encourage civic engagement early and show young people that their voice and vote matter. AC Fairhill aims to equip the youth that participate in their programs with the skills required to be successful global citizens, including being involved with their communities, city, and world. This goal directly aligns with the issues of this election, as it is important now more than ever to understand your place in the world and how you can help those around you. If anyone wishes to get involved with AC Fairhill, they can contact them at or via their social media accounts (Instagram and Facebook), @acfairhill. 

Finally, the Easterseals of Southeastern Pennsylvania is another organization dedicated to uplifting underrepresented communities during this election cycle. The Easterseals of Southeastern Pennsylvania is a non-profit group that provides educational and other resources for disabled youth and their families to fight against the issues that plague the lives of disabled people. They provide PSA videos to their audience, teaching students and adults alike how to file ballots, how to drop off ballots, how to access polls and polling stations, as well as conduct surveys, and discuss important issues to the disabled community, such as the intersection of gun violence and disability. This election, they plan to open up conversations about voting accessibility, making sure to include disabled voices at the center of the conversation.

It is important to get involved civically, especially as the issues on the ballot have been more relevant than ever. Getting involved with any organization working to uplift youth voices, either these listed above or a local group, is vital to helping yourself and others in this election cycle and every following cycle.

EVEV Acknowledgement:

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This content is a part of Every Voice, Every Vote, a collaborative project managed by The Lenfest Institute for Journalism. Lead support is provided by the William Penn Foundation with additional funding from The Lenfest Institute, Peter and Judy Leone, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Harriet and Larry Weiss, and the Wyncote Foundation, among others.

To learn more about the project and view a full list of supporters, visit Editorial content is created independently of the project’s donors.

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