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Aug 5, 2019

Black Youth Vote Releases Results of its Poll Conducted at Presidential Debate Watch Party Hosted in the South and DC

“Generation Z & Millennials Attending Watch Parties Choose Senator Sanders, Senator Warren & Williamson Top Winners on Debate Night One and Former Vice President Biden, Senator Harris, Senator Booker, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard & Andrew Yang As Top Winners On Debate Night Two ”

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 5,2019. On the nights of Tuesday, July 30th and Wednesday, July 31st, Black Youth Vote! (BYV!), the youth-led civic leadership and organizing arm of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, hosted Presidential Debate Watch Parties in the South and Washington, DC. The BYV Debate Watch Parties were organized by BYV leaders and state-based partners including the Alabama Black Youth Vote, Florida Black Youth Vote, Georgia Stand-Up and the DC watch party was organized by the BYV national team. Black Youth Vote conducted its new poll of primarily Black youth (ages 18 - 35) to rate who they believe won the debates each night and also share what issues are important to them.

The BYV! Debate Watch Party Poll showed that attendees on night one (July 30th) of the debate chose Senator Bernie Sanders (1st) , Senator Elizabeth Warren (2nd) and Author Marianne Williamson (3rd) as the top 3 winners. On the second night of the debate (July 31st), Former Vice President Joe Biden & Senator Kamala Harris tied for first place, Senator Corrie Booker came in second (2nd) ; and Representative Tulsi Gabbard & entrepreneur, Andrew Yang, tied for third (3rd). (See graphics of poll results attached)

The Black Youth Vote! multi-state poll also asked the debate watch party attendees (viewers) what issues were most relevant to them that included the following responses:

  • The majority (52%) of viewers responded that at least some of the issues that were important to them were addressed in the debates on night one (July 30th) and only thirty-nine percent (39%) on night two (July 31st).
  • For viewers identified the top two most important issues that were addressed in the debate were healthcare and college affordability.
  • The issues that viewers responded that the most neglected issues in the debate were immigration and reproductive rights.

The BYV Debate Watch Parties are designed to bring Generation Z and Millennials together to discuss which presidential candidates are addressing the issues Black youth are concerned about. The first in a series of viewing events throughout the 2020 Presidential Election Cycle, these events are a part of Black Youth Vote’s Unity #Vote4Justice Campaign, which seeks to inform Black Youth about the 2020 presidential campaign and mobilize them to get out the vote in their states.

The next BYV! Debate Watch Parties will be hosted on September 12 – 13, 2019 in AL, FL, GA, MI, MS, NC, OH, PA and DC.

Below are comments and photos from Black Youth Vote State Coordinators and Attendees:

Washington, DC. BYV! Coordinator, Darrell Coles, shared that “it was amazing to see and organize a safe space for our peers to hang out and discuss issues that were important to us!” In Georgia, there were similar feelings about the debate events held in College Park and Forest Park, GA. "Our two-day event was amazing! Diverse groups of young people attended the events, some people that have been engaged in the political process for majority of their lives, and others that are now realizing just how important the issues are.” observed Amari Foster, Project Manager, Georgia STAND-UP and BYV! GA State Partner. Her colleague, Development Manager, Jordan Brown found the events important to educate disengaged voters. “Sometimes, younger people don’t have faith in our country’s leadership which dissuades us from voting. But we want to change the narrative in our generation to encourage voting, which in turn could change the remainder of our lives.”

Florida BYV! State Coordinator, Marian Harriel, believes that “affordable housing, cancelling student debt and health care for all” were some of the most important issues discussed in the debates because “these issues effect more than half of the audience in the [FL viewing event] room”

Stacey Foster, an attendee at the Alabama debate watch party, questioned the genuineness of the candidates, observing that “many of the candidates sound rehearsed. Everyone seemed to have a plan to deal with health care, the minimum wage and the border. If the plans are so clear why did they not use these plans when they were Mayors, Governors, Senators and Representatives?”

The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP) is one of the most active civil rights and social justice organizations in the nation “dedicated to increasing civic engagement, economic and voter empowerment in Black America.”  The Black Youth Vote “Vote4Justice” Organizing Initiative’s goal is to continue its legacy of engaging Black youth and young adults (Generation Z & Millennials) in civic engagement, issue organizing, voter empowerment and voter protection. BYV!’s priority is to CONNECT protest to public policy through the power of the vote.

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Black Youth Vote Watch Party in Birmingham, AL Hosted by Alabama Black Youth Vote.

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BYV Watch Party in Ft. Lauderdale, FL Hosted by Florida Black Youth Vote

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BYV Watch Party at Ben's Next Door in Washington DC

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BYV Watch Party in College Park, GA Hosted by Georgia Stand-Up

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