Phone calls and texts to young voters looking to help, not scam

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Arizona Coalition for Change

Rep. Reginald Bolding and Cymone Bolding started Arizona Coalition for Change after realizing the issues of the African American community greatly paralleled the issues of the Latinx community, said Eden Makonnen. The goal of the organization, said Makonnen who works as a digital organizer for the coalition, was to accumulate multiple voices to help promote change in politics and enroll people into the early voting list.

“It is a voice encompassing many different backgrounds, socioeconomic statuses, [and] racial-ethnic backgrounds,” said Makonnen

Young Voters

“It turns out that it’s a bit of a myth that the young folks are not engaged civically — they are, but it doesn’t seem to show up in terms of their voter participation,” said Horizonte host José Cárdenas. Arizona Coalition of Change is attempting to change that by targeting millennials and people of color to equip them with the knowledge they need to vote.

“Considering the hyper-sensitive political time, a lot of youth have something to say, and right now, especially considering racial injustice issues, education issues, and issues of body-autonomy a lot of youth are partaking in elections right now and trying to be civically aware,” said Makonnen who noted young adults were the facilitators of the Black Lives Matter protests across the country.

Pandemic Solutions

The coalition has made a shift to technology-based solutions as opposed to fieldwork as a response to the pandemic. Instead of going door-to-door, volunteers are conducting phone banking and text banking.

“On one hand, it does create greater reach because we have a larger pool of people that we have access to, but on another hand, people are naturally skeptical of somebody they have never met messaging them or calling them,” Makonnen said. “It is a controversial subject right now, and because they don’t see me, they don’t match the voice to the face, they might be skeptical of what my intentions are, thinking it is a scam.”

“I think in time, more youth are seeing the necessity of voting and right now we play a large role in preparing them, getting them socially aware of all the resources needed to vote.”

Eden Makonnen/Digital Organizer, Arizona Coalition for Change

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