FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 5, 2017

Contact: Gabriel O’Shea

Telephone: 785.221.9240

Email: goshea@greatertopeka.org

Website: TopekaForge.org

Topeka, KS, May 5, 2017– Forge is introducing a new initiative called “Forge Your Future” with the goal of bringing young professionals to the voting polls. Working in collaboration with the League of Women Voters and Shawnee County Elections Office, Forge aims to increase the number of registered voters in Topeka and Shawnee County for individuals aged 18 – 39. In 2016, the number of registered voters between the ages of 18 – 39 was 42,847 which accounts for 39% of the total registered voters for that year. The number of registered voters between the ages of 18 – 24 was only 9,281 accounting for only 8.5% of the total registered voters.

Forge’s goal is to raise both of those statistics. By creating a younger constituency, Forge will engage the community’s young professionals in the political process and encourage elected officials to further consider young professionals’ needs during their decision-making process. Forge to advocate for legislation which enables Topeka and Shawnee County to better attract and retain young talent.

“By creating a voice for young people in Topeka, we are telling elected officials that our opinions matter,” stated Angel Romero, chair of the “Forge Your Future” initiative. “We hope that by creating and succeeding in this goal we can become more than just considered during the conversation, we can become part of the conversation. The interest that will come from this initiative will encourage the young professionals to get involved and maybe even run for office.”

“Forge Your Future” plans to engage young professionals through a multitude of different avenues, including social media, public events, and door-to-door outreach. The efforts of “Forge Your Future” will focus initially on getting young professionals registered to vote, to ensure they can participate fully in the electoral process. Efforts will then move to voter education and mobilization. Many voters, particularly young voters, feel they lack the information to cast an informed vote and too often opt not to participate in local elections. Through education about candidates, the issues and the process, “Forge Your Future” hopes to arm young professionals with the tools and knowledge they need to fully participate in elections. 

Forge is planning a Meet the Candidates Forum that will provide young professionals a venue to learn more about their local candidates. Forge will also be promoting voter registration at all its events.

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Gabriel O’Shea at 785.221.9240 or goshea@greatertopeka.com.

Matt Lara

Matt Lara

Matt is the resident social media guru and website guy, working on the marketing and communications team. He supports GO Topeka, the Topeka Chamber of Commerce, Entrepreneurial & Minority Business Development, Forge and Heartland Visioning.
Matt Lara