“It’s important for high schoolers to get involved in politics because there are issues that specifically affect high school students being discussed across the country and when we aren’t at the table politicians assume we do not care about the policy that affects us. We also want to be informed and have experience in the political system when it does come time to vote to make sure we are making the best choices we possibly can.” -Charlie Stephens
The High School Democrats is a national political organization that serves as an entry point to Democratic politics for youth activists from across the country. It’s a group that engages young adults in sustained activism early on, and is typically a feeder to membership in the College Democrats, Young Democrats, and finally the Democratic Party.
The group’s state chapter in Louisiana, the Louisiana High School Democrats (LAHSD), has almost 100 members currently and the mission to “advance the ideals of the Democratic Party, engage fellow students to become active within the American political system, and elect Democratic candidates to public office.”
Most of the students are under 18 so can’t even vote yet, but have a level of robust activism that matches many long-standing Democratic clubs. During just several recent campaigns, LAHSD’s phone banking yielded:
We had the opportunity to work with Charlie Stephens, a sophomore at Lee High School in Baton Rouge and the Chairman of the LAHSD Executive Board. He sought help from EngageProgress on a recommendation from the Executive Director of the Louisiana Democratic Party, Stephen Handwerk. LAHSD was actively looking for a new website and had specific needs that virtually no other website creation firm was willing to tackle. Their priorities:
We helped set them up with a WordPress website on the Personal hosting plan, costing them only $2.99/month. While design customization options are limited, this option provided them with all the needed features and functionality without being a strain on their budget.
After creating the site, we did a training to walk through the setup and show LAHSD how they could make updates to pages and publish new blog posts. This helped them be empowered to truly own their site and keep content fresh and engaging.
Charlie says, “The new website has benefited our group by improving our credibility as an organization in the eyes of the public. It has allowed us to easily register new members and chapters and keep an up to date email list to contact them. It’s also expanded our revenue streams due to increased prominence of opportunities to donate to our organization.”
October 31, 2017