Election Day: Special Edition

The Screenshot: Week of November 2

It is Election Day! 

It feels surreal to even type that as I’ve been waiting for this day anxiously since I fell asleep crying on November 10th, 2016. I don’t know what will happen tonight, but I do want to acknowledge the anxiety that I’m sure many of you are feeling today. I couldn’t vote in 2016, but I still certainly tried to make my voice heard — and I have been so inspired by my peers as we have collectively mobilized around the issues that matter to us these past four years. I don’t know what will happen tonight/beyond, but I do know that I am endlessly proud of Gen Z for being so civically engaged, making our voices heard, and fighting for a better tomorrow (through voting/beyond). I’m also grateful to be surrounded by a community where so many have fought tirelessly for progress during this campaign cycle. There is a lot at stake today — and whatever happens, I know that Gen Z will continue to demand better. We have to. 

I’m sending love, good vibes, and strength to anyone reading this. It’s a day filled with anxiety — but also full of possibility. So, here’s to hoping for a tomorrow where more diverse young voices are centered, where more folks are empowered, and where more change is possible. We could all use more of that 💙

With Love, 

Ziad Ahmed

Gen Z Debates: Election Edition

Think you’ve got Gen Z’s politics figured out? Not yet! 

Last week, we brought together four intelligent and passionate Gen Zers who shared their opinions on who they’re voting for and what politics means for Gen Z. There was consensus and there were clashes, but the conversation was refreshing, cerebral, and honest. Our panelists included a Progressive, Conservative, Trump supporter and someone who isn’t voting in this election, and you may be surprised by who said what! (Missed the event? Watch this!)

Click on the quote that intrigues you most… and see who said it!

Democracy Wins When We’re All Represented

We’re told every election that this one is truly the most important, it’s a big political cliche that catches eye rolls, but in this cycle with so many policies at stake on either side, it really is. The election is projected to have the highest turnout in years – Texas has seen early vote totals pass the total number of 2016 votes. It’s also the first time where Gen Z will be at election parties knowing they, too, played their part. We’re feeling the weight, with 86% of Gen Z believing that this election is important to their future, and youth voting is on the up.

Despite a health pandemic, the fervor with which votes have been cast has been heartening. But 11 hour-long linesawkward registration laws and misinformation means we really need to rise up and fight for our democracy. We want to spotlight some organizations, led by both Gen Z and non-Gen Z, that are advocating and fighting to preserve our democracy.

We Vote Next is an organization set up by Gen Z actress/forever icon Yara Shahidi. Her organization is on a mission to educate young voters about elections with tools and language they feel comfortable with. A one-stop shop for all things Gen Z voting.

Plus1Vote: In 2020, what’s really cooler than voting? Ask +1 to go vote. Plus1Vote, set up by Gen Zer Saad Amer, pushed out the message to get notorious non-voters, Gen Z, to sign up and vote with memes, pledges and plus-ones.

Fair Fight Action is not a Gen Z initiative, but tackles voter suppression — an top-line issue for Gen Z. Led by Stacy Abrams, her organization is confronting voter supression within her state of Georgia. To combat voter suppression efforts, Levi’s spoke to Gen Z through an ad: “Know that voter suppression will be present. You will be discouraged. Vote anyway.”

Ztats That Matter

Gen Z backing Biden by a 36 point margin: Biden 66%, Trump 30% (Forbes)

90% of Democratic respondents and 46% of Republican respondents support free college in some form. (Edvisors)

Throwing Tuesday: Gen Z remembers 2020 Election

To say the 2020 election has been looooooong would be an understatement. Starting from when Trump pushed his re-election efforts immediately following his inauguration in 2017, then Elizabeth Warren hitting play on the Democratic primaries with New Year’s Eve 2018 announcement, all the way to Joe Biden’s South Carolina revival and Trump’s COVID diagnosis to now. We’re finally here.

When a string of Democratic primary challengers pushing key Gen Z priorities won their primaries, we were pleased, and were even stoked by the wins of Gen Z sympathetic incumbents. Go Ed Markey! This is the first election where TikTok was used to spread the message, and last week, we talked about AOC and Ilhan diving into Among Us to drive votes. Though, we’re still reeling from THAT first debate and the still lol-ing at the fly on Mike Pence’s head during the VP debates. ICYMI… Lizzo dressed up as The Fly this Halloween!

Also, if you hadn’t noticed, a couple of progressives sent out the message that we need to Settle for Biden, while over on Gen Z’s fave app TikTok For Biden took off! And did you know JUV’s Design Director Carl was called out by Biden for telling a white lie! The Elizabeth Warren stan was taking a selfie with Biden at a Democrat event. Carl told Biden that he was his No.1. fan, but as the Vice President peered at the big Warren sticker on Carl’s phone, he quipped: “You didn’t come for me, you came for her.” Biden really has NO CHILL.

Check Out

The Youth Electoral Significance Index (YESI) is showing us which battleground states young voters will have a large impact on, and the ones we’ll be looking out for. See the Top 10 here!

Need to switch off today? So do we.

Here are a few things you can do to make these next few hours easier.

talk to us, not about us.

Jawwad Mustafa is the Director of The Screenshot Newsletter. He’s always got a drink in hand - either peppermint tea, peach iced tea or a vanilla latte. If you see him with anything else, you’ll really need to vote for him as The Imposter. You can find his creativity on Instagram at @JawwadTheCreator.