Texas Rising Launches Big Campaign to Turn Out Progressive Young Voters

Turnout among young voters spiked in 2018, making the difference in close races across Texas and the rest of the nation. Now Texas Rising is working to build on that surge and get even more progressive young Texans to the polls for this year’s election. Check the press release we just sent out.


Plan Commits $1 Million to Build on Surge in Turnout Among Young Voters in 2018 Election

August 20, 2020

AUSTIN – Two years after a historic surge in turnout among young voters and in the midst of a national health and economic crisis, Texas Rising has launched an expansive campaign to super-charge turnout among the state’s progressive voters under the age of 30 in the November general election.

“We have a strong plan in place for what could be the most consequential election in our nation’s history,” said Texas Rising Director Rae Martinez. “The pandemic has forced us to think outside the box, but we are committing substantial resources to helping a new, rising generation of voters make itself heard at the polls.”

Texas Rising is committing to spending more than $1 million over the three months before election day to contact more than 1.2 million under-30 Texans, especially Texans of color, who are eligible to vote. The plan includes more than 100 paid organizers and scores of volunteers on college and university campuses across the state. Because the COVID-19 pandemic limits in-person contact, their work will rely heavily on peer-to-peer text- and phone-banking. Supplementing that work will be extensive digital advertising that targets progressive voters on multiple platforms as well as an innovative campaign to leverage the reach of social media influencers who have a large following among young Texans.

The initial phase of the campaign has focused on helping tens of thousands of eligible young Texans register to vote in one of the few states that still don’t allow online voter registration. In late September the focus will shift to get-out-the-vote efforts across the state. In addition, Texas Rising Action will endorse progressive champions in selected legislative races.

Young, progressive voters are particularly engaged on issues such as economic and racial justice, LGBTQ equality, climate change and the shockingly incompetent response by state and national leaders to the COVID crisis, said José Pablo Rojas, a Texas Rising student leader at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

“We are young and we are pissed off about what’s happening in our country right now,” Rojas said. “So we are doing everything possible to make sure young Texans are registered and at the polls for this election. Candidates who ignore us and the issues we care about do so at their own political risk.”

About one in three eligible voters in Texas will be under the age of 30 by 2022. Turnout in that age group tripled in Texas between 2014 and 2018 and more than doubled nationally, with young voters backing Democratic candidates for the U.S. House by a 35-point margin. That turnout surge helped Democrats close the gap in the Texas House and retake the majority in the U.S. House.


Texas Rising and Texas Rising Action, projects of the Texas Freedom Network, build the power of a rising generation of young Texans, with an emphasis on communities of color, by advocating for change in the cities and towns where they live and at the ballot box.