Non-profit

Alliance For Youth Action

Type:

Left-Wing Youth Advocacy Group

Formerly:

Bus Foundation

Alliance For Youth Action is a left-of-center advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C., that tries to register and motivate young people to vote. It is a network of organizations across the country that promote left-wing causes and candidates. The organization was originally named the Bus Foundation; Bus Foundation took left-leaning young people across the country, mostly in the Pacific Northwest, to knock on doors and promote left-of-center causes and candidates. The group later expanded nationally.

Left-of-center donors including Open Society Policy Center, Movement Voter Project, Tides Advocacy Fund, and Democracy Fund Voice have funded the left-of-center leadership and causes of Alliance for Youth Action.[1]

History

Alliance For Youth Action (AFYA), originally named the Bus Federation Action Fund, and its sister organization, Bus Federation Civic Fund were founded in 2010 by Mathew Singer. It was originally headquartered in Portland, Oregon. [2]

Organization

Alliance for Youth Action scales the work of local organizations to national activity. AFYA provides materials, staff support, grants and leadership training to support local affiliates in engaging young voters for left-progressive candidates.[3]

AFYA claims to have affiliates in eleven states that work towards common goals with each one allowed to add to the agenda when they deem it appropriate. Affiliates, which include Chicago Votes, Engage Miami, Forward Montana, Georgia Shift, Leaders Igniting Transformation, Minnesota Youth Collective, MOVE Texas, Next Up, New Era Colorado, Ohio Student Association, and Washington Bus, are the governing body of AFYA and elect the board and guide the organization’s work.[4]

AFYA co-founded the National Voter Registration Day (NVRD) in 2012. In 2018, it co-founded  and Campus Takeover with the left-of-center Students Learn Students Vote Coalition, of which AFYA is a partner.[5]

AFYA has created an activist toolkit providing specific guidance to affiliates on how to advance automatic voter registration as one of its tools available to affiliates. Additionally, each affiliate is asked to register voters, train and mobilize the young, expand the number of polling places, fight for left-progressive legislation, and oppose conservative and free-market legislation in their respective states.[6] Originally founded as an organization to build youth participation in elections, it has now expanded its agenda to include a long list of left-of-center initiatives including, the environment, health care, the economy, and the criminal justice system. [7]

Campaign Issues

The organization works on various left-wing issues. Among the items is promotes is weakening voter integrity laws and making it easier to register and vote. [8] It also promotes socialist “community ownership” of the economy and increasing the minimum wage. [9] It also advocates for government-funded college and capping student loan payments as a percentage of income. [10]

Youth “climate strikes” were led and co-led by AFYA and Alliance for Youth Organizing in 2019. Partnering with the NAACP youth and college division, Tom Steyer’s NextGen America, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Student Power Network, and left-of center immigration advocacy organization United We Dream, AFYA sponsored the first Youth Action Summit. [11]

Recent Facebook and Twitter posts to the 3,146 people who like their Facebook page and the 6,334 followers on Twitter, show support for illegal immigration, government-run health care (“Medicare for all”), voting by mail, same-day voter registration, providing education aid to illegal immigrant students, canceling student debt, and joining NextGen America to back pro-Green New Deal candidates. It also opposed returning to work amid the COVID-19 shutdowns.[12] [13]

Ties to Other Organizations

The group has developed strong ties with other left-wing groups. It has served as a partner to Generation Progress in the past, the youth arm of the Center for American Progress. [14] It currently serves as a partner to Hillary Clinton’s Onward Together organization. [15]

The organization’s major piece of campaign literature, the American Voter Guide, is co-produced with Planned Parenthood and NextGen Climate. [16]

Leadership

Staff

Sarah Audelo serves as the executive director of the organization. Audelo’s job involves fundraising and promoting the group in the media. [17]

Before joining the group, Audelo served as presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s “millennial vote director.” Before signing on with the Clinton campaign, she worked for the left-wing organizations Advocates for Youth and Generation Progress. She graduated from Georgetown University and served as a special education teacher with Teach for America after graduation. [18]

Kate Goertzen serves as the managing director. Dawn Boudwin serves as senior director of program and partnerships. [19]

Board of Directors

The chair of the board is Andrea Cooper, who worked as the campaign manager for Oregon Governor Kate Brown (D). The vice chair is Kelley Robinson, who works as the national organizing director for Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The treasurer is Chris Sloan, who works as the director of government affairs for the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades labor union. The secretary is Ben Wessel, who is deputy political director of the Tom Steyer-funded NextGen Climate. [20]

The board also consists of six additional members, who are drawn from the various ranks of the professional left. Those members are Kurston Cook, a senior strategist at Grassroots Solutions; Kim Rogers, the organizational specialist for campaigns and elections at the National Education Association (NEA) teachers union; Aaron Merkin, another NEA official; Jonathan Paik, who is the executive director of the Korean Resource Center; Wendi Wallace, the political outreach director of Planned Parenthood Federation of America; and Alexander Acker-Lyons, who is president of AL Advising. [21]

The previous Alliance for Youth Action executive director was also its founder, Matt Singer. Singer founded the Alliance For Youth Action as the Bus Federation in November 2010. It was a coalition of left-of-center organizations including Forward Montana, New Era Colorado, Oregon Bus Project, and The Washington Bus. Singer served as executive director until 2017. Previous to that, Singer founded and led Forward Montana. [22]

Finances

Income of $1,431,259 was reported in 2018, offset by $1,270,381 of expenses consisting of $271,215 of grants and $636,000 for contracts and program service expenses.[23] [24] Net assets were $346,857. [25]

References

  1. “Alliance For Youth Action”. 2019 Annual Report. Page42. http://alliance4youth.wpengine.com/action/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2020/04/AYA_AnnualReport2019.pdf ^
  2. alliance4youth. Accessed May 19, 2020. Page 2 http://alliance4youth.wpengine.com/action/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2019/11/BusFederation_ActionFundReport_2016.pdf. /note]

    In 2016 Alliance for Youth Action adopted its current name and moved to Washington, D.C. It received independent tax status in 2018. It then began building on the network established by the Bus Federation Action Fund towards the goal of assembling a national network of local affiliates and partners to advance relaxation of voter qualification requirements and bolstering the numbers of left-progressive young people participating in the voting process. [note]alliance4youth. Alliance For Youth Alliance. Accessed May 19, 2020. Page 4 http://alliance4youth.wpengine.com/action/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2019/11/AYA_AnnualReport2018_finaldigital.pdf. ^

  3. “Mo’ Money Mo’ Progress.” Alliance for Youth Action, May 14, 2020. Pg29 https://allianceforyouthaction.org/. ^
  4. “Our Network.” Alliance for Youth Action. Accessed May 19, 2020. https://allianceforyouthaction.org/our-network/. ^
  5. wp-engine. Alliance For Youth Alliance. Accessed May 19, 2020. http://alliance4youth.wpengine.com/action/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2019/11/AYA_AnnualReport2018_finaldigital.pdf. ^
  6. “AVR Activitst Toolkit.” Google Docs. Google. Accessed May 19, 2020. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1a_L4uM1ILAvPmQAs9BsDJVa1ubUPJdOEzufvkvDyREU/edit. ^
  7. “Our 2020 Values.” Alliance for Youth Action. Accessed May 19, 2020. https://allianceforyouthaction.org/our-2020-values/. ^
  8. “Democracy Done Right”. 2019. Alliance For Youth Action. Accessed March 25, 2019. https://www.allianceforyouthaction.org/campaign/democracy-done-right/. ^
  9. “Broke AF”. 2019. Alliance For Youth Action. Accessed March 25, 2019. https://www.allianceforyouthaction.org/campaign/broke-af/. ^
  10. “Broke AF”. 2019. Alliance For Youth Action. Accessed March 25, 2019. https://www.allianceforyouthaction.org/campaign/broke-af/. ^
  11. wpengine. alliance4yout. Accessed May 19, 2020. http://alliance4youth.wpengine.com/action/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2020/04/AYA_AnnualReport2019.pdf. ^
  12. Zahoori, Syed Rafay. “Alliance for Youth Action.” Facebook. Accessed May 19, 2020. https://www.facebook.com/pg/AllianceforYouthAction/posts/?ref=page_internal. ^
  13. Action, Alliance for Youth. “Alliance for Youth Action (@alliance4youth).” Twitter. Twitter, May 1, 2020. https://twitter.com/alliance4youth. ^
  14. “Matt Singer”. 2015. Generation Progress. https://genprogress.org/matt-singer/. ^
  15. “Alliance For Youth Action”. 2019. Onward Together. Accessed March 25, 2019. https://www.onwardtogether.org/organization/alliance-for-youth-action/. ^
  16. “Planned Parenthood Votes, Nextgen America, Alliance For Youth Action To Reach Millions Of Young Voters With Youth Voter Guides”. 2018. Planned Parenthood Action. https://www.plannedparenthoodaction.org/pressroom/planned-parenthood-votes-nextgen-america-alliance-for-youth-action-to-reach-millions-of-young-voters-with-youth-voter-guides. ^
  17. “Sarah Audelo”. 2019. Netroots Nation. Accessed March 25. https://www.netrootsnation.org/profile/sarah-audelo/. ^
  18. “Sarah Audelo”. 2019. Netroots Nation. Accessed March 25. https://www.netrootsnation.org/profile/sarah-audelo/. ^
  19. “Staff & Board”. 2019. Alliance For Youth Action. Accessed March 25, 2019. https://www.allianceforyouthaction.org/about/staff-board/. ^
  20. “Staff & Board”. 2019. Alliance For Youth Action. Accessed March 25, 2019. https://www.allianceforyouthaction.org/about/staff-board/. ^
  21. “Staff & Board”. 2019. Alliance For Youth Action. Accessed March 25, 2019. https://www.allianceforyouthaction.org/about/staff-board/. ^
  22. Singer, Matt. 2016. The Whale Joke. http://mattsingermt.tumblr.com/post/152598428281/in-november-2010-i-drove-from-missoula-to. ^
  23. “Alliance for Youth Action.” Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax (Form 990). 2018. Part 1, Lines 12, 18, 13. ^
  24. “Alliance for Youth Action.” Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax (Form 990). 2018. Part IX, Line 11g. ^
  25. “Alliance for Youth Action.” Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax (Form 990). 2018. Part I, Line 22. ^
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