GenerationEngage and Rock the Vote, two of the country’s premier nonpartisan youth political engagement organizations, announce a series of four nation-wide forums starting August 22 where youth will speak with Senators, Governors, and Congressional representatives about the country’s future on the eve of the most important election in their lifetimes.
“Everyone is talking about how important the youth vote is, but no one is talking about what youth actually want out of this election,” said Adrian Talbott, co-founder of GenerationEngage. “With the last stretch of this dramatic and critical race in sight, GenerationEngage and Rock the Vote see this series as a chance for our members to talk specifics with political figureheads across the country about the high stakes in November elections, both at the state and federal levels.”
The four events, which will take place August through October in Florida, North Carolina, Michigan, Virginia, and Northern California, will bring young people and political leaders together via iChats for Q&As on economic insecurity, immigration, the war in Iraq and the other issues of concern for young voters. Events are as follows:

August 22, Miami, FL: Getting Personal with Politics, Featuring U.S Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart in debate with opponent, U.S. Congressional candidate Joe Garcia, and 17 members of the U.S. House of Representatives for Florida’s 25th Congressional District.

October, Date TBD, San Jose, CA; Detroit, MI: Talking Politics 2.0, A Conversation with Governors Arnold Schwarzenegger (invited) and Jennifer Granholm (invited) via LIVE iChat.
October 9, Annandale, Virginia, Talking Politics 2.0, A debate between U.S. Senate candidates Mark Warner (invited) and Jim Gilmour (invited).
October 16, Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina: Talking Politics 2.0, A Conversation with North Carolina Senate Candidates Kay Hagan (invited) and Elizabeth Dole (invited) via LIVE iChat.
“Young voters will play a major role in November, and connecting them directly with politicians is key to ensuring candidates address the issues young adults care about,” said Heather Smith, Executive Director of Rock the Vote.  “We know young voters are deeply concerned about the war in Iraq, the economy, the environment, education, and health care, and hope these forums give candidates the opportunity to tell young voters how they will take action on these issues if elected.  Already this cycle, more than one million people have used our online tool to register to vote.  Through this series and other programs, we’re now ensuring young Americans have the information they need to make informed choices on Election Day.”
GenerationEngage is a nonpartisan youth-civic-engagement initiative that connects young Americans to political leaders, to other civic organizations, and to meaningful debate about the future they will inherit.

Rock the Vote engages and builds the political power of young people in order to achieve progressive change in our country, using music, popular culture and new technologies to educate and incite young people to register and vote in every election. We give young people the tools to identify, learn about, and take action on the issues that affect their lives, and leverage their power in the political process. Rock the Vote empowers the 44 million young people in America who want to step up, claim their voice in the political process, and change the way politics is done.