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Updated: 42 min 5 sec ago

How The Migrant Caravan Impacts Life At The Border

November 8, 2018 - 11:26am

President Trump announced he could send as many as 15,000 troops to the U.S-Mexico border to strengthen security as the administration prepares for the migrant caravan to arrive from Central America. The caravan, which is still a distance away and traveling through Mexico, has already shrunk by 50% falling from 7,000 to less than 3,500, according to the New York Times.

For people who live in an international border community like El Paso, Texas, the anticipation of the caravan has already impacted their lives.

Estefania Castillo, 23, is a graduate student at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and she crosses the U.S-Mexico border every day to attend school. But as the migrant caravan gets closer to the border, that commute has gotten harder. As security intensifies at the border, Castillo is now faced with the possibility of being trapped on one side of the border. That could mean being cut off from her family, or not being able to attend school.

YR Media’s Antonio Villaseñor-Baca sat down with Castillo to talk about the impact on her life if the border was to close.

This interview was edited for clarity and length. 

Antonio Villaseñor-Baca: Where do you live and what is your commute like to the university?

Estefania Castillo: I have a visa that allows me to live in the U.S while I study, but I choose to live in Ciudad Juárez. That’s where my family is from and I’ve always lived there. I cross the border every single morning to come to school and work.

AVB: What are your thoughts on the caravan? What are your worries as the migrants get closer to the border?

EC:  I don’t think they’re going to get here to Juárez because they’d have to cross the Chihuahua desert, and that’s not nice. So I don’t think they’re going to come here. But, it’s scary. I also feel like it’s very confusing because on the one hand it’s good — people are getting away from all these bad things. But at the same time, bad people are taking advantage and joining the caravan. I think there [are] a lot of narcos and criminals coming along. I’ve read there [have] been some altercations between the caravan and the Mexican police. Obviously that looks bad because that justifies Trump and his negative rhetoric. I feel so bad saying this, but I really hope they don’t come here. It will affect everyone here.

AVB: What are your worries?

EC: I am really worried and a lot of people are like “Oh, whatever,” but it is scary. CBP [Customs and Border Patrol] keeps threatening to close the border, completely. They sent out a letter saying that they’re going to be closing the [international] bridges at random times for 10 minutes for training and simulations. But 10 minutes really translates to an hour. They have to first clear everyone off the bridge [before they close it.] And it’s random, so you don’t even know which bridge will be closed or when it will happen. It’s scary. What if I wake up and they’re like, “Oh yeah, that bridge is closed. You can’t come,” and I have class that morning?

AVB: What changes are you having to make to your commute to address the closure of the bridge?

EC: I’m going to pack a bag with some clothes and some essentials and I’m going to leave it at a friend’s house. That way if I get stuck in El Paso, I can stay with her. But I don’t want to have to stay, not because I don’t like El Paso, but because it feels wrong. Like, it feels wrong to have to move because of the caravan or the government’s response to it. I shouldn’t be stuck in El Paso. I should be able to cross back home and do so freely.

AVB: Have the wait times at the bridge changed during the Trump era?

EC: I think it’s been pretty normal but these last couple of weeks with the caravan, it has changed. There have been longer lines. In the morning, I’ve been doing like 20 minutes of wait time where I normally would do five minutes. [They’ve] started closing the bridges and now the express lanes have disappeared, so a lot of people are just staying in El Paso. People are scared that they’ll get stuck in Juárez and won’t be able to cross back to El Paso. The lines have decreased [coming into the U.S.] and the lines to go back to Juarez have gotten a lot shorter.

The post How The Migrant Caravan Impacts Life At The Border appeared first on YR Media.

Categories: Blog

Momma, I Made It: Actress Sydney Sweeney

November 8, 2018 - 12:02am

The Handmaid’s Tale actress Sydney Sweeney talks about the #MeToo era and tells her dead character, Eden Spencer, how she could’ve been livin’ her best life.

Despite her characters with dark backstories and tragic endings, 21-year-old actress Sydney Sweeney (The Handmaid’s Tale, Sharp Objects) is doing just fine. YR Media’s Nyge Turner and Merk Nguyen get Sydney to spill the beans on her acting methods, her co-stars who are slaying the industry, and to share why being a woman can be hard AF.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Check out the full conversation on YR Media’s Adult ISH podcast (episode 2) and at yradultish.com.

Nyge: Some of your movie characters have really dark pasts like Alice from Sharp Objects and Eden from The Handmaid’s Tale. But from the looks of your insta, it looks like your real life is pretty poppin’. So, how do you get in your zone to play these darker roles?

Sydney: I build my characters from the day they were born to the first page of the scripts. I build everything a regular person would have — memories and a timeline of their entire life. I build the house that she grew up in, her school, her friends, anything that would create the actual person.

Merk: It’s super nice to see you play all those characters because not only do you do a fantastic job, but you’re repping for us young women out there. Would you say your experience as a young woman in Hollywood is different from your fellow female cast mates who are little older? Especially in the wake of things like #MeToo?

Sydney: I’ve been really lucky because I have so many incredible female role models that I’m getting to work [with]: Elisabeth Moss, Yvonne Strahovski, and Amy Adams. You see them as an actor, a producer, Amy as a mother, and [I am] able to learn from that.

Nyge: Let’s get into your The Handmaid’s Tale character, Eden. I’m curious. How did that go when you found out about the part?

Sydney: When I first got the audition, I actually hadn’t seen the show yet and I was like, “Okay, I need to watch one episode to see what it’s like.” I ended up watching the entire season that night. When I got done, I ran out of my room and was like, “Mom you have to watch this!” So that weekend, I rewatched it all over again with my mom. She fell in love with it and then had all her girlfriends watch it because they were like, “You will not believe how realistic the show is right now.”

Nyge: What do you think is realistic about the show today?

Sydney: Well, of course, women’s rights. We still have a long ways to go. Improving our status and the world and how people look at women and things along those lines.

Merk: So, Sydney what’s the most challenging thing about being a woman?

Sydney: It’s always hard growing up and you have all these different expectations of what a woman should be and what you should act like. Then trying to figure out who you really are within all of that and what you want to be outside of what everyone else says you should be.

It’s always hard growing up and you have all these different expectations of what a woman should be and what you should act like. 

Then trying to figure out who you really are within all of that and what you want to be outside of what everyone else says you should be.

Nyge: Merk, what do you think is the hardest part about being a woman?

Merk: I would say one of the most challenging things is how people can dismiss you. Mainly, my ideas. I feel like a big part of the reason why I’m doing the work that I do is because I’m proving to people that I’m a woman, I’m smart, and I want to be respected because of it. I do feel like I have to work harder than dudes because of that. Because of the system we live in and all the rules that have been in place. Kind of like Gilead, but I like to say that our generation has a lot more awareness.

Sydney: Yeah I think [we] do. I mean I’m really lucky in the generation that I am growing up with.

Merk: We like to end this segment with a chance to tell our younger, less adult-ish selves some advice. But we want you to answer as Eden, so channel her spirit (as if she wasn’t dead), and answer this: If you could go back in time and tell little Eden something about what it means to be a woman, what would you say?

Nyge: Can you say it in Eden’s voice?

Sydney: (in Eden’s Voice) I would hope to tell my younger self that…(normal voice) Oh gosh! I don’t even know. What would Eden tell Eden!?

Nyge: WWED?

Sydney: Honestly, I would tell Eden to have Nick’s babies!

The post Momma, I Made It: Actress Sydney Sweeney appeared first on YR Media.

Categories: Blog

Adult ISH: Her ISH

November 8, 2018 - 12:01am

Muslim American Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad yacks evil smoked salmon and wins an Olympic medal. Young actress Sydney Sweeney (Eden from The Handmaid’s Tale) gives sound advice to her dead character. Then co-host Merk kicks Nyge off the show and brings on YR Media correspondent Charlie Stuip to chat about vajayjays and pap shmears!

The post Adult ISH: Her ISH appeared first on YR Media.

Categories: Blog

How the Harvest Impacts My School Life

November 7, 2018 - 6:37pm

Right now I’m two months into the school year in Minto, North Dakota where my dad is working the potato and sugar beet harvests. When the crops are out of the ground and there’s no more work, we migrate back home to Rio Grande City, Texas for the winter. I’m never quite sure when the harvest will end. It’s up to Mother Nature and the farmers who employ my dad.

You can imagine it’s not exactly easy to live like this. You’re in the first couple months of school. You’ve just gotten used to your classes, you’re getting good grades and making friends, and then all of a sudden you have to move more than a thousand miles away to another school with new classes and new friends. Sounds kinda harsh, right?

That’s what has happened to me every year I’ve been in school. Every single year, I encounter new friends, new classes, and new teachers. And sometimes this happens more than once within the school year.

While my life isn’t that different from other people growing up in families of farmworkers who follow the harvest for work, my life is pretty different from most of the kids I go to school with, both in North Dakota and Texas. In Minto, I’m lucky because it’s a small school. I don’t have to worry about having to meet new friends every time I come back.

Angel visits his father, Juan, at work as he prepares machinery for the corn harvest. Photo Credit: Elissa Nadworny/NPR

However, Rio Grande City is a different story. When I go back, I’ll be in a brand new school and it’s huge. There are more than 300 kids per grade level, nine different periods a day and each subject is housed in its own building. It will feel hectic for me while the students and teachers will already be in their rhythm. But I’ve learned some strategies over the years to make the transition easier.

If I ease myself into a new school, I get too far behind. So it’s all about just throwing myself into the mix and doing my best to get in sync with the students who are up to speed. Sometimes my new school is covering material I already know and sometimes I have to catch up. I’ve learned to figure things out on the go and so far that’s gotten me good grades.

Extracurricular activities, on the other hand, are much more challenging for a migrant student like me. Why try out for the school play or sports teams when I might have to leave? This year, I’m hoping to play basketball when I get back to Texas.

My dad has worked hard to finish up the harvest early. He worked 14-hour shifts through the night to get the crops in. Snow or too much rain can slow the process down.

Left: Sugar beets. Right: Farm trucks outside Minto. Photo Credit: Elissa Nadworny/NPR

I feel bad putting extra pressure on my dad who already works so hard, but thanks to him and Mother Nature, I’ll be back in Rio Grande City in time for basketball tryouts next week. Now it’s on me to make the team.  

This essay was produced in collaboration with Wyoming Public Media.

The post How the Harvest Impacts My School Life appeared first on YR Media.

Categories: Blog

Remix Your Life Producer Spotlight: Clay Xavier

November 7, 2018 - 3:52pm
Categories: Blog

The Return of Metro: Not All Heroes Wear Capes

November 7, 2018 - 3:35pm

Seven months after announcing his “retirement,” the 25-year-old music producer/songwriter Metro Boomin returned with his solo debut Not All Heroes Wear Capes. The project features a star-studded tracklist, including the likes of Gucci Mane, Travis Scott, 21 Savage, Swae Lee, Gunna, and more. The album’s announcement came as a surprise to many since the St. Louis native announced through Instagram that he was “retired from rap.” Shortly after announcing his retirement Metro purged his Instagram feed and changed his bio to “retired record producer/DJ.” There was speculation that this was a promotional stunt, as major artists have attempted this before. Days before the album’s announcement billboards were spotted in New York and Atlanta featuring a picture of Metro, with the question “MISSING: Have You Seen This Man?” as well as his physical description and the tagline “All Heroes Don’t Wear Capes.” Nonetheless, Metro Boomin returned with his signature beats and heavy-hitter guest rappers on Not All Heroes Wear Capes. The album carries a consistent tone of dark trap beats and smooth, memorable hooks. We rounded up our favorite songs from the latest Metro project. Here are 5 songs that we mess with.

Metro Boomin –  “Borrowed Love” (feat. Swae Lee and Wizkid)

In “Borrowed Love” Metro opens up the track with Wendy Rene’s melodious vocals, a sample of her song “After Laughter.” Although Metro Boomin is known for his signature heavy trap sound, this time around he lays out a smooth R&B track for Swae Lee and Wizkid to sing about a one-night stand with a girl, that has the potential of turning into a possible relationship.

Metro Boomin – “Only You” (feat. Wizkid, Offset, and J Balvin)

“Only you” perfectly blends the sounds of dancehall and latin trap. Wizkid primarily shines as the star on this feature with his smooth vocals in the forefront, and with the addition of Offset and J Balvin’s quick, rhythmic bars, makes this an instant dancefloor hit.

Metro Boomin – Don’t Come Out the House (feat. 21 Savage)

Metro and 21 have given us many hits over the past couple of years. The two took over 2016 with the release of Savage Mode which included the platinum record “No Heart” and 2x platinum record “X.” It’s apparent that anything the two come up with will be a hit and “Don’t Come Out the House” isn’t any different. On “Don’t Come Out the House” 21 Savage iconically whispers part of the verse. Hearing this track will certainly turn you up.   

Metro Boomin – Space Cadet (feat. Gunna)

Metro Boomin links up with yet another one of the hottest artists in the rap game. Gunna can easily complete a track as he smoothly raps over the sci-fi sounding beat by Metro Boomin. “Space Cadet” takes you on an extraterrestrial-like trip traveling through space. Gunna is one of our favorite features on the album as well as one of the South’s promising stars.

Dreamcatcher (feat. Swae Lee & Travis Scott)

Besides the amazing feature from Swae Lee, Travis Scott’s verse was absolutely amazing. Having both of these melodic gods on one track makes it a certified masterpiece. “Dreamcatcher” feels like you’re lucid dreaming. It makes you feel like you’re fast asleep while the music deludes you.

The post The Return of Metro: Not All Heroes Wear Capes appeared first on YR Media.

Categories: Blog

Discovering RYL: P-Lo

November 7, 2018 - 3:33pm

The post Discovering RYL: P-Lo appeared first on YR Media.

Categories: Blog

Graffiti Camp for Girls

November 7, 2018 - 2:16pm
Nina Wright’s Graffiti Camp for Girls empowers young girls to pursue an art form dominated by men. 

The post Graffiti Camp for Girls appeared first on YR Media.

Categories: Blog

Make Weed Legal? Young MI Voters Weigh in

November 6, 2018 - 5:49pm

A proposal to legalize the sale and use of marijuana for people over 21 is on the ballot in Michigan. If it passes, anyone over 21 could possess up to 2 ½ ounces of marijuana and grow up to 12 plants.

YR Media asked a few Northwestern Michigan College students about the marijuana proposal. Here’s what they had to say.

Emily Perkins, 20

“I know that many states and countries have been legalizing marijuana for recreational use, and I think it’s just how things are going to go and we just kinda have to catch up with everyone else. It could be good…I’m hoping the money we get from taxing can go to public education, public works and just bettering the state.”

Jazmynn McQueer, 20

“I don’t really have anything against it, but I just think it’s gonna be a little difficult for law enforcement…  I think it would probably be a big problem if it’s getting into the hands of people under the age of 18. And maybe more people would get into more car accidents.”

Jonathan White, 21

“I think there’s going to be a cultural divide with it, because we have a lot of farming communities. Traverse City is a big wine community, so I think it will be interesting to see how it will change the culture of Michigan, especially where we live.” 

Dan Youker, 22

“I think it’s about time. I don’t know if people are going to smoke weed that much, really. I don’t think much is going to changeWe have a lot of things that weed tax revenue could go towards. I hope that it’s properly taxed and regulated. I hope that it can go to roads, or something like that would be nice.”

The post Make Weed Legal? Young MI Voters Weigh in appeared first on YR Media.

Categories: Blog

Struggling to Vote: Problems at the Polls

November 6, 2018 - 5:33pm

The message to “go out and vote” is incredibly clear, particularly on #ElectionDay. But sometimes, that’s easier said than done.

Even though voting is one of the most basic civic duties, voters in several cities across the country are reporting problems at the polls today—from malfunctioning machines to long lines and mail-in ballots that never arrived.

Voting machine issues at Annistown are fixed but lines are still long — stretching down one hallway and around the corner toward exit doors pic.twitter.com/1yeJj5wcQG

— Amanda Coyne (@AmandaCCoyne) November 6, 2018

The precinct manager could not find my friend’s voter information but when she called the voter protection line they found it immediately. This is Powder Springs, GA ya’ll. WTF? #Vote #GeorgiaVote #VoterSuppression

— mpinkelton (@mpinkelton) November 6, 2018

Voter suppression comes in many forms. People requesting but not receiving their ballots by mail, power outages, faulty registrations, long lines, and running out of paper are just a handful of the ways that some would-be voters are getting frustrated and turning away from the polls.

I never got my ballot even though they sent it last Wednesday. Spoke with the Broward County Board of Elections this morning and they said it takes 8-10 business days to mail it out of state. This info was never made clear.

— Alyssa Klein (@dj_diabeatic) November 6, 2018

Atlanta: One of largest dem precincts at Ponce Library changed this morning. Turning away voters. We need help getting people to new precinct which is a 40 min walk away. #VoterSuppression #StaceyAbrams4GAgov pic.twitter.com/TchRLu0rVF

— Heather Tinguely (@heathertinguely) November 6, 2018

#votersuppression was alive and well in #Flatbush Brooklyn today. Hundreds of ballots, zero scanners working. We just started dumping our ballots in the emergency ballot slot. What are you doing about this @nysboe ? pic.twitter.com/a4kFZiuFqo

— KMuze (@kmuze) November 6, 2018

Thousands of voter registrations in majority African American Shelby County, Tennessee deemed “invalid” by the county’s election commission. https://t.co/8OmizLUZMh

— Let America Vote (@letamericavote) October 19, 2018

If anyone is having issues at a polling place, make sure to call election protection and file a ticket (not enough machines, discrimination, etc…) #wewillvote #atlanta @ajc @CityofAtlanta @staceyabrams pic.twitter.com/cdeq7ju4DA

— Rachel Thompson (@WorldByRachel) November 6, 2018

And we all know that time is of the essence as the polls start closing.

Turnout among 18-29 year olds, compared to 2014 early voting:
– AZ +217%
– FL +131%
– GA +415% (!!!)
– MI +128%
– NV +364%
– TN +767% (!!!)
– TX +448% (!!!)
Data h/t: @targetsmart & @tbonierhttps://t.co/58E7PHqobF

— Reid Wilson (@PoliticsReid) November 3, 2018

Voting Machine on Prudence Island experienced a technical difficulty this morning. A replacement unit is on the ferry and will be installed shortly. Ballots are secured and voting is continuing uninterrupted #ElectionDay

— RI Board of Elections (@RI_BOE) November 6, 2018

If you or someone you know is witnessing #VoterSuppression, call your local election protection hotline and tag us with your voting experience.

The post Struggling to Vote: Problems at the Polls appeared first on YR Media.

Categories: Blog

Young Candidate Profiles: An Update

November 6, 2018 - 2:32pm

Young voters are turning out to vote in record numbers in this year’s midterm election and they have some of their peers on the ballots as options.

Here are five young candidates running for office across the country.

Kalan Haywood, (Wisconsin State Assembly):

-Polls close @ 8 PM CST

At 19-years-old, Kalan Haywood is running for state assembly of Wisconsin’s 16th Assembly District. If elected, the Milwaukee native will be the youngest lawmaker in the state.

Will Haskell, (Connecticut State Senate):

-Polls close @ 8 PM EST

At just 22-years-old, Will Haskell is vying for a seat on the Connecticut State Senate, challenging incumbent Toni Boucher, who’s been in public office for as long as Haskell’s been alive. 

Haskell, who was endorsed by former President Barack Obama, has interned with Hillary for America and in the Capitol Hill offices of Rep. Jim Himes and Sen. Chris Murphy. 

Aasim Yahya (California State Assembly):

-Polls close @ 8 PM PST

Democrat Aasim Yahya just graduated from high school and is already running for California’s State Assembly for District 14. The 18-year-old valedictorian is challenging the 51-year-old incumbent, Tim Grayson.

Aisha Yaqoob (Georgia House of Representatives):

-Polls close @ 7 PM EST

After years of actively advocating for immigrant rights at the Georgia State Capitol, Aisha Yaqoob believes it’s time for her to have a seat at the table. The 25-year-old is running to represent District 97 in the Georgia House of Representatives.

If elected, Yaqoob would be the first Muslim woman to serve in the Georgia State House.

Morgan Zegers (New York State Assembly):

-Polls close @ 8 PM EST

A graduate of American University, Morgan Zegers has returned to her hometown of Malta, N.Y. to run as the Republican nominee for the New York 113th State Assembly.

High on her list of priorities are affordability and economic development.

Click here for more information on these candidates along with additional profiles of other young people running for office in the 2018 midterm elections.

We will be updating this page with results as they become  available.

The post Young Candidate Profiles: An Update appeared first on YR Media.

Categories: Blog

Why I’m Already Signed up to Vote at Only 16

November 6, 2018 - 1:46pm

I’m only 16, but last month, I pre-registered to vote. As I filled out the registration form at the DMV, I realized that my political views are a reflection of my parents’.

My parents have never forced their views on me. But so many of my opinions are informed by theirs, from the party I’ve registered with to the representatives I support. I don’t think this is a bad thing.

My parents are both first-generation immigrants. My dad is from Cuba and my mom is from Venezuela. Both of them come from nations burdened by corrupt political systems and spotty civil rights histories. My parents’ emotional ties to their birthplaces run deep, and we still have family in both countries. Because they moved away from these politically-repressed countries and into a democratic system, they greatly value their ability to express their beliefs and to vote.

Since the 2016 election night, my family has been petrified. I don’t think my parents realized that there was so much hatred in America. They feel targeted as immigrants and people of color. My parents’ disappointment seems to seep into their everyday life, even when they aren’t talking politics.

I felt helpless after the election. On that night, I was bothered by the fact that I couldn’t have done anything to stop it. I was only 14 when President Trump was elected, so I don’t remember if we talked politics that often before his administration. But since that election, my parents have become especially politically vocal around me. Our representatives on the federal and local level are regular topics of conversation.

In the past two years, US relations with Cuba and Venezuela have plummeted. My parents have paranoid thoughts. They sometimes wonder aloud, will we be able to continue to visit our families in a few years? Sadly, because of stunning political actions, like the travel ban and family separation, this kind of paranoid thinking seems justified.

However, our family does hold out hope, because we believe in democracy. (After all, members of our family know what it’s like to live outside of a democratic system.) My parents have been pushing me to be more politically active. They feel it is important for me to take advantage of my voice in this country. So I pre-registered to vote as a way to honor them and to defend our rights.

The post Why I’m Already Signed up to Vote at Only 16 appeared first on YR Media.

Categories: Blog

Voting Under Trump: First-Time Latino Voter Speaks Out

November 6, 2018 - 11:42am

A record number of Latinos are engaged in the 2018 midterm election, according to Pew. My favorite singer Camila Cabello is wearing an I Voted! sticker, and I want one too. I’m a first time voter and a Latino teen. I was 17 during the last election, which left me with a strong feeling of frustration—being so close, yet so far. Even though I missed the 2016 presidential election by a hair, I’m making up for lost time this midterm.

The last election was very damaging to Latinos. My mind flashes to the chants of “build a wall” at Trump’s campaign rallies. Over the past two years, we have also seen the tenuous status of DACA students, the family separation policy, and negative news coverage of the so-called migrant caravan. It’s one horrific news story after another. Latinos seem to be vilified by the Republican Party. And, as a result, I’ve become wary of Trump supporters, MAGA hats, and the possibility of confronting hatred face-to-face.

I was a kid back then, but I vaguely remember a time when the Republican Party was trying to get the elusive “Latino vote.” When I was in kindergarten, George W. Bush ran against John Kerry on a “family values” platform. Bush tried to appeal to conservative Catholic Latinos. (On my pretend ballot in school, I voted for Kerry.)

Flash forward to now, and the Republican Party’s view of Latinos has completely turned. We are no longer seen as possible allies, or a way to expand their voting power. We are now a political pawn, painted as the enemy. Immigrants are demonized for their search for a better life in a country that won’t accept them. We face figurative — and perhaps soon-to-be physical — walls.

So on Election Day, I’m using my vote to speak for my undocumented friends and family members. They can’t vote, but they’re still going to be affected by policy changes.

Like many young people — millennials and Gen Z-ers — I care about representation. Not just political representation. I crave to see politicians in office who share my identities. As a young, gay, Latino man, these categories are very important to me. And I want them to be visible in office. Instead, I see the same old, straight white men who always seem to be making decisions for people like me. I dream of seeing more immigrants, more people of color, more women, more genders and sexualities in office. But for now, I’ll settle for people who are willing to work to undo the damage done by the Trump administration.

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A post shared by camila (@camila_cabello) on Nov 1, 2018 at 12:21pm PDT

The post Voting Under Trump: First-Time Latino Voter Speaks Out appeared first on YR Media.

Categories: Blog

Around the Nation: Students Walkout To Vote

November 6, 2018 - 10:39am

This Election Day, students across the nation are organizing walkouts at 10am local time in each time zone.

The aim: to get more young voters out to the polls and show that the student movement that began in the wake of the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla. this year can impact the ballot box.

YR Media has been tracking the walkouts all morning on Twitter, and here’s some of what we’ve seen so far:

take a walk, go for a drive, carpool with a friend, do what you gotta do to go and out and vote today! make sure your voice is heard! pic.twitter.com/JTDeK94Mec

— Cait (@caitlyn_leona) November 6, 2018

Georgetown Walk to the Polls

From Georgetown University, @realcpaz caught up with young voters walking out to the polls. Here's Whitney Wantong, a senior, who said she regrets not voting in 2014 but is excited to vote in D.C. since she has lived here for three years. #WalkoutToVote #ElectionDay pic.twitter.com/iOOgfSKzd8

— YR Media (@itsYRmedia) November 6, 2018

More from @realcpaz at Georgetown University: This is Elliot Mack, a freshman at Georgetown. He participated in a walk to the polls event as a first time voter. #WalkoutToVote #ElectionDay pic.twitter.com/bPLYjS9aRu

— YR Media (@itsYRmedia) November 6, 2018

…And now she's got the sticker to prove it. #ElectionDay #WalkoutToVote pic.twitter.com/tXB9dCZpOb

— YR Media (@itsYRmedia) November 6, 2018

“There are so many people who fought for my right to vote. I think about the Civil Rights Movements and things that people suffered through … things that were set up to prevent black people from voting. … I think it’s a waste to not vote.” pic.twitter.com/YBdUBCpoTB

— YR Media (@itsYRmedia) November 6, 2018


Shorewood high school students getting ready to #WalkoutToVote pic.twitter.com/VKXaJ8iH4N

— Vote November 6th (@claudia_delgadi) November 6, 2018

Too young to vote? Get a sticky note or piece of paper and write “I VOTE NEXT” and take a picture with it, then DM to us!#WalkOutToVote #TurnoutTuesday

— MFOL Texas (@MFOLTX) November 6, 2018

#WalkoutToVote@50milesmore⁩ Shorewood High School, Shorewood, WI, Walkout organizing team! pic.twitter.com/0FxREICupB

— Chuck Carlson (@Moedog97) November 6, 2018

Shorewood high school students arriving to the polls!#WalkoutToVote pic.twitter.com/D8jqPUuhNc

— Vote November 6th (@claudia_delgadi) November 6, 2018

Here at Reed Intermediate School in Newtown encouraging voters to #VOTE to #EndGunViolence. #WalkOutToVote pic.twitter.com/QRhtETt7ny

— Jr. Newtown Action Alliance (@Junior_NAA) November 6, 2018

The polls right now: #WalkoutToVote pic.twitter.com/uNiZou8Tfx

— National School Walkout (@schoolwalkoutUS) November 6, 2018

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Categories: Blog

Before You Post that Ballot Selfie…Think Twice!

November 5, 2018 - 11:39am

The other day when I went to check the latest on my Snapchat, up popped a message. I thought it was from a friend, but no. It was a video from the Team Snapchat ghost reminding me to vote. Instagram’s in get-out-the-vote mode, too, with an initiative designed to make voting as simple as possible by providing reminders via the Feed and Stories. Even MTV recently announced its own campaign, +1thevote, to remind young people to head out to the polls and to bring their friends with them.

So I’m thinking, if all my feeds are reminding me how important it is to head to the polls—maybe it’s a sign that I should actually use social media to share my voting experience with the world (or my universe of friends, at least).

And what better way than to take a selfie with my ballot in the voting booth?

We use social media to share everything that’s important to us—in my case, selfies of me hanging out with my friends, posting my latest makeup looks, linking to the stories I write. So why wouldn’t I use my social media to share something as important as voting for the first time? What better way to let everyone know I voted, and to get my friends to do the same?

Well, there’s one reason not to do that—in some places, it’s against the law!  No, selfies aren’t illegal, but depending on your state, they could be if taken in a voting booth. In states like Alabama and Florida, photographs of marked ballots are illegal because they violate the right to cast a ballot “in secrecy and in private.” You could even be hit with a felony charge AND a prison sentence of one-to-three years if you take that selfie in Illinois.

Being from California, I’m lucky enough to live in a state where no one’s going to arrest me for posting a proud ballot selfie to celebrate my first vote. But for those of you in the states where you can’t do the same—you can still find creative ways to share your first visit to the voting booth.

Sure, one way to let your friends know about your good deed is to wear your “I Voted!” sticker. But that’s pretty boring—we can do better than that! Why not make voting a friends’ trip? Gather up all your friends, and ask them to meet you at the polling place. Get your vote in, put on your sticker, and huddle up for a group selfie. Slap on one of those special Snapchat filters, and voila, civic duty done! Get your friends to do the same, and let’s make sure our voices are heard—and selfies seen.

The post Before You Post that Ballot Selfie…Think Twice! appeared first on YR Media.

Categories: Blog

Bay Word of the Day: Cuddie

November 5, 2018 - 10:33am

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Categories: Blog

Nine Young Politicians to Watch in the Midterm Election

November 5, 2018 - 10:24am

Capping off a year of youth-led activism, it’s no surprise that in these midterms, young candidates are stirring up elections in some of the top races to watch in 2018.

Whether you’re a Democrat, Republican, or Libertarian, the message from these nine candidates — some as young as 19, none older than 26 — is: after that 18th birthday, there’s no such thing as too young to run.

The post Nine Young Politicians to Watch in the Midterm Election appeared first on YR Media.

Categories: Blog

ET Ep 4: Eclipse

November 4, 2018 - 4:20pm

The post ET Ep 4: Eclipse appeared first on YR Media.

Categories: Blog

Pushing People to the Polls: Meet a Latina Organizer

November 3, 2018 - 1:24pm

Born into a family of Latino immigrants, Eliana Jimenez Honeycutt knows firsthand the struggles that minorities face when it comes to politics, which is why she became politically active. 

Honeycutt has tackled voter registration, educating people on props and worked on Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. Currently, she works as the civic engagement coordinator for the Dolores Huerta Foundation.  YR Media’s Emiliano Villa sat down with Honeycutt to discuss the importance of voting, the role social media plays in the election, and how to get young people to the polls.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

Emiliano Villa: It’s safe to say that you are very politically active. Were you always like that?

Eliana Jimenez Honeycutt: I was not always like that. I was raised a Jehovah’s Witness and grew up with a very conservative upbringing. My parents didn’t even believe in voting, but I saw the injustices going on around me and I just couldn’t be quiet anymore. I couldn’t stay neutral while people were hurting and suffering.

EV: What are the issues that are most important to you?

EJH: I think immigrant rights are super important. Growing up as a child of immigrants myself, I saw discrimination with my parents and how people look down on them because they have a really thick accent when they speak English. [Immigration and discrimination] are really important issues. I think we need to draw attention to, on top of mobilizing, our own base and make sure that the folks who are already inclined to get involved get that extra push.

EV: As someone who’s worked with so many people and on many campaigns, what do you think we could be doing to increase the youth vote?

EJH: Just keep on registering — and pre-registering — kids to vote. A lot of folks don’t realize that you can pre-register to vote. That way when you turn 18, the county elections office holds onto that information and automatically registers you. Getting an early start is the best way to mobilize the youth of today.

EV: What are your thoughts on social media initiatives to increase voter turnout?

EJH: It’s an easy and excellent way to get the youth motivated to actually go out and vote. We’re already so inclined to broadcast ourselves [on social media], so we need to do it in a way that’s going to help us advocate for our own communities and develop [youth] leaders and expand on their skills. It also gives folks a creative outlet. One thing I’ve noticed during presentations with youth is that they respond when you make political memes. That’s an effective way to get folks to say, ‘that’s really funny and true, so I should get on registering to vote.’

EV: What are some of the pros and cons of organizing?

EJH: I try not to keep count of the pros and cons because it’s so easy to get fixated on the injustices, and this is a labor of love for me. One thing Dolores Huerta says is that we’re never going to have all the resources we need, so we need to just put the power of the people behind organizing and voting. If we don’t do the work, no one is going to do it for us. But you can’t live, eat, and breathe the resistance, so you have to take care of yourself too.

EV: What are some of the most memorable moments in your work?

EJH: There’s been so many moments of glory. I’ve been able to go to different events with Dolores Huerta, but one of the most rewarding moments was when I started campaigning. I got my start as a paid canvasser for a Democratic voter registration drive in Fresno. We came across an older Hispanic man — and he reminded me of my dad — and I registered him to vote. He had just became a citizen, and he was just so excited. I came by again later, and was able to help him fill out his ballot. There was just a joy in his eyes [because he was] able to participate for all the family members that felt they didn’t have a voice. Helping him become a part of our democracy was really one of the most rewarding moments.

EV: Is there anything that you would want to tell a young voter who’s maybe on the fence about voting, or don’t know their resources?

EJH: I would say that life is becoming increasingly easy in some ways and increasingly difficult in other ways. I know it’s super tempting to not want to participate because it seems like a concept that’s just so far away from you, that’s so unrelatable. Whether or not you realize, everything in our lives has to do with politics. Voting is the ultimate equalizer. It’s one person, one vote. Regardless of who you are, where you come from, whether or you drive a Honda or a Tesla. When you vote, it counts for one.

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Categories: Blog

Thrifted! Ep 2: Outkast’s “So Fresh and So Clean”

November 3, 2018 - 1:22pm

Bet you didn’t know Outkast’s “So Fresh and So Clean” was inspired by Joe Simon’s “Before the Night is Over.” 

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Categories: Blog