Dozens of youthful Obama supporters crowded into a downtown office building not far from the White House Tuesday evening to celebrate hip hop, politics and the youth vote and to cheer the president’s State of the Union address.
“This is not your typical party,” said LYVEF representative Bike Baker. “But you can start drinking here if you want to kick it old school.”
More than 50 people jammed into the headquarters of the New Organizing Institute, a group that trains young people to organize for progressive causes, for an event featuring more than a dozen rappers, leftist activists and music writers who took part in a Tweet and Facebook-a-thon that drew more than 2,000 into an online discussion as the President prepared to speak a few miles away on Capitol Hill.
“The media keeps talking about the bipartisan seating in, but we’re wondering about jobs,” said Christina Hollenback, a panelist from the Generation Alliance, a group that mobilizes young people behind liberal causes.
Campus Progress representative Angela People added that politicians should tap into the youth vote, which serves as a huge resource.
“This is the most tolerant generation in history,” People said.
Although the event targeted the new media generation, people of all ages attended the forum.
Attorney Steven Yelverton, 55, was one of the first to arrive.
“I kept getting emails from Barack Obama, so I figured I’d check it out,” Yelverton said. “I don’t really know what will happen though.”
But Yelverton said he did know one thing: that this tech-savvy generation has the ability to inspire change.
“Today’s Obama supporters are the new Woodstock generation. They’re finally coming into bloom and being part of the political process.”
Afterwards, Rock The Vote, an organization that encourages youth to vote, will host an after-party at a nearby lounge.
“Loosen up people,” yelled one LYVEF organizer before the speech aired. “We ain’t stiff!”