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THE HIP-HOP VOTE PROPELS BARACK OBAMA TO THE WHITE HOUSE
New York, N.Y. – November 4th, 2008 – In a sweeping and historical victory tonight, Senator Barack Obama was elected to be the next president of the United States of America. The largest voting constituency to usher in this progressive leader for change was the hip-hop vote, 18-35 year olds who are brand loyal to hip-hop culture. In consistent and telling numbers, exit polls in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Wisconsin and Connecticut conducted by major television networks reported that 18-29 year olds voted in record numbers making their voices heard for Barack Obama. “Tonight, the hip-hop generation made history,” emphasized Reverend Lennox Yearwood, Jr, President of the Hip Hop Caucus. “In the 60’s, young people had to be revolutionary, but in the 21st century we have decided to be ‘solution-ary.’ We have come out in large numbers to not only change America, but to change the world. We have made America respect our vote!”
“What we are witnessing today is the game changing impact of the hip-hop vote,” asserted Valeisha Butterfield, Executive Director of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN). “Our grassroots efforts to get out the vote paid off tremendously. Young adults from every part of the United States shattered all records and expectations. I’m so proud of my generation stepping up to the plate.”
“Tonight, we all witnessed the transformation of American society,” declared Dr. Benjamin Chavis, President/CEO of HSAN. “The early results of the presidential election verifies that the hip-hop generation is a responsible and caring generation. Hip-hop artists and icons, male and female, all worked hard to make sure the issues and the interests of young people were represented. President Elect Obama now has a serious mandate from the hip-hop generation. Hip-hop transcends race and will continue to be a force for change, not only in America, but also throughout the world.”
On October 18, the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, in partnership with the Hip Hop Caucus launched an 18-city RESPECT MY VOTE! Get Out The Vote Bus Tour with hip-hop superstars T.I., Jay Z, Russell Simmons, Keyshia Cole, T Pain and others, urging potential first time young voters and all voters to Get Out The Vote. The bus tour hit battleground states throughout the country and culminated in Toledo, OH. and Detroit, MI today, Election Day. Multi-platinum hip-hop star and actor, T. I., was the official spokesperson of the tour and took the RESPECT MY VOTE! bus to vote early in Atlanta, GA.last week.
About Hip-Hop Summit Action Network Founded in 2001, the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN) is dedicated to harnessing the cultural relevance of hip-hop music to serve as a catalyst for education advocacy and other societal concerns fundamental to the well being of at-risk youth throughout the United States. HSAN is the largest non-profit, national coalition of hip-hop artists, entertainment industry leaders, education advocates, civil rights proponents, and youth leaders united in the belief that Hip-Hop is an enormously influential agent for positive social change which must be responsibly and proactively utilized to fight the war on poverty and injustice. For more information, go to www.hsan.org.
About The Hip Hop Caucus The Hip Hop Caucus (www.hiphopcaucus.org) is a non-partisan organization that works to ensure the voice of the Hip Hop Generation is heard by engaging them in the political process. Through the use of grassroots organizing and celebrity spokespeople, the Hip Hop Caucus looks to mobilize young people to register and vote in November and in subsequent elections. The President of the Hip Hop Caucus, Rev. Yearwood, was the co-creator of the 2004 campaign “Vote or Die” with Sean “P Diddy” Combs, former Political and Grassroots Director for Russell Simmons’ Hip Hop Summit Action Network, and a Senior Consultant to Jay Z’s “Voice Your Choice” initiative.