MOVE Texas Celebrates 10 Years of Youth Power

Looks toward the next 10 years of transforming Texas through the lens of ‘The Moment, The Movement”

San Antonio, Texas — Ten years ago in San Antonio, MOVE Texas was founded as a small campus organization with a mission to register new, young voters between 18-24 and turn them out to vote in their local elections. Over the next decade, that small voter registration chapter has transformed into one of the most influential civic engagement organizations for young people in Texas, with hundreds of alums, active members, artists, and campus organizers on 18 college campuses supported by almost 30 full-time staff across the state. 

“We are so proud of the work MOVE Texas has done over the past decade to engage over one hundred and fifty thousand young voters and be a part of the civic and cultural awakening that young Texans have had,” said Claudia Yoli Ferla, Executive Director of MOVE Texas. “We intend to harness this moment for the movement and look toward the future of organizing for the state. MOVE Texas alum, members and voters we’ve engaged over the years are going to be a part of radically transforming the state over the next ten years as young organizers turn into young leaders, young leaders turn into the next generation of officeholders and Texas’ youngest and most progressive face of power truly has its voice heard in city halls and under the state capitol dome.”

Since 2013, MOVE Texas’ model has created lifetime voters and provides pivotal moments for  young people to start their political journey with the sort of civic education and leadership that promotes lasting and life-long engagement. Tens of thousands of eligible voters between 18-24 have been identified and activated by MOVE Texas. In 2020, MOVE Texas increased voter registration among young voters by 19, and in 2022, voters registered by MOVE Texas turned out at DOUBLE the rate of other voters under 30.

“It has been inspiring to work as a Campus Organizer because I have watched in real time over the course of a year as civic engagement has increased in my community,”said Madeline Carles, a MOVE Texas Campus Organizer at the University of North Texas. “My work is important because I know that students have a strong desire to participate in our political system and only lack the tools. MOVE Texas gives students those tools! Overall, I think there is a lot of potential in youth empowerment and I love being a part of it with MOVE Texas.”

“Being a Campus Organizer is an experience that leaves you very fulfilled. MOVE Texas has helped me a lot to see the issues plaguing the community, and going out in the field in attempts to help, listen, or just talk to the people that are being affected by these issues,” said Selene Torres Chaves, a MOVE Texas Campus Organizer at Texas A&M University at San Antonio. “[This work] helps me learn and appreciate what we do. Not many know of the issues in Texas and this can often make people feel powerless. I don’t think I’d be able to have this opportunity elsewhere, and it’s such an amazing experience that I’ll always be grateful for.”

Over the next ten years, MOVE Texas will work to ensure  the young leaders trained and young voters engaged step into leadership across the state. Young voters, and have gone virtually ignored by extremist and out-of-touch politicians in Austin who are intent on trying to restrict voting rights and terrorize communities  across the state. MOVE Texas plans to introduce its vision for the coming decade this week at  its ‘The Movement, the Moment: a Decade of MOVE Texas” 10 Year Anniversary celebration. 

“MOVE Texas’ past 10 years have been a love letter to organizing. Our mission and purpose is found in every moment that a young person registers to vote, goes to the polls, talks to their friends about the issues they care about, volunteers, provides testimony, and uses their political voice. Young people of color are the powerful present with voices worthy of being listened to.” said Mia Balderas, Staff Director of MOVE Texas. “So here’s to another decade of MOVE Texas and to the power of organizing forever. Let’s remember that elections are a moment and young people are the movement.”