MOVE Texas Action Fund is one of the most successful civic engagement organizations in Texas today. We take a holistic approach to helping young Texans explore what it means to be active in their community and set them up for a lifetime of being a positive force for change for themselves and their families.
Over the past decade, MOVE Texas Action Fund has registered over 150,000 young eligible voters and has motivated tens of thousands of young people toward greater civic participation. In just the past two election cycles, MOVE Texas Action Fund has helped to shift the Texas electorate. We’ve increased voter registration among 18-25-year-olds by 19% and in 2022, we had the second-highest youth voter turnout in almost three decades.
In fact, an analysis of our civic engagement work in 2022 showed that MOVE Texas Action Fund had the highest turnout of registered voters in the state, and the voters that MOVE Texas Action Fund turned out at double the statewide rate for voters under 30.
And we’re just getting started. In 2024, our goal is to register 20,000 young voters.
Our Civic Engagement Campaigns:
National Voter Registration Day
National Voter Registration Day is a nonpartisan civic holiday celebrating our democracy when volunteers and organizations from all over the country “hit the streets” in a single day of coordinated field, technology, and media efforts to educate and register voters. It is celebrated on the fourth Tuesday of September. With 3.2 million newly eligible voters in the South. Join us next year as we celebrate this day by making sure our friends, family, and fellow Texans are registered to vote and ready to make their voices heard at the next election!
First observed in 2012, NVRD has quickly gained momentum. Over 5 million voters have registered to vote on the holiday to date. According to U.S. Census data from 2020, as many as 1 in 4 eligible Americans are not registered to vote.MOVE Texas has played a lead role in organizing and coordinating spaces for this national voting celebration and historically broken national records with our voter registration goals.
Why is NVRD important?
Voter registration is the first step someone will take in their journey toward becoming more civically involved. Registering young people to vote helps ensure they are equipped, ready, and able to make their voices heard at the ballot box and beyond.
Many students learn to vote for the first time at college, so hosting registration drives and education events on college campuses is crucial for reaching and engaging young voters, especially with Texas having the second largest college student population in the country. College students casting ballots doubled from 2014 to 2018 and have only increased in recent years.
For National Voter Registration Day, we’re not just registering voters; we’re utilizing voter registration to get our foot in the door and have conversations with voters about the things that matter most to them. Young people are tired of the current system and sick of not having representation, so they’re building their own–and we at MOVE Texas Action Fund are giving them the space to do so.
One of the most impactful components of our work is in political education and issue advocacy. Throughout the last decade, MOVE Texas Action Fund has educated and engaged young voters around critical issues both in their local communities as well as under the Capitol dome in Austin. Our organizers are often at the very front of campaigns to stop harmful legislation across the state, or to advocate smart reforms that would strengthen communities in cities and towns from Houston to Laredo and everywhere in between.
The campaigns we have worked on over the past few years have served as the basis to roll out a Texas Youth Policy Agenda that we debuted in early 2023. Working with our partners in the Texas Youth Power Alliance, we developed and then advocated for a proactive series of reforms meant to spotlight the concerns and priorities of voters between 18-25. Our collective education and advocacy on the Youth Policy Agenda exposed lawmakers across the state to the legislative needs of young voters in a way that had never been done before.
Democracy From the Ground Up
- Passed 60 Pro-Voter Reforms
- Through our Democracy from the Ground Up campaign, we educate our communities and decision-makers about pro-voter policies at the local and county levels. We fight against anti-voting measures at the local level and fight for polling locations across the state on college campuses and in county jails. We learned that issue education conversations are powerful avenues for bringing young people into the movement. If we delve deeper and do more consistent base-building work around issues that matter to young people, it could be a mobilizing force that helps connect the dots between the issues and the importance of turning out to vote to hold elected officials accountable for representing their values.
- As campus polling locations continue to be subject to attacks, we continue to mobilize our Campus Chapters to advocate for student voting rights and against the continued assault on our voting rights at the State Capitol. But we aren’t just on the defensive in these fights. We’ve been working hard to expand voting rights for eligible Texans, including our success in establishing a jail-based polling location in Dallas and Harris Counties. We are also continuing this work fighting for jail-based polling locations in Travis and Bexar Counties to ensure that any eligible inmate who wants to have their voice heard can. Our ongoing work involves helping to organize community and justice-involved stakeholders in order to make the case both to county officials and to the public – especially in anticipation of potential opposition backlash – over jail-based voting, why it is important, who has been harmed by inaction on this, and why it is urgent to bring polling locations to the jails.
People Power for the Climate
- MOVE Texas Action Fund believes in the freedom to breathe clean air, drink clean water, have energy democracy, and leave behind a liveable planet. That’s why we continue to advocate for Coal Energy Education and Plant Closure Campaigns in San Antonio and Austin, and beyond. As a result of the tireless organizing of MOVE and partners, the CPS energy board in San Antonio voted to phase out coal by 2028. The Austin Blackout Fayette Coal Plant campaign is ongoing, and we continue to monitor the implementation of the energy transition in San Antonio.
- Climate change campaigns are a top priority for us in the next few years. We plan to continue our work encouraging the retiring of additional coal plants including the Spruce Coal Plant in San Antonio.
- Over the past several years climate change has affected millions of Texans and those effects are just going to continue to get worse. MOVE Texas has worked with families who have been affected by the power grid failures of the past few years due to extreme weather as well as young workers who continue to be forced to work long hours at jobs during extreme heat advisories to stand up for themselves and their families while politicians in Austin ignore the problem.
At the Capitol
The campaigns we have worked on over the past few years have served as the basis to roll out a Texas Youth Policy Agenda that we debuted in early 2023. Working with our partners in the Texas Youth Power Alliance, we developed and then advocated for a proactive series of reforms meant to spotlight the concerns and priorities of voters between 18-25. Our collective education and advocacy on the Youth Police Agenda exposed lawmakers across the state to the legislative needs of young voters in a way that had never been done before in the state, and caught the attention of a much larger audience for our goals. Additional issue education and advocacy campaigns include:
Since we were founded, we’ve always been a fixture in and around the State Capital during the biennial legislative sessions, ensuring that lawmakers and the press understand the real impacts that their actions have on young voters. The fact of the matter is, so much of what ends up on the legislative agenda undercuts the power, health, and well-being of young people who want to survive, thrive, and make Texas a home they can be proud of. That is why we continue to participate in collective action every time that the legislature is in session.
That is why in 2023 we came together with our coalition partners in the Youth Power Alliance to stage the Youth Capital Takeover which turned out over 350 participants showing visibility and solidarity to the legislators. The event featured many engaging activities including an education session, a march to the capitol, and a party in the rotunda featuring a DJ, speakers from the Texas legislature, storytelling, and Drag performances. Students also participated in visits with elected officials where participants had the opportunity to ask them about the issues affecting young people today.
MOVE Texas is focused on long-term movement building, not short-term fixes that lack staying power. That is why we maintain a robust program throughout Texas’ many colleges and universities where we identify, recruit, engage and train young leaders who are prepared to step up and build the Texas that young people desire.
We understand that leadership development activities lay the groundwork to put young people at the forefront of the movement and allows them to take control of our organizational priorities. Through consistent coaching, training, and a robust curriculum that covers foundational organizing skills, civic and issue advocacy education, effective communication, and fundraising, we equip new leaders with the skills, knowledge and confidence that they will take with them throughout their life-long civic engagement journey.
In the next few years, we hope to grow a lasting and sustained membership base that we can continue to build upon to lead our groundbreaking cultural and policy campaigns and increase the representation of young people in Texas’s electorate.
In 2022 we relaunched our Campus Chapter Program after a two-year hiatus due to campus closures in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. We recruited and onboarded 13 Campus Organizers across 13 college campuses with 24 members total and recommitted to building out an evergreen model.
This youth-led program focuses on using peer-to-peer organizing to establish, sustain, and grow the next generation of movement leaders in an intimate, fun, and supportive learning environment. By investing in youth leadership, it is our intent to build the power it takes to influence elections, legislation, and policies at every level of government to improve the lives of all Texans.
We have expanded to 18 campus chapters across the state and we are working on expanding this program to even more chapters in the next election cycle!
National Artists of Texas Fellowship
- Culture is the ecosystem in which we live our everyday lives, making it the most valuable resource we have in changing the hearts and minds of voters across Texas. Culture goes beyond politics. Artists have an unparalleled ability to connect with people going beyond traditional means of communication. We believe it is critical to infuse joy, beauty, and fun into movement work. That is the spirit in which our National Artists of Texas Fellowship is crafted. Since 2020, we have onboarded 20 talented, young Texans who have lent their skills in the visual arts to engage and inspire a new generation of Texas voters.
- This is a year-long residency where artists across the state receive education and resources around narrative and storytelling through artwork, receive lessons and trainings on MOVE Texas’ advocacy issue areas, learn the stakes of the current elections, and work with our field team to better understand what is happening on the ground in each region and create art in support of that work.