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2012 Annual Report

Through pictures, stats, and recaps, our annual report will bring you through our incredible (and hard!) work from the 2012 election year.

Rock the Vote

on 21 February 2014

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Transcript of 2012 Annual Report

Annual Report
Rock the Vote
Debra Bowen, Secretary of State, California
Denise Merrill, Secretary of State, Connecticut
Brian Kemp, Secretary of State, Georgia
Matt Schultz, Secretary of State, Iowa
Alison Lundergan Grimes, Secretary of State, Kentucky
Ross Miller, Secretary of State, Nevada
Kate Brown, Secretary of State, Oregon
Carol Aichele, Secretary of the Commonwealth, Pennsylvania
Jason Gant, Secretary of State, South Dakota
Sam Reed, Secretary of State, Washington
Douglas La Follette, Secretary of State, Wisconsin
Max Maxfield, Secretary of State, Wyoming
Sara Presler, Mayor of Flagstaff, Arizona
Jonathan Rothschild, Mayor of Tucson, Arizona
Anthony Foxx, Mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina
Michael Coleman, Mayor of Columbus, Ohio
Michael Nutter, Mayor of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
In 2012 Rock the Vote registered approximately one million voters and helped fuel increased youth turnout for the third presidential election in a row. To do this we ran an innovative multi-faceted campaign including development of new registration and mobile technologies, grassroots outreach, voter education, strategic partnership development and get-out-the vote efforts.
Rock the Vote President Heather Smith participated in the Native Vote: Tribal Leaders and 2012 session at the National Congress of American Indians Conference
Rock the Vote Southwest is a program focused on increasing the civic and electoral participation of traditionally disenfranchised communities including, Latinos and Native Americans ages 18-29 in the Southwestern states. Rock the Vote Southwest utilized Democracy Class, Radio PSAs, and voter registration events to focus on the nexus of these audiences, bringing them into the political process in 2012 and beyond.
"Spin the Vote is making some magic happen in our music culture and helping us be empowered to make a difference. Keep the movement going guys, it's working!”
– Spin the Vote volunteer Steven Hernandez
Groups across the country used National Voter Registration (NVR) Day to draw attention to the importance of registering to vote. On September 25, 2012, Rock the Vote joined hundreds of volunteers, artists, organizations, campuses, and even elected officials, from all over the country, for the first ever celebration of National Voter Registration Day. In one day, Rock the Vote registered 44,000 people to vote.
More than 577 students snapped their #WeWill photos that streamed live on our Facebook page.
“The Rock the Vote Online Voter Registration Partner tool was a critical component of our voter registration efforts in 2012. It was so easy to customize for our organization and for individual campuses. We used the tool to build partnerships with more Universities across the state than any other year and helped twenty seven thousand students in California fill out an online form to register to vote.”
- Emily Rusch, CALPIRG State Director
Our "Scan to Vote” campaign, powered by Promo Jam, included QR codes found on everything from merchandise hangtags and t-shirts to Rock the Vote's 2012 wall calendar and school supply line. The QR code campaign provided easy access to voter registration forms on registrants’ smartphones or tablets.
This year Rock the Vote enabled its partners to embed our online voter registration tool onto their websites, as well as fully customize the tool’s design and functions to meet their specific needs.
January 1, 2012- December 31, 2012
Heather Smith, President
Chrissy Faessen, V.P. Marketing & Communications
Caitlin Maguire, Marketing & Communications Manager
Amanda Brown, National Political Director
Phaedra Jackson, National Field Director
David Pruter, Designer & Digital Director
Rynnel Gibbs, Digital Manager
Kelly Fogel, Music & Artist Relations Director
Jeff Ayeroff
Jon Rubin
We hosted the official Rock the Vote Concert Featuring Neon Trees Streaming Live on Xbox LIVE
Followed by the Screening of Final Presidential Debate
Rock the Vote & StartUp RockOn presented Electric Dance Music DJ, Steve Aoki at the Republican National Convention
“A few of the new requirements, which the judge called 'harsh and impractical' and 'burdensome,' proved so unworkable that voter advocacy organizations like the League of Women Voters and Rock the Vote, both of which sued the state, stopped registering Floridians to vote.”
In more than 30 states across the country,
legislation was introduced making it harder for people – including minorities and students – to vote.

It became clear that, without our attention and action, laws could be implemented and students would be kept away from the polls permanently. So we fought back, and won!
Ground-breaking online voter registration technology

Customizable tools for partners to register their fans, members, or constituents on their own websites

Integration with Secretary of State websites for seamless online registration
Rock the Vote & Pringles Presented Turn Up the Vote with special guests, Perez Hilton, Mia Moretti & Caitlin Moe and Far East Movement at an exclusive media lounge during the Democratic National Convention.
We capped off the Democratic National Convention with a special Rock the Vote concert featuring The Foo Fighters. The band ended up playing their longest show ever!
“Rock the Vote, which is supported by numerous politicians and celebrities, has created a period-long lesson plan ‘that includes a mock election, classroom discussion, and a new video featuring Grammy award-winning artist John Legend, celebrity blogger Perez Hilton, Roc Nation recording artist Bridget Kelly and Glee’s Darren Criss about the importance of civic engagement in 2012,’ a news release says. So high school teachers, if you are looking for a way to keep your students focused on class, rather than budding trees and the summer-like temperatures outside, check it out.”
- Mary Ann Giordano, Editor of The New York Times and WNYC’s SchoolBook
In 2012, an impressive bipartisan group of Mayors and Secretaries of States pledged to integrate civic education into their states' school systems with programs like Democracy Class.
Rock the Vote's Democracy Class is a short (45 minute), civics education lesson that teaches high school students about the history of voting rights, the power of their participation in our democracy, and gets them registered to vote. 
Using a celebrity-filled animated video, a mock election, and classroom discussion, nearly a quarter of a million students have participated by registering to vote and taking the first step in making their voices heard.  
More than 3,000 educators in all 50 states have
brought Democracy Class to their school since
its launch in 2010.  
Rock the Vote kicked off the 2nd Annual Democracy Day at the National Constitution Center (NCC) with students from Constitution High School. We hosted Democracy Class and a pep rally led by Power 99 FM’s Dr. O, Rock the Vote President Heather Smith, National Constitution Center President and CEO David Eisner and recording artist and Philadelphia native Nikki Jean.

In LA, we teamed up with Youth Policy Institute (YPI) at Los Angeles’ Edward Roybal High School. At Roybal, the students participated in Democracy Classes during the day, and then came together for a special Democracy Day "civics fair,” circulating through various booths for voter registration, pledging to vote, specific issue conversations, citizenship rights, and local voting laws.
Rock the Vote solicited a series of artists, including Shepard Fairey to create unique images to countdown to Election Day on social media.
Partnering with Insomniac, Inc. we registered fans at Electric Dance Music festivals across the country reaching hundreds of thousands of young voters who otherwise would not have been engaged this past election year.
Miss USA (now Miss Universe) Olivia Culpo joined our volunteers in registering Community College of Philadelphia students & educating them on voting laws.
“You’re discovering your own voice…Make a difference, make a decision and be a part of our democracy.” Michigan Secretary of State Johnson told students at Wayne State University.
We closed the day registering voters at the Community College of Philadelphia with an awesome performance by Talib Kweli.
Also in Los Angeles, Band of Horses topped off National Voter Registration Day with a special concert encouraging audience members to register to vote with our volunteers on site.
Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/Clerk Dean Logan joined rappers Murs & Fashawn at Amoeba Music for a special National Voter Registration Day concert.
Hip hop group Par-City and Voto Latino Chairwoman Rosario Dawson at NYC's Youth Voter Registration Jam hosted by Voto Latino and Hot 97 in partnership with NYC Votes and Rock the Vote.
Our online efforts included promoting the hashtag #925NVRD and #WeWill. We even asked our Celebrity Ambassadors to join in on the fun.
"Being a part of the Rock the Vote Bus Tour was an adventure that I wouldn't trade for anything. I got the chance to travel across the country, meet amazing new people and help young people change their future. It's a once in a lifetime experience to see how one person can make a decision that has the ability to change an entire nation. Every single person that I encountered in my journey, from students to young professionals to everyone over at Rock the Vote, helped to make this an experience that I will never forget. I'm so proud to have been a part of it!”
– Michelle Clark, Rock the Vote Road Trip Manager
Rock the Vote took our work to young people in each of our target states with the 2012 Rock the Vote Road Trip bus tour. This bus, designed by acclaimed street artist Mr. Brainwash, pulled into campuses and set up a veritable civic circus complete with live music,

voter registration and education booths, concerts, merchandise, contests, and more.
Rock the Vote created a national multi-faceted advertising and marketing campaign supporting our voter registration and get-out-the vote efforts.
“I have had a fantastic experience working with Rock the Vote… and feeling like I was helping and potentially making a difference. I really believe in what Rock the Vote stands for and… I know that this experience has changed my life.”
– Rock the Vote CST Leader Teresa Travis
Volunteer teams were organized by over 300 Community Street Team (CST) leaders
These teams hosted thousands of voter registration events nationwide
One thousand volunteer digital ambassadors engaged their friends in the voting process online or at local events
Rock the Vote brought its online voter registration and engagement programs to mobile phones and tablets in order to reach and engage a larger youth audience.
Rock the Vote would like to thank the following companies, individuals, partners, artists and foundations that supported our 2012 election campaign. Their creativity, passion and commitment to engaging young people in the elections process helped us register more than 1 million individuals this election cycle and turn millions more out to vote.
Voter turnout amongst 18-29 year olds remained around 50% for the third consecutive Presidential election
Voters under 30 increased their share of the electorate from 18% to 19%
Participation rates were significant enough that young people determined the election outcomes in several critical states
In January 2012, we teamed up with the Iowa Secretary of State Office to kick off the election year and launch "Rock the Caucus," helping teachers prepare their students for the Iowa caucuses. The program brought civic education and a voter registration opportunity to nearly 3,500 high school students across the state and culminated in a candidate forum on Caucus Day at Valley High School in West Des Moines. 300+ media outlets showed up that day to cover and live-stream the event.
Presented by Pringles & Tumblr
Brought to you by the Palm Beach County Convention and Visitors Bureau in conjunction with Rock the Vote, Xbox, and the City of Boca Raton, Fla.
Natasha “CoCo” Benitez, Dean of Students Anacostia High School

Ted McConnell, Executive Director Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools

Sarah Calderon, Executive Director Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education

Rebecca Sinderbrand CNN

Jonathan Estrin, President Constitutional Rights Foundation

Marc Skvirsky, Chief Program Officer Facing History and Ourselves

Benji and Joel Madden Good Charlotte

Steve Barr, Founder and Chair Emeritus Green Dot Public Schools
Brian Brady, Executive Director Mikva Challenge

Susan Griffin, Executive Director National Council for the Social Studies

Leah Clapman, Managing Editor, Education
PBS NewsHour

Peter Levine, Director The Center for Information on Civic Learning and Engagement

Jon Rubin, Board of Directors Rock the Vote

The Honorable Debra Bowen Secretary of State, State of California

The Honorable Sam Reed Secretary of State, State of Washington

Walt Townes, Founder Vote 18
Rock the Vote's mission is to engage and build political power for young people in our country using media, culture and technology.
Letter from Rock the Vote President
Our History
Our Team
Voter Registration & Education Programs
#WeWill Ad Campaign
Voting Rights & Reform
Democracy Class
Concerts & Event Highlights
Rock the Vote
1001 Connecticut Avenue NW
Suite 640
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: (202) 719-9910
Email: info@rockthevote.com
Photo Credit: Zimbio
Photo Credit: Detroit Free Press
Dear Friends -

2012 was a very exciting year for Rock the Vote.

We are so grateful to every volunteer, donor, musician, and institution that participated in our efforts this year - together we ran the largest non-partisan voter engagement campaign in the nation in 2012, bringing millions of young people into our country’s democratic process, many for the first time.

Despite pundits’ claims of an enthusiasm gap, we knew that this generation should never be counted out. And nothing gave us more pride than to announce on election night that the trend of young people voting at increased rates continued in 2012. It is now undeniable that this generation is a powerful force in our democracy, radically shaping the direction of our politics, our country and our world.

Our small staff leveraged our well-known brand, cultural and media partners, and new technology to run a massive national youth voter registration and turnout campaign, bring our high school civics education program into thousands of communities, and win some major victories to protect the right to vote for all.

Following are just a few highlights from Rock the Vote in 2012. Enjoy! And I look forward to working with you all to build on this success by registering and educating young people every day and engaging them in new ways in 2013.

Rock on,

Heather Smith
President Rock the Vote
January 1, 2012- December 31, 2012
To ensure that our voter registration process meets the needs of the young, growing, diverse, 21st century electorate, Rock the Vote pioneered the following:
In Florida, Rock the Vote joined a successful lawsuit that blocked the state's restrictive voter registration laws!
Some highlights from a few more of our favorite election programs in 2012...
White Label Tools
The videos were viewed over 345,000 times.
“#WeWill. We, together, are powerful. And no matter what they put in our way, #WeWill be brave, speak out, be heard. #WeWill vote.”
Scan to Vote
2012 Annual Report
Thank you to the 450+ individuals, foundations, and companies that contributed to Rock the Vote in 2012.  Whether you gave $5 or $500,000, it mattered.  And we could not have engaged so many young people without your support.
Frank Smith
Heather Smith
President, Rock the Vote
Polling Locator
We worked with Google on a shortcode that our members could text in order to find their nearest polling place on Election Day.
The Rock the Vote bus toured 7783 miles, through 24 cities, and generated 273,296,062 media impressions during its 8 weeks on the road.
The #WeWill videos were directed by Adam Shankman and Scott Speer, and included talent such as Miley Cyrus, Darren Criss, and Neil Patrick Harris (and dozens more).
Rock the Caucus
National Voter Registration Day
Southwest Rocks the Vote
Spin the Vote
ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties
Advocates for Youth
All Point Pen
American Federation of Teachers
Analyst Institute
Asian Pacific American Legal Center
Association of Fraternal Leadership & Values
California Secretary of State Office
CALPIRG (California Public Interest Research Group)
Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools
Campus Progress
Campus Vote Challenge
Chas Kaplan / Kaplan Artists Group
Citizen Engagement Labs (CEL)
Civics Collaboratory
Color of Change
Committee of Seventy
Common Cause
Common Cause California
Craig Newmark
Disability Rights California
Electoral Dysfunction
Energy Action Coalition
Fair Elections Network
Generation Opportunity
Generational Alliance
Harvard Institute of Politics
HBO / Ethel
Hip Hop Caucus
Human Rights Campaign
Insomniac, Inc
Invisible Children
Ira Lechner / Radio Rocks the Vote
LA County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Office
League of Women Voters of Florida
League of Young Voters
Long Distance Voter
Mi Familia Vota
Mike de la Rocha
Mikva Challenge
MTV / Power of 12
National Action Network
National Association of Latino Elected Officials
National Campus Leadership Council
National Congress of American Indians
National Constitution Center
National Council for the Social Studies
National Education Association
National Women's Law Center
Nevada Secretary of State Office
New Era Colorado
New Organizing Institute
Nonprofit VOTE
Off the Mat, Into the World / Yoga the Vote
Ohio Organizing Collaborative
Orange County Registrar
Open Source Digital Voting Foundation
Overseas Vote Foundation
PA Voter ID Coalition
Campus Election Engagement Project
Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Politics - 360
Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada
Project Vote
React to Film
Secretary of State of Iowa Office
Spark Action
State Voices
Student PIRGs
The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU
The Bus Federation
The California Museum
The Future of California Elections (FOCE)
The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
The Pew Charitable Trusts
The Washington Center
Todd Rogers, Harvard University
Tribeca Flashpoint
Twang that Vote
Ultra Violet
United Council
University of California Student Association
Valley High School, West Des Moines, IA
Verified Voting
Vision 2020
Voter Participation Center
Voto Latino
Washington Secretary of State Office
Why Tuesday?
Words of Witness / Mai Iskander
Young Invincibles
Youth Engagement Fund
Youth Policy Institute
Act Local Media
Advanced Alternative Media, Inc.
Apartment One
Barnes & Noble College
BMF Media
CAA Foundation
Café Press
Carolina Pad
City of Boca Raton
Disco Donnie Presents
Funny or Die
Hayworth Creative
House of Blues
Junk Food
Lyon Fine Jewelry
Modify Watches
Motel Rocks
Mr. Brainwash
Original Retrobrand
Palm Beach County Convention
and Visitors Bureau
Podz Eyewear
PVBLIC Foundation
Red Laser
Silva Artists Management (SAM)
Sony Studios
Spirit Halloween
StartUp RockOn
The Cobra Snake
The Judge Group
The Miss Universe Organization
Threads for Thought
UTA Foundation
Virgin America
W Los Angeles
We Are Music
Zip Car
Andrew Tobias Fund
Anna Curren
Anne Bartley
Arkay Foundation
Barbra Streisand Foundation
Betsy Krieger
Cohen Family Foundation
Douglas and Jenny Patinkin
Educational Foundation of America
Fidelity Charitable Gift Program - Anonymous
Harry Rosenberg
Horizons Foundation
IKDH Foundation
Insomniac, Inc.
Jeffrey Ayeroff
Jewish Community Federation
John Goldman
Larry & Jan Birenbaum
Lawrence & Suzanne Hess
M Quinn Delaney & Wayne Jordan
Mai Family Foundation
Marisla Foundation
Open Society Foundation
Public Interest Projects
Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors - Anonymous
Roosevelt University
Susan Berghoef
The Bauman Foundation
The James Irvine Foundation
Three Graces Foundation
Tides Foundation
Tiffany Schauer & Scott McDonald
Full transcript