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T.I. and Hip Hop Caucus Announce "Respect My Vote!"
Posted by Steve Juon at Wednesday, July 30th, 2008 at 2:20PM :: Email this article :: Print this article



(New York, NY - July 28, 2008) - The Hip Hop Caucus,
www.hiphopcaucus.org, and Multi-Platinum, Grammy Award Winning Superstar
T.I. have joined forces to launch a powerful new voter registration and
Get Out the Vote campaign that combines the power of celebrity and media
with 21st century grassroots organizing tactics to mobilize and educate
young people between the ages of 18 and 29, who are not in college.  The
campaign slogan, "Respect My Vote!" and t-shirts were unveiled today at
a press event in Washington, DC, with DJ Green Lantern, Dawn from Danity
Kane, Young Berg, Maino, Wale, Young Steff, Washington Wizard Etan
Thomas, Olympic Gold Medalist Anthony Killieberew, Immortal Technique,
Pleasure P, World Class Sprinter and Champion Michael Walton, BET
Executive Vice President Stephen Hill and many others turning out to
support.

The campaign, led by T.I. will employ other celebrities, athletes and
high profile influential figures to get out the vote in a variety of
ways including PSAs for radio, television and online use; in person
appearances; press events; mobile and email alerts from celebrities
themselves; and an aggressive online campaign. Famed photographer
Jonathan Mannion has been exclusively tapped to shoot portraits of the
famous faces adoring the "Respect My Vote!" slogan and t-shirt produced
by forthcoming AKOO clothing line as well as direct and produce the
PSA's. Confirmed participating talent will be announced throughout the
campaign leading up to the November election.

Grassroots voter registration activities will be led by Hip Hop Caucus
community-based street teams in seventeen (17) cities across the nation:
CA (Bay Area), FL (Miami), GA (Atlanta), IN (Indianapolis),  MD
(Baltimore), MI (Detroit), MO (St. Louis); NC (Charlotte,
Raleigh-Durham), OH (Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus), PA
(Philadelphia), TX (Dallas-Ft. Worth, Houston), VA (Richmond), and DC
(Washington, DC).

Hip Hop Caucus President, Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr., who helped create
VOTE OR DIE! with Sean "Diddy" Combs in 2004, explains "No matter who
wins in November, if large numbers of young people do not vote, then we
all lose.  It does not bode well for the future of our country, and our
Democracy, if young people, particularly those who are not in college,
are not engaged or involved in the electoral process.  This campaign is
critical in strengthening our Democracy and thus protecting our
freedom."

Half of young Americans ages 18-29 have never enrolled in college.
According to research done by the Center for Information and Research on
Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), a non-partisan research center,
nearly 80 percent of the young voters who turned out on Super Tuesday
had college experience. The disparity between college educated and
non-college educated young voter participation is also evident by their
turnout rates: one in four eligible young voters with college experience
voted on Super Tuesday, compared with one in 14 eligible young voters
with no college experience.

Based on these statistics, the Hip Hop Caucus and T.I. have elected to
focus on engaging those individuals who are part of the larger scope of
the non-college and non-voting community.

T.I., who is gearing up for the release on his highly anticipated new
album, "Paper Trail" (Grand Hustle/Atlantic Records) on September 30th
and has grown to truly be one of his generation's most captivating
speakers explains, "It's an honor and a pleasure to be involved with the
Hip Hop Caucus and be a part of such a worthy cause and important
campaign.  I look forward to urging the masses to take advantage of the
right that I no longer have."

This campaign will build on what worked in 2004 by using proven market
outreach strategies in an electoral context. With programs including bus
tours, street teams to register voters, voter education events during
the Democratic and Republican Conventions and other events, we will
integrate the audience building capacity of celebrities and media, and
the data management and technology available for political
organizations. The campaign will provide insights and data into the
political behavior of this generally unengaged citizenry, and build
sustainable community participation.

For more information visit www.hiphopcaucus.org or www.trapmuzik.com or
to request press conference b-roll and photos please contact Tracy
Nguyen, tnguyen@5wpr.com or Reggie Dance, rdance@5wpr.com at 5W Public
Relations, 212-999-5585.

About the Hip Hop Caucus:

The Hip Hop Caucus was established in September 2004 by activists and
organizers who were working to get out the vote. In organizing and
mobilizing around the 2004 elections we realized the critical need for a
sustainable political organization that empowers the Hip Hop generation
to participate in the policymaking process.   Through the Hip Hop Caucus
we are challenging the demonization of a generation and culture by
creating a space for young people to speak up - to discuss and debate a
new vision of a society and a government that works for all of us.  We
engage the Hip Hop generation, those born after 1964, through issue
campaigns, events, and voter education.

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