Just one day after graduation, the young activists of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School announced they will be spending the summer touring the country ahead of the midterm elections.
The “Road to Change,” a bus tour that will last for two months and take the Parkland students across the nation and to every congressional district in Florida, is the next phase of the March For Our Livesmovement, which saw thousands of people gather earlier this year to protest gun violence and congressional inaction.
“At the end of the day, real change is brought from voting and too often voting is shrugged off as nothing in our country,” Cameron Kasky, one of the leaders of March For Our Lives, said during Monday’s press conference.
Kasky — surrounded by other leaders of the movement, including David Hogg and Emma González, who were all students when a gunman killed 17 people at Stoneman Douglas on Feb. 14 — explained the goal of the tour is to increase voter turnout in the November election with an emphasis on young voters.
“I think that a lot of politicians out there do not want a lot of young people voting. I think they want marginalized communities staying out of the polls because they know they’ll be voted out,” Kasky said.
The movement has reportedly already begun to see voter registration trends in its favor. Voter data from March and April in states like Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania show an uptick in young voters after the March For Our Lives, according to The New York Times.
Kasky cited low voter turnout in the last midterm elections as one of the driving factors behind the decision to tour the United States, which he said has been funded by donations.
“The best thing about America is that America knows we can always do better,” Kasky said. “We can improve [and] the best way to do that is by voting.”