Tags: Schock | Booker | Waywire | video

Schock, Booker Use #Waywire to Encourage Young Voters

Monday, 15 Oct 2012 02:33 PM

A documentary featuring popular Republican Congressman Aaron Schock of Illinois takes viewers behind the scenes at the Republican and Democratic parties’ 2012 conventions.

The online program is featured on #waywire, a new and rapidly growing website that engages young voters with the latest online videos.

Schock talked about the film Thursday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“Make it Count: Electing America’s Next President” follows two politicians from opposite ends of the spectrum – Schock and #waywire founder Cory Booker, the Democratic mayor of Newark, N.J. – as they rally their bases in support of their parties’ presidential candidates.

#waywire produced the video.

“We created this documentary to inspire young Americans to get involved in the 2012 presidential election, as the youth voice and youth vote are critical to moving our nation forward,” Booker wrote Thursday on the Huffington Post.

Booker is considered a rising star in the Democratic party and touted as one of its most influent young elected officials.

Schock first was elected to Illinois’ 18th District in 2008 and overwhelmed his Democratic opponent, 69 percent to 26 percent, in his 2010 re-election bid. At 31, he is the youngest member of Congress and the first born in the 1980s. It’s no surprise, then, that he is among the first to embrace a new format for political expression, Booker said on “Morning Joe.”

“Young people are going to be living with the consequences of these elections longer than any other generation,” said Schock. “Obviously, as the youngest member of Congress, I look to my peers who are two to three times my age and, oftentimes, they won’t be living with the consequences of the decisions they’re making: the impact on the next generation and generations yet to be born in America.”

“This election will obviously be impacted by the young people that show up or don’t show up in the election,” Schock said.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who helped fund the project, thinks #waywire can have an impact. Earlier this year, he collaborated with First Round Capital (via Google’s “Innovation Fund”) to give the site $1.75 million in startup money.

The site has a small staff and relies heavily on aggregating online news and user-provided video content. Its mission is to provide young people with, as Schock told “Morning Joe,” “a virtual town hall, to come and discuss any issue that’s important to them.”

Schlock added, “I think Cory and I can lead by example in terms of being bipartisan and working together, but you know we are a function of who we represent, and if you only get the extremes of both parties voting in primaries or voting in general elections, then you get more extreme candidates by nature. . . and so if you want more level-headed centrist folks, you’ve got to get involved in the political process.”

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