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by Deb Hauser
President, Advocates for Youth

Advocates for Youth congratulates President Barack Obama on his historic reelection. We also celebrate the amazing role that young people played within his administration and his reelection, and we recognize the growing power of youth to drive social and cultural change for a better world. Young people represented approximately 19 percent of the electorate yesterday—a larger percentage even than in 2008!

In the years ahead, we call on President Obama to stand with us in recognition of every young person’s right to honest sexual health education, safe and affordable sexual health services, and an equity of social, educational, and economic opportunity – the type of opportunity that builds healthy lives and strong communities.

As witnessed last night, tens of thousands of young activists and leaders  are actively reshaping their communities and changing the history of this country. Advocates for Youth calls on President Obama and officials at all levels of government to join with us in realizing their vision and their dreams for a better future.  Together, we must strive to create opportunities for young people and they must be part of the process. Young people have the right to be at decision-making tables whenever policies and programs that affect their health and well-being are being deliberated.

Advocates for Youth will continue to train, support, and partner with youth activists and youth-serving organizations throughout the United States and abroad.  We will continue to champion young people’s rights, empowering them as activists and leaders.

Last night, young people led the way as young Americans exercised their right to vote at historic levels: reelecting President Obama; turning the tide for marriage equality with wins in Maryland, Maine, and Minnesota, with Washington poised to join them; defeating an anti-choice ballot measure in Florida; electing the largest cohort of women ever to the Senate, including America’s first openly LGBT Senator; and making history with the passage of the Maryland Dream Act.

Over the next four years, young people will continue to lead us towards new solutions and lasting change. On behalf of all of us here at Advocates for Youth, we are honored to work alongside them.