Black Professionals: We've Got Obama's Back

When it comes to rallying behind the president, young supporters commit to "making it cool again" for key groups. 

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Fifty-five percent of eligible black voters ages 18 to 24 voted in the last presidential election, and 96 percent of black voters cast their ballots for Obama, according to the U.S. Census.

The Huffington Post reports that "young, upwardly mobile, Obama diehards" are committed to re-creating that enthusiasm. And they know what will take to re-engage all but the most politically tuned in: making it cool again. 

The plan includes re-hooking potential supporters' interest with speech and debate watch parties, fundraisers and parties with celebrity hosts and the hottest DJs, all targeted to ignite enthusiasm and banish what some see as a frustrating apathy among groups that rallied behind candidate Obama in 2008.

"Our generation, young professionals, especially young professionals of color who were a huge part of the force that mobilized the vote and were really active in getting Obama elected in '08, now are pretty much apathetic this election and that doesn't make any sense," 30-year-old New York lawyer Diane Lucas told the Hufffington Post. "It's counterintuitive for the same people who supported Obama with such zealousness in 2012 to be like, 'Uh, yeah, I could have had a V8.' "

But rather than chastising those who have tuned out, some are finding creative ways to inspire a return to the days when political engagement didn't feel like work.

Lucas, for her part, created elevensixtwelve.com (11-6-12, the date of the presidential election), a website "dedicated to re-electing President Obama through fashion and social media." In other words, T-shirts that people actually want to wear do double duty by creating a buzz around the Obama campaign and PACs supporting the Democratic Party.  An example of the approach in action: Radio and television personality Free, in a blue "Together We Can" top from the site, recently tweeted to her followers, "If you like the t-shirt in MY Avi grab yours at elevensixtwelve.com founded to help fashionably re-elect Obama!"

The meet-people-where-they-are (fun, fashion, fitting in, etc.) approach isn't complicated, but then, neither was the grassroots support that propelled the president to victory in the last presidential election cycle. Lucas explained to The Root, "When people see that the people they respect and hang out with are supporting Obama in a zealous way, it's like, 'Oh, wait, maybe I need to get into it.' " 

Read more at the Huffington Post.

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