Today Levi Strauss & Co. announced a new nonpartisan voter registration initiative on over 150 community college campuses in advance of the midterm elections this November. This initiative will complement our broader efforts to reduce obstacles to civic participation through public awareness campaigns, employee and corporate engagement, advocacy and nonprofit support focused on organizations led by people of color and leaders working to advance equity.
“Our democracy can only thrive if every eligible voter has an equal chance to participate,” said Chip Bergh, Chief Executive Officer, LS&Co. “As midterm elections approach, Levi Strauss & Co. and the Levi’s® brand are once again doing our part by teaming up with experienced voter engagement organizations to ensure every eligible voter has the resources and support they need to make their voices heard at the polls.”
Community colleges account for just over 40% of U.S. undergraduates, but historically see lower voter registration and voting rates than four-year universities. Through partnerships with Campus Takeover and the Students Learn Students Vote coalition, LS&Co. is working to close this gap by supporting voter registration efforts on over 150 community college campuses in 40 states. Additionally, on National Voter Registration Day, the company is “adopting” two community colleges – Miami Dade Community College in Florida and Austin Community College District in Texas – at which they will lead activations in partnership with Engage Miami, MOVE Texas and Pizza to the Polls to register and encourage students to vote. Pizza to the Polls will also deliver food on more than 30 additional community college campuses on the same day.
“Community colleges are home to some of the most diverse and representative student populations,” said Clarissa Unger, Co-Founder & Executive Director, the Students Learn Students Vote coalition. “When community college students mobilize around elections and engage with our democracy, they drive community-wide change and we all benefit from the more vibrant electorate they create.”
In addition to this year’s campaign to reduce the community college voting gap, LS&Co. will continue to build on its longstanding commitment to reducing obstacles to civic participation through employee and corporate engagement, as well as nonprofit support. This will include:
LS&Co. will continue to offer its employees, including retail store employees, paid time off to vote, and redouble its support of employee voter engagement through this year’s voter engagement program, which aims to enable employees to easily register to vote and find their polling places, volunteer at voter registration drives through a partnership with Headcount and serve as poll workers on Election Day.
As co-founders of Time to Vote, a nonpartisan coalition of nearly 2,000 companies committed to ensuring that their employees have work schedules that allow them time to vote, LS&Co. is continuing to lead the charge to reduce the number of people who have to make a choice between voting and earning a paycheck.
LS&Co. is supporting organizations working to increase access to the polls, including the ACLU Voting Right Project, Campus Takeover, Civic Alliance, Citizens and Scholars, Engage Miami, Hunger Free America, Houston Justice, MOVE Texas, National Voter Registration Day, Pizza to the Polls and the Students Learn Students Vote coalition.
“To get the next generation more involved in civic engagement and rebuild our democracy from the ground up, we need to reach everyone we can to get voters registered and engaged,” said Rebecca Pelham, Executive Director of Engage Miami. “Partnerships like these mean we can invest in civic holidays like National Voter Registration Day and reach every student and potential voter so they know their voices and communities matter.”
You can read the full press release here.