Hip-hop makes appeal to student voters
The hip-hop appeal among the student voting demographic on campus was utilized as part of the final push leading up to Election Day by Texans Together Education Fund, a local political organization that initiates community events in historically disengaged Harris County neighborhoods.
Texans Together, established in August 2006, serves as a parent organization, fostering several other enterprises that have branched off from its umbrella, including the Apartments Are Communities project, Empower Houston Leaders project, Occupy the Vote Houston and The San Jacinto River Coalition.
Occupy the Vote Houston hosted “Hip-Hop the Vote,” a series of free concerts, featuring local rappers, who performed on Friday at Lynn Eusan Park to a sparse day crowd. The rappers encouraged students to take advantage of the last day of early voting and make their voices count.
The concert featured Chingo Bling, Doughbeezy, GT Garza, Sydnee, TK, Uzoy and Youngin.
“There was a momentum particularly in the youth in 2008 for the presidential election,” said event organizer Saeed Rose. “They say that momentum died down, but I don’t believe so.”
The campus student chapter of TexPIRG, a politically involved organization, was present in late-September and early-October to help register students to vote. It arranged information and registration tables around campus as well as visited classrooms to hand out voter registration cards.
Occupy the Vote Houston also assisted students in registering to vote in the middle of the semester.
“Being on the campus, we did voter registration out here, and so we see the fact that the students out here are very active so that’s why we’re basically keeping the momentum up,” Rose said. “We’re having great performances and making sure that they get to the polls.”
Texans Together consists of UH alumni members who volunteered their time to be a part of the Occupy the Vote Houston event Friday.
The University ties and diversity were among reason the organizations chose to host the hip-hop concert on campus.
“This campus has a lot of history,” Rose said. “It’s very active so it’s more of an appreciation to the activism that’s going on in the community. We have a lot of fellow organizers that are alumni of this school so we really felt that we couldn’t have this campaign without coming to this campus and making sure that students were able to enjoy the artists as well.”
Meanwhile, sociology graduate Brendan Laws aimed to leave students with reasons why they should pay attention to the election, as it can affect how college will be funded in the future.
“The various bonds going on in this city also impact college students, especially community college students so it’s a pretty important election,” Laws said. “Above everything else, it’s just important for college students to vote because college students don’t vote enough so if their voices are better heard, than they can be better represented afterward.”