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My Second Newsletter

Monday, 2 October 2000

Hi everyone! Here's the second entry. I decided to do this a little regularly right now as so much is happening during this heated election season.... nice to see some issues finally being discussed. Now all we need to do is to make everyone - ourselves, our family, our friends and even mere acquaintances - participate for change!

For those who didn't get my first newsletter, I am the author of a new book, TEEN POWER POLITICS: MAKE YOURSELF HEARD, an in-your-face issue-oriented book for young Americans on civic and political activism. We need to get all of us involved here and soon-to-be and new voters definitely have the voice, the power and the passion and energy!

If you'd like a copy of the first newsletter (also contains the press release on TPP), email me. AND BTW, I know that some bookstores - brick and mortar (the term now for actual wonderful places where you can wander throught and touch and experience real books!) and online - are showing TPP as still not available. BUT IT IS!!!!! So, give them the ISBN (below) and tell them to get it in! (And thank you.) This newsletter hopes to keep us as up-to-date as possible on what's happening right now. Also check out my website, , for new issues and examples of youth making change everyday.


1. SJB signing appearance updates and important youth activity dates.

2. The presidential debates - dates and info.

3. Teen Power at work!

4. More great political sites.

5. Media Literacy considerations. ****update just this am (Monday, 2 October)!!!!! ******* The New York Times, " 209 Years Later, the English Get American-Style Bill of Rights", (Page A3, National Edition and at ). What we established so long ago still has a vital place in this world. But we too need to fight to ensure that its strong protections continue to be applied equally to all of our citizens.



a. MONDAY, OCTOBER 23 at 7:30 PM, DUTTONS BOOKS, Los Angeles, CA Booksigning for TEEN POWER POLITICS: MAKE YOURSELF HEARD (changed to this date). Dutton's Books, 11975 San Vicente Boulevard, Los Angeles 90049 (Brentwood) Duttons is on the North side of the street basically between Montana & Bundy with parking in the back (essential information for us Southern Californians!) I am between World Series games and only competing with Monday night football,... but you'd rather hear me wouldn't you? And, I hope to have a lot of flyers on other politically active groups there for you to know about!

b. TUESDAY, OCTOBER 17th (tentative) at 4:00 PM, VILLAGE BOOKS, Pacific Palisades, CA (Palisades location to be announced and date confirmed). We are tentatively planning a booksigning and event with the local high and middle schools, the local political party offices and other political groups as we gather to talk about issues, empowerment and watch and comment on the debate. This is the last presidential debate and we're eager to listen to real teen voices, options for change and debate watch together for this town hall event, the one debate that Youth Vote 2000 hopes to energize with youth issues. Do you know that over 77 percent of registered voters say they support making young adults the focus of one of the three official presidential debates according to a year long survey?

c. FRIDAY, OCTOBER 6th (to be confirmed): The Edge with Paula Zahn (Fox News CABLE - NOT Fox TV - for all my friends and relatives who kept looking for me on "The Simpsons" instead of live from the DNC on Fox News in August!)

d. Cynthia Leitich Smith, a great children's writer (and also a lapsed lawyer ... there's many of us!), has a wonderful resource website for children's literature and an interview with me is up now.

e. And remember to use my article on "Voting 101", now up on Chick - now one of my favorite sites for a breezy but substantial take on the issues, especially of young women. And to come (turned in today and up in a couple of weeks), a quickie on the Electoral College (ask me anything about the Electoral College... I know it all for at least a couple of days - and it's already in my book!).



This is a historically close race and how the candidates do and what they talk about in the debates may alter the direction of the campaigns. You don't want to miss them!

a. Presidential Debates -- all broadcast live @ 9pm Eastern time. 1st -- October 3 (Tuesday), Boston, MASS 2nd -- October 11 (Wednesday), Winston-Salem, NC (Why I changed my Dutton's signing!) 3rd -- October 17th (Tuesday), St. Louis, MISS Vice-Presidential Debate: Thursday, Oct. 5 -- 9pm Eastern time -- Danville, KY a, DEBATE FORMAT HISTORIC!

From Excite News: "Gore, Bush Agree on Presidential Debate Formats" September 16, 2000 (Reuters) - Representatives for U.S. presidential candidates Democrat Al Gore and Republican George W. Bush agreed on Saturday to three distinct formats for their upcoming debates, with the same moderator presiding over each face-off.

In the first debate, to be held on Oct. 3 at the University of Massachusetts in Boston, the candidates will stand at podiums in the conventional style, the bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates said in a statement. The moderator for this and the other two presidential debates will be public television's Jim Lehrer, anchor of PBS's "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" show.

But in a break with tradition, in the Oct. 11 and Oct. 17 sessions, Gore and Bush will be seated at a table with Lehrer in talk-show style. In the final debate, the format will be a town hall, with the audience allowed to ask the candidates questions. Each debate will be 90 minutes long, and each will start at 9 p.m. Eastern time."

b. FORMAL INFO ABOUT THE DEBATES and ideas for debate watch, check out the site of the Commission on Presidential Debates at

c. FOR BASEBALL FANS who are worried they might miss that 8th Inning tie-breaker: check out the article: "Viewers' debate: Baseball or politics? Hometown fans may balk at watching candidates" . And come on, it's ONLY the Championship Series and you can miss a game or two can't you????

After all, with all the sky boxes and perks of baseball you now need to shell out so much cash for, you might want to check out who could be leading the country and determining your economic future for the next four years? And you will still have the World Series free and clear!

d. FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN A DISCUSSION OF OPEN DEBATES WITH THIRD PARTY CANDIDATES (Nader, et. al.) look at but... remember to use critical thinking tools on many of these sites! e.

****REMEMBER THAT THE YOUTH VOTE 2000 COALITION **** is planning a large rally and debate watch in Boston on October 3rd and to have youth voices and issues presented at the last (October 17) debate -the town hall format. Again, AND .....

f. Just in from Youth Vote 2000: "Rate the October 3rd Presidential Debate with the 'Youth Meter' "! September 25, 2000 - Youth Vote 2000 and have teamed up to offer a "National Youth Meter" that will invite an unprecedented number of young people to offer simultaneous, moment-by-moment feedback on reactions to the presidential and vice-presidential debates. "The National Youth Meter" will be unveiled for the first time beginning with the October 3rd encounter in Boston between the Republican and Democratic candidates.


g. Also, check out the WebWhite & Blue 2000 PRESIDENTIAL ROLLING CYBER DEBATE, available across 17 of the largest Internet sites (including, America Online, CNN's, Excite,,, Microsoft/MSN,,'s Choose or Lose,,,, Oxygen Media, PBS Online,,'s OnPolitics, Yahoo!) and directly from

Capable of including third party presidential candidates, this daily exchange "will feature each campaign's 'Message of the Day,' and their responses to a 'Question of the Day' asked by Internet visitors via the network. In addition, each campaign's message and question response may be rebutted by any of the participating campaigns. The answers to the message and question of the day content can consist of any combination of text, video, and audio."


A group to know about: SISTERS IN ACTION FOR POWER in Portland, Oregon. Amara Perez, Director 1732 NE Alberta, Portland, OR 97211 ph: (503) 331-1244 fax: (503) 331-1287 e-mail:

When Portland trashed its free high school "yellow bus", it substantially affected the ability of many students, especially low-income, to get to school. The Sisters in Action for Power, young women of color and low-income in leadership programs, conducted door-to-door surveys and found a dramatic increase in student absenteeism caused by this transportation cutback.

The young women met with the transit authorities, testified before the board and successfully debated the complex issues of transportation, economics, the environment and how this all affected students' opportunity to an education. They've been at this for three years now.

What they have accomplished so far: an agreement by the Portland Tri-Met to subsidize free rides to and from school for those students who qualify for free or reduced school lunches. But they are not through yet. The campaign is still fighting for free transit for all high school students and with the way they're going, watch out!

Check out TEEN POWER POLITICS and my website, where there are other incredible examples of youth who have persisted and made change that benefits not only themselves but their community.


Rap The Vote 2000 is a grassroots media initiative to mobilize the hip-hop community to vote. It is co-sponsored by, Rock The Vote, and the Active Element Foundation. Working to bring ordinary people back into politics, MoveOn is building electronic advocacy groups and online issue forums. Their newest campaign: Pledge to vote at and send your pledge to all of your friends to encourage them to do the same.

Voter registration is almost finished so do this soon and then GOTV (Get Out The Vote).

Pop and Politics Farai Chideya is an incredible professional journalist, activist, author and thoroughly engaging young woman. Her website, as well as her books, are direct and thoughtful analyses of our society. Check out her website for current news, articles and links to stay well informed today.

Generation Net Another strong participant in ensuring that legislators who want youth votes will have to respond to what youth says it wants - as long as it's heard! The second stage - grassroots action - begins now, during election season. Generation Net will focus its campaign on one to three top issues chosen democratically by its youth members.


I'll get into this more in subsequent newsletters, but one of the main things we want to do: use our critical thinking tools and apply them to ads, candidate spots and whatever we use to decide whether we want to do something or make a choice. Ensure that the decisions you make are yours and are not influenced by the various sophisticated methods used to appeal to your bias. Check out my chapter on media literacy in TPP and on my website, but also look at the Center for Media Literacy (Los Angeles) site, the "Election Connection" .

Helpful whether or not you're in education (I'm not). And, connects you to great links.

Worth noting: The "30-Second Candidate", a rebroadcast of the l998 PBS show (airing again this October 6 at 10pm EDT) which explores what goes into making a candidate's 30-second spot.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. If you have any sites, examples or thoughts you'd like me to research or share with others on my list or add to the website, please let me know. I intend to speak to youth issues a great deal in the next few months at least and I welcome all of your input.

Check out my website It was written as a guide and a tool for activism.

Sara Jane Boyers