Democrats Use Nonpartisanship to Increase Political Engagement


BY: Yasmine Malone | July 3, 2024

Clarksdale, Mississippi – The Coahoma County Democratic Party is gearing up for the upcoming campaign season by engaging young voters.

Ray Sykes, the is the leader of the YOUTH COALITION, who oversees the mission and actions of the local Democratic party. When asked about the current state of affairs for the party, Sykes emphasized the importance of increasing political engagement. He noted that this would be one of the biggest challenges for candidates in Mississippi, given the state’s historically low voter turnout, which hinders equitable representation in politics.

To address this issue, the Coahoma County Democratic Executive Committee has devised strategies to boost voter engagement. One significant plan is to reserve the six at-large positions for representatives of younger voices. This initiative aims to provide easier access for those interested in learning and participating in the political process.

Another strategy involves the formation of a Coahoma Youth Coalition, which will conduct nonpartisan programming to alleviate young voters’ stigmas about the socio-political climate. This initiative is modeled after the Neshoba Youth Coalition, which has successfully fostered a positive social atmosphere and promoted nonpartisan political engagement in Neshoba County. By supporting community events, sharing educational materials, and building relationships, the Neshoba Youth Coalition has decreased polarization in local leadership. Consequently, politicians have been able to work more effectively for their constituents and collaborate across party lines.

The Coahoma County Democratic Party hopes that by creating nonpartisan programming, it can champion equity, fairness, and social engagement in politics. This approach aims to establish direct communication pathways between young voters and political leaders.

As the campaign season progresses, it will be interesting to see how these initiatives play out in practice for Coahoma County.

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