True the Vote’s annual summit is known for having amazing speakers. From Andrew Breitbart to CL Bryant, summit attendees are accustomed to being dazzled and educated on issues pertaining to the safeguarding of election integrity. This year’s summit was emblematic of a needed change in conservative grassroots: young people being invited to share their perspectives with the attendees from the center stage of major events.
Bethany Bowra (pictured, right), the 16-year-old founder of NextGenerationVoters.com who gave the commencement prayer at CPAC 2013, and Tanner Brumbarger (left), the teen who started the HighSchoolConservative.com, took the stage near the closing of True the Vote’s summit and shared their perspectives to a full house.
Both speakers shared their views on how to invigorate their peers to stand up for the integrity of America’s election systems. They both felt that a lack of awareness and outreach played a significant role in why more young people do not get involved with conservative causes in general, including safeguarding election systems.
“Any victory today is only temporary unless there are young people there to carry it on past the current generation,” said Bowra. She continued, “It’s important to listen to the opinions of young people and take their thoughts into consideration.”
Both Brumbarger and Bowra agreed that some in leadership see and treat young people as though they exist primarily for assistant roles and not to contribute to the counsel of movement decision-makers. “We have opinions and can do more than just tech support,” said Bowra.
The importance of social media in the lives of young voters and soon-to-be voters was discussed at length by both speakers. “Our generation uses social media 30 hours per week on average,” said Brumbarger. Bowra went further and expressed a desire for older people in the movement to “take advantage of youth prowess on social media.”
Catherine Engelbrecht, True the Vote’s founder and president, said “having these young leaders here has added significant value to our summit and our movement to ensure election integrity.” She went further and stated, “Realizing just how well these young patriots understand social media reminded me of hearing Christian Adams discuss election integrity law. They are truly experts in sharing information through social media and older generations should take time to listen to their valuable perspectives.”
Brumbarger and Bowra received standing ovations at the conclusions of their speeches.
Photo: Brandon Darby/Breitbart News