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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Youth in Politics in the United States Foreign Tour

June 10, 2012


State Dept Image/Jun 18, 2012/Houston, Texas
Date: 06/18/2012 Location: Houston, Texas Description: Herlinda Garcia, Director of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) speaks with foreign journalists, part of the Foreign Press Center's Youth and Politics Tour - State Dept Image

June 10 - 20, 2012; Washington, DC; Austin and Houston, Texas
Contacts:  Washington Foreign Press Center Media Relations Officers:  Doris Robinson, 202-504-6353, email: robinsondm2@state.gov; and Andrew Lewis, 202-504-6321; New York Foreign Press Center Media Relations Officer Melissa Waheibi, 646-282-2835, email: waheibimn@state.gov

The Foreign Press Center kicked off one of its largest foreign reporting tours, with 32 journalists, exploring, examining, and reporting on the youth vote in the 2012 U.S. elections.  The tour, which follows Secretary Clinton's Tunis address announcing a U.S. commitment to end the marginalization of young people's needs and concerns, took journalists to Washington, DC and Texas to examine the role of young people in American politics and economics.

In Washington, journalists were briefed by a U.S. State Department official and experts from the Pew Research Center, Rock the VOTE, Center for American Progress' Campus Progress Initiative and the national College Republicans which provided the informational foundation needed by the journalists as the program unfolded.

After Washington, the journalists journeyed to Austin, Texas where the tour focused on youth empowerment and civic education.  Reporters met with academic and political experts at the University of Texas-Austin; they visited  a campaign academy run by Texas State Representative Mark Strama (D) where they witnessed first-hand some of the get-out-the-vote efforts by high-school and college-aged students; and also met with Texas Tribune reporter who discussed the ins and outs of covering election campaigns.

In Houston, journalists visited the Office of the Harris County Clerk, where they were briefed on the voting process, how the county provided voter information in multiple languages as well as the pros and cons of the Texas new voter ID law.  They also visited local Democratic campaign office; and had discussions with the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and the Republican Hispanic Citizens in Action, a Houston-area Republican advocacy group.