African American Voter Registration, Education, & Participation Project

Increasing African American and urban voter registration, education, and participation through outreach to targeted communities in California. We've registered over 200,000 voters and counting since 2002!

First-Time Voter Excited to Cast Her Ballot

With the presidential and statewide elections approaching, young voters are eager to make their voices heard on issues of importance.  First-time voter Jaylyn “Sunny” Ransom describes her enthusiasm for the opportunity to make a difference.

In 2008, during President Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign, I remember my father emphasizing the importance of the election and the next election to come. He was even interviewed by Channel 4 News while standing in line at the voting polls on Election Day. As a fourteen-year-old high school freshman, all I knew about the campaign was “Change,” but I was still ecstatic that there was finally an African-American soaring towards the White House. Now I am just as ecstatic about this upcoming Election Day as my father was four years ago, during his interview with Channel 4 News. I am excited that now I am eighteen years old, a college freshman majoring in Political Science, and eligible to vote.


Sometimes we focus too much on what young people are not doing, and we overlook their civic work and good deeds. Young people are working to make sure their peers are registered to vote and educated on the statewide propositions.


As a matter of fact, I encouraged at least 90% of my peers who were not registered to vote to get active immediately by registering. To date, 80% of that 90% are now registered to vote. My enthusiasm about this upcoming election has not stopped there. I have begun distributing voter registration forms to eligible people in urban communities who failed to register.


The importance of this upcoming election is critical.  It will determine the direction of our country and, more specifically, our economy. Overall, my generation, just like all young Americans, must realize we are the ones who will be affected the most by future decisions made during the next presidential term. So let’s get proactive!”


Editor’s Note:

Jaylyn’s efforts to encourage her friends and local neighborhoods to register to vote are commendable. In taking her lead, let us all do our part to prepare ourselves, family, friends, and neighbors for Nov. 6.


Jaylyn “Sunny” Ransom is native Angeleno from the Leimert Park area. She is currently a Political Science Major at UC Davis and a member of the Black Los Angeles Young Democrats (BLAYD). You can learn more about BLAYD at