Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"The Democratic party is one big party!" -Delegate Donald Hughes

We camped out in Leela's MySpace Cafe again yesterday afternoon, and a few awesome delegates stopped by to visit us. We met with North Carolina Democratic delegates Jared Hagemann and Donald Hughes, and you'll never believe this-- they're only eighteen and twenty years old! We talked with them for a bit about their experiences so far at the DNC, why they wanted to be delegates, and what issues they're most passionate about.
Here are a few highlights from what they had to say--

Declare Yourself: What has been the best part of being a delegate here at the DNC?
Jared: Definitely hearing all of these different stories. I'll just be talking to someone in the center and they'll end up being a state senator.
Donald: ...Meeting so many of our nation's leaders... It's an amazing experience.

DY: As you probably know, most delegates are much older. What's it like being so young in the midst of a higher age group, and what were your personal reasons for running to be a North Carolina delegate?
Jared: I wanted to be a delegate because I wanted to open the door to politics for my generation. This is going to be a historical election and it's a great one to be a part of. Also, our generation will pay for the mistakes of our administrations and legislations-- it's our job to do what we can to fix that.
Donald: [As for] the older delegates, they give us so much advice, they're so willing to help us out and teach what they have learned from experience. We've learned so much from them.

: What's your top issue in politics? What are you most passionate or concerned about?
Donald: Education by far.. I believe there is an incredible lack of resources and support for higher education from the federal government. Obama has plans to change that by offering credit for students who complete community service.

Well thanks guys, for taking the time to talk to Declare Yourself and sharing with us and our fans! Enjoy the convention!

Jacquie & Hope
DY Interns

So much going on, so little time...

So it seems that celebs are pouring into town today either for Obama's speech tomorrow or just to experience the immense energy of the DNC! And, lucky for me, they seem to be heading straight to our MySpace Cafes! From Eva Longoria hanging out at the Corner Office to a Kirsten Dunst sighting at the one and only Leelas, I feel like I'm walking down Sunset Boulevard!  This morning I even got the chance to hang out at the Starz Lounge to hear and our own executive director, Marc Morgenstern, discuss the influence of viral videos (video clips that gain widespread popularity through internet sharing)., who created the viral video, Yes We Can, focused on how he wants to change the world of politics today through his own video and celebrity influence. "I'm inspired to make change," he said, "not jingly change, the other kind." Marc spoke of Declare Yourself's numerous viral videos and talked about the PSA Zac Efron exclusively filmed with Declare Yourself. (Check it out just a few posts below...) Zac's influence on the 18-24 year old demographic is huge and is certainly helping us register more young voters.

Well that's all for now! And don't forget, we're still here at Leela's (15th and Stout) so come stop by! FREE DY BUTTONS/PINS/WATER BOTTLES!!

DY Intern

Eva Longoria

stopped by one of our MySpace/Declare Yourself/Voto Latino internet cafes!

On the Floor of the DNC

Last night was so surreal for the DY team! We had passes to be on the floor of the DNC where we mingled with delegates, celebrities, governors, senators, and Anderson Cooper!

Virginia Senator Mark Warner was the Keynote speaker last night, preceding Hillary's speech, but I think Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer completely stole the show in terms of opening acts. He was engaging and charismatic and spoke and looked so natural on keep your eyes open for him in the future. Check out his speech below:

Here are some more pictures from the floor....full Hillary analysis to come soon....

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Declaration of Independence at 15th & Stout!

This morning, an original copy of the Declaration of Independence, dated 1776, was up for view in MySpace's Cafe on 15th and Stout (Leela's European Cafe). There are only 25 existing original copies, and we have one of them!

We had a bunch of visitors come by and check it out, taking advantage of this awesome opportunity to see an actual copy of the DECLARATION!. One man noted, "It's one thing to read Jefferson's words from a book and be inspired, but to actually see an original copy right before your eyes is a completely unique experience."

The declaration has been traveling around the Convention, making appearances in various locations- if you're around, try to sneak a peek!

See you around!,
Jacquie & Hope
DY Interns

Declare Yourself Street Party

If we were playing that word association game, and you said DNC, I would respond with CREDENTIALS! To get in anywhere here you need credentials of some sort. Our response to that is..... a street party!

Declare Yourself and sponsor Cricket Wireless have a party on the go! We have a van, projection screen and travelin DJ...and you dont need a credential! We plan on being stationed outside the Jet Hotel and lounge on Wazee and 16th in downtown Denver....until The Man makes us move ;)

Already got a party to go to? During the day we will be at the MySpace Internet cafe at Leela's on 15th and Stout. Free internet and a place to charge your phone, plus amazing food, great people watching, and a wonderful manager, Sadie!

These stats aren't boring...

Hey, just thought you guys might be interested in this! Check out a few stats on youth voting in America:

-The 2004 elections marked the largest increase in young voter turnout since 1972.
-In 2004, 81.6% of young registered voters turned out to vote.
-14% of DNC delegates are under age 36. The youngest, (from Minnesota,) is only 17 years old.
-Voters ages 18-29 made up 21% of the electorate in 2006.
-6.5 million voters under the age of 30 participated in the 2008 presidential primaries and caucuses.
-Only about 25% of the younger population eligible to vote actually votes.
-Declare Yourself has registered almost 500,000 voters.

Just thought you guys might be interested, comment if you have any questions!


(Statistics found on and

Day two in Denver!

Well, it's our second day in Denver and we're a little tired from yesterday's many events! After finishing up at Leela's on 15th and Stout, we rushed to the nearest TV to catch Michelle Obama's speech at the Pepsi Center. Michelle pointed out the similarities between she and Barack's upbringings. She focused on the importance of unity in our country, using her own familial life as a prime example. She mentioned the guiding influence of her older brother, Craig Robinson, who introduced her at the convention. She concluded her remarks with the statement, "All of us are driven by a simple belief that the world as it is just won't do - that we have an obligation to fight for the world as it should be." (To Check out more on the speech head to!)

After Michelle's powerful speech,  we totally felt an energetic vibe floating around Denver. The street was FILLED with crowds and crowds of people ready to have a good time (us among them). Attempting to fit as much as we could into one night, we taxied over to the Ogden theater and jammed to the sounds of Robert Randolph and the Family Band. After hearing a few songs, we headed to the powerhouse of NERD and Fall Out Boy (Pretty sick...). But after a long day of registering, two concerts in one night was enough for us and we headed off to bed... only to hear that tonight we have passes to listen to Hillary speak at the Pepsi Center! 
We'll blog more on that later....time to register more voters! Oh, but before we forget, check out Zac Efron's new PSA he made just for us! (It's a couple posts below!)

Hope & Jacquie
DY Interns

Monday, August 25, 2008

DNC update

Well its the end of the day and we are exhausted! Our own Diana Nguyen spoke on the Lifetime Future Frontrunners panel earlier today alongside Faye Wattleton, president of the Center for the Advancementy for Women, Marie Wilson, president of the White House project. This blogger was hanging out at the MySpace internet cafes registering voters and making Zac Efron viral (see below).

Ted Kennedy and Michelle Obama spoke on the convention floor this evening and I am seriously depressed I didn't have convention floor passes for today! You can catch their speeches here: But I will definitely be at Hillary's tomorrow!

Besides all the events to go to here, there is plenty of swag to look at! There are Obama tee shirts and pins galore! There are even flip flop sandals and crazy stuffed dolls like the ones below. I cant decide what to buy....

While there were no tornados today there was a "mysterious" package found by the convention center. The bomb squad blew it up and fortunately it was a false alarm. The security here is incredibly I feel pretty safe...fingers crossed for the rest of the week!

Diana Nguyen

Me at the MySpace cafe

Obama Swag

Zac Efron VOTES!

High School Musical 3 star Zac Efron spent some time with us talking about why its important to vote. Here is a clip!

Zac Efron Declares Himself!


So it's finally here! Today officially kicked off the DNC! So much has been going on already. We started out this morning registering a bunch of voters at our two MySpace Cafes and continued throughout the day. For a quick break from registering, we ventured on over to Denver's Curtis Hotel (site of one of our MySpace cafes!) and listened to accomplished women in politics, ranging from the former president of Planned Parenthood to our own Diana Nguyen, discuss their paths to success in the political and non-profit world on Lifetime's Future Frontrunners' panel. We even sneaked in a little early and checked out Vermont's former governor Madeleine Kunin and Texas State Senator Leticia Van de Putte motivate young women to get involved in politics. But, for now, we'll be hanging out in Leela's Cafe on 15th & Stout St., registering voters and eating the MySpace Cafe's free candy! (We have free buttons and stickers, too- come get them!)

If you have any questions or just want to stop by to say hi, we'd love to see you!

Hope & Jacquie
DY Interns

Sunday, August 24, 2008


The Declare Yourself team has arrived at the DNC! And who was here to greet us? A TORNADO!! Seriously. There is currently a tornado 20 miles from the convention....things could get interesting.

Tornado or not, we will be blogging straight from the MySpace cafes in downtown Denver and the heart of the convention. We will also be attending various events including the Starz Pavillion, Lifetime Future Frontrunners panel, Hillary Clinton speeches, and of course, the Obama acceptance speech. Keep checking our blog for pictures and commentary! For upt to the minute updates, follow us on Twitter at

Also, thank you to all the volunteers who came out to CSUN for the voter registration drive with the cast of ABC Family's GREEK. Check out the pictures below, the PSAs on our website, and watch the season premiere Tuesday, Aug 26th, at 9pm!

Friday, August 22, 2008

DY at the DNC & RNC!

So if you've been wondering why the DY blog has been a bit sparse, its because we have been crazy busy preparing for the DNC and RNC! We are taking off this weekend and will be blogging as we go from the MySpace Internet Cafes. So keep checking back!

You can also follow us on Twitter!

Until's some new s for ya!

DNC Events

Really Young Delegates

Obama to pick VP (did you sign up for the text?)

Top 11 Conventions in US History

TV Networks reaching out to Young Voters

And check out this PSA from the cast of GREEK! See previous blog posts to find out how to meet them!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Where Were They When.....

CNN has posted some pretty decent life timelines on Senators McCain and Obama. You've studied the issues, now learn about their lives before they were presidential candidates!

Did you know McCain was born in the Panama Canal zone?

Did you know Obama spent two years at a Catholic School in Indonesia?

McCain Timeline

Obama Timeline

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Cast of ABC Family's GREEK to help register voters!

Declare Yourself and the cast of ABC Family's GREEK are joining forces to help register voters!

Cast members will be visiting Follett run bookstores across the US to register voters and promote season 2 of GREEK which premieres Tuesday, Aug. 26 at 9:00pm on ABC Family.

Below are the list of dates and schools the cast will be visiting. Want to get involved? You can volunteer with the cast and help them register voters by emailing

GREEK / Declare Yourself dates:
Aug 23 - Sat - Cal State Northridge
Aug 25 - Mon - Notre Dame
Sept 2 - Tue - Sacramento State Uni
Sept 5 - Fri - University of Oklahoma
Sept 8 - Mon - FLorida State
Sept 9 - Tue - Uni of Florida
Sept 16 - Tue - University of Georgia, Athens

We have a limited amount of spots so email ASAP!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Get Involved!

We have a bunch of on the ground voter registration events coming up over the next few weeks and with your help we can register hundreds!

If you are interested in any of the events below, email

Tuesday 20-Aug
Six Flags New Jersey
Katy Perry and Shwayze
Jackson Township, NJ

Saturday 23-Aug
Red, White, & Blue Summer Oasis
Malibu, CA

Saturday 23-Aug
ABC Family's GREEK Premiere Party
Cal State Northridge

Thursday 25-Aug
GREEK @ Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN

Sunday 31-Aug
Six Flags Over TexasKaty Perry Concert
Arlington, TX

Monday 1-Sept
Six Flags Fiesta TexasKaty Perry Concert
San Antonio, TX

Monday 2-Sept
GREEK @ Cal State Sacramento
Sacramento, CA

Friday 5-Sept
GREEK @ University of Oklahoma
Norman, OK

Tuesday 8-Sept
GREEK & Florida State
Tallahassee, FL

Wednesday 9-Sept
GREEK @ University of Florida
Gainesville, FL

Tuesday 16-Sept
GREEK @ Univeristy of Georgia Athens
Atlanta, Georgia

Thursday 18 - Sept
Los Angeles Urban League Young Professionals
Los Angeles, CA

Saturday 27-Sept
Historically Black College Football Game

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Registering Voters in Pittsburgh!

Declare Yourself traveled to Pittsburgh this past weekend to register voters at the New American Music Union Festival! With the help of some amazing volunteers from Pittsburgh, Declare Yourself registered over 260 people!

American Eagle Outfitters and Declare Yourself passed out over 500 of our VOTE t-shirts to those registering to vote at the concert as well as those who were already registered. During the event on Friday, local college bands wore our shirts to bring attention to the importance of registering every eighteen-year-old to vote!

Monday, August 11, 2008

What's New in the Race for VP?

1) Senator John McCain is campaigning through Pennsylvania with former governor and vice presidential contender Tom Ridge. Some believe that by choosing Ridge, McCain’s chances increase in the battleground state of Pennsylvania. However, Ridge is openly pro-choice, which has the potential to turn off segments of the Republican Party, some of whom already are having difficulties voting for McCain. Also, Ridge’s former position as Secretary of Homeland Security under the Bush administration may scare off independents who hope McCain will distance himself from Bush Republicanism and return to moderate conservatism.

2) Independent Senator, and close friend to McCain, Joseph Lieberman has been rumored to be on the presumptive Republican candidate’s short list for VP. While Lieberman continuously insists that a McCain-Lieberman ticket is never going to happen, an adviser to McCain tells the Financial Times that McCain “loves Lieberman” and that he’s on the short list because he has “never embarrassed anyone, never misspoken.” Advantages to picking Lieberman include the fact that he has already been vetted in the 2000 election and his pull with elderly Jewish voters. However, his influence in the Jewish community may not be enough for McCain, as the majority of Jews will still vote Democrat in November, not to mention that that pull is not enough to win the presidency. Picking Lieberman also would signal another disconnect between McCain and conservative voters, who believe Lieberman to be an Independent in name only. While he may support the war in Iraq, his voting record almost always falls in line with Senate Democrats.

3) Senator Barack Obama will reveal his Democratic VP choice via e-mail and text messages to supporters. Obama is currently on vacation in Hawaii with his family until August 15th, and with all eyes on the Olympics, political observers believe Obama to reveal his VP pick after the Olympics.

4) The theme for Wednesday night at the Democratic Convention has been released – national security and honoring veterans. Wednesday night happens to be the night on which the vice presidential candidate is scheduled to speak. Political observers are questioning if the theme gives any clues to whom Obama will pick as VP. Perhaps Obama will choose a running mate with a background in military affairs – like, Sen. Chuck Hagel or John Kerry.

The Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants 2 Want You to Register to Vote!

The Sisterhood's America Ferrera from the hit show Ugly Betty and Amber Tamblyn from Joan of Arcadia have teamed up to show their support for Declare Yourself and getting people registered to vote!

America Ferrera and Amber Tamblyn discuss the Declare Yourself book!

Watch David LaChapelle Declare Yourself PSA with Amber Tamblyn!

Check out this article about the youth vote!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Yung Berg for Young Voters

Chart topping rapper Yung Berg registered to vote this week on saying, "We can’t complain about change if we don’t get out there and vote. I'm exercising my rights now so my voice can be heard in this presidential race."

For the complete article, visit the MTV Newsroom.
Check out Yung Berg's new album, Look What You Made Me, hitting stores August 12th.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Declare Yourself Street Team in St. Louis!

So if you are reading our blog then you must have some curiosity about this years election....take that curiosity a step further and help us in our mission! We are traveling across the U.S. this summer working with music artists like Sean Kingston and Raven Symone, small screen talent like the cast of ABC Family's GREEK, and big screen talent like America Ferrera from Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2!

Join our DY street team and find out how you can become a part of the most exciting get out the vote campaign of 2008! Email now!

Check out DY street team members and Metromix St. Louis at the Six Flags St. Louis theme park from Tuesday, August 5th.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Offshore Drilling: Obama vs. McCain

With gas prices beginning to affect more and more aspects of American life, a recent research poll suggestsedthat 69% of the US population support some form of offshore drilling. But are the 2008 Presidential nominees’ potential solutions sounding increasingly similar?

While John McCain supported the offshore drilling of previously untapped oil reserves early on, Barack Obama advocated for research into alternative forms of energy such as biodiesel fuels. With gas prices beginning to affect food and consumer prices and showing no signs of slowing down, however, Obama has changed his stance and recently advocated for limited & “responsible” offshore drilling. The McCain campaign has correctly accused Obama of altering his position on the energy crisis, but Obama still contends that offshore drilling cannot be the whole solution. While offshore drilling would eventually increase the domestic supply of oil, the Presumptive Democratic nominee states that we would not see the benefits of new refineries for “at least seven years.” McCain has been steadfast in his support of offshore drilling.

Installment 2: The Republicans: Top Vice President Contenders

Charlie Crist (July 24, 1956)
- Governor of Florida
- Attended Wake Forrest University, and graduated from Florida State University and the Cumberland School of Law in Alabama

Lindsey Graham (July 9, 1955)
- Senator from South Carolina
- Graduated from University of South Carolina Columbia undergrad and law school

Mike Huckabee (August 24, 1955)
- Former Governor of Arkansas
- Graduated from Ouachita Baptist University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Bobby Jindal (June 10, 1971)
- Governor of Louisiana
- Graduated from Brown University and New College, Oxford

Joseph I. Lieberman (February 24, 1942)
- Senator from Connecticut
- Graduated from Yale University and Yale Law School

Tim Pawlenty (November 27, 1960)

- Governor of Minnesota
- Graduated from University of Minnesota and University of Minnesota Law School

Rob Portman (December 19, 1955)

-Former White House Budgets Director and former Congressman from Ohio
- Graduated from Dartmouth College and received a J.D from University of Michigan

Tom Ridge (August 27, 1945)
-Former Secretary of Homeland Security
- Graduated from Harvard College and the Dickinson School of Law
- Served in the Vietnam War

Mitt Romney (March 12, 1947)

- Former Governor of Massachusetts
- Attended Stanford University for two quarters, graduated from Brigham Young University and recieved a joint J.D/Masters of Business Administration from Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School

Mark Sanford (May 28, 1960)
- Governor of South Carolina
- Graduated from Furman University and received an MBA from Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia

John Thune (January 7, 1961)

- Senator from South Dakota
- Graduated from Biola University and received an MBA from University of South Dakota

Charlie Crist

Joe Lieberman

John Thune

Lindsey Graham

Mike Huckabee

Rob Portman

Tom Ridge

Mitt Romney

Mark Sanford

Bobby Jindal

Tim Pawlenty

Monday, August 4, 2008

Installment 1: The Democrats: Top Vice President Contenders

Evan Bayh (December 26, 1955)
- Senator from Indiana and once Indiana's youngest governor
- Graduated from Indiana
University Kelley School of Business and received his Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from the University of Virginia in 1981.

Joseph R. Biden Jr. (November 20, 1942)
- Senator from Delaware
-Graduated from the University of Delaware and Syracuse University
College of Law
- Chairma
n of the Committee on Foreign Relations

Hilary Clinton (October 26, 1947)
- Senator from New York
- Graduated from Wellesley College and Yale Law School

Chuck Hagel (October 4, 1946)
- Senat
or from Nebraska
- Graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and served in the Vietnam War

Tim Kaine (February 26, 1958)
- Governor of Virginia
- Graduated from the University of Missouri and Harvard Law School

Sam Nunn (September 8, 1938)
- Senato
r from Georgia
- Graduated from Georgia Tech and Emory University School of Law

Bill Richardson (November 15, 1947)
- Governor of New Mexico
- Graduated from Tufts University and Tufts University Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy

Kathleen Sebelius (May 15, 1948)
- Governor of Kansas
- Graduated from Trinity Washington University and University of Kansas

Hilary Clinton

Bill Richardson

Joe Biden

Tim Kaine

Sam Nunn

Evan Bayh

Kathleen Sebelius

Chuck Hagel

Today's Top Stories

1) Barack Obama called for tapping into our strategic oil reserves to provide relief from high gas prices. Today, he proposed selling 70 million barrels of oil, although he previously opposed using our strategic reserves.

2) Former President Bill Clinton revealed that while he does have regrets for his primary season comments, he is "not a racist." Clinton stated that, "I've never made a racist comment and I never attacked him [Obama] personally."

3) Senator Barack Obama said that delegates from Florida and Michigan should get a "full vote" at the Democratic Convention this month. Florida and Michigan, stripped of their delegates as a penalty for holding their primaries too early, have been the center of controversy since the primary season.

Friday, August 1, 2008

ANOTHER Declare Yourself Shoutout!

Nigel Lythgoe and Cat Deeley of So You Think You Can Dance gave Declare Yourself yet another shoutout last night on the show. Because of their mention last week, viewers for the Declare Yourself site increased by 400%!

Obama: The Next Paris?

John McCain's new ad compares Barack Obama to our two favorite tabloid friends: Paris Hilton and Britney Spears. The thirty-second ad begins with a crowd of people cheering on the presumptive democratic nominee, then quickly fades to two photos: one of Paris and one of Britney. The ad hopes to get the audience to see beyond Obama's celebrity status, and instead to look (and question) his leadership capabilities. What do you think about McCain's new ad?

'The Great American Voter Trek' Ends After 2,200 Miles!

Laramie, Wyoming (August 1, 2008) - The Great American Voter Trek ended today in Laramie, Wyoming after 2,200 miles of cycling spanning 47 days. The goal of the trip, which began in Vermont on June 16th, was to raise voter awareness prior to the November 4th general election.

By all accounts, the project was considered "a huge success." The cyclists, comprised of students representing a variety of Vermont universities and colleges, met with thousands of people throughout the ten states they traversed. They spoke to many city's mayors & councilmen and participated in six voter registration drives, registering people aged 17 to 60!

So why was the focus of this trek on voter registration? The US Census Bureau states that, of 197 million eligible Americans citizens, only 142 million are registered. And the voice of today's youth is even less represented. Only 60% of 18 to 29 year-olds are registered to vote and more than half of those do not make it out to the polls!

And why Vermont to Wyoming? Vermont was the first state to allow non-property owners the right to vote. Wyoming was the first state to grant women's suffrage. It is easy to forget how hard many people have fought (and are still fighting today) for the ballot.

To learn more about 'The Great Voter Trek', go to

Congratulations guys!