Levi Strauss & Co. continues to engage the electorate.
As part of its just launched nonpartisan voter registration initiative at more than 150 community colleges in 40 states, the apparel giant led onsite activations on Tuesday, National Voter Registration Day, at Miami Dade Community College in Florida and Austin Community College District in Texas to register and inspire students to vote in the upcoming midterm elections. The two on-campus campaigns were executed in partnership with Engage Miami, MOVE Texas and Pizza to the Polls, three nonprofits dedicated to increasing voter registration. Pizza to the Polls also delivered food on more than 30 additional community college campuses today.
The two enlistment drives and Levi’s broader commitment to support voter registration efforts at community colleges in partnership with Campus Takeover and the Student Learn Students Vote coalition are meant to complement the company’s extant efforts to reduce obstacles to voting through public awareness campaigns, employee and corporate engagement, advocacy and support focused on nonprofits led by people of color and leaders working to advance equity.
“To get the next generation more involved in civic engagement and rebuild our democracy from the ground up, we need to reach everyone we can to get voters registered and engaged,” said Chip Bergh, CEO of Levi Strauss & Co. “Our democracy can only thrive if every eligible voter has an equal chance to participate. As midterm elections approach, Levi Strauss & Co. and the Levi’s brand are once again doing our part by teaming up with experienced voter engagement organizations to ensure every eligible voter has the resources and support they need to make their voices heard at the polls.”
According to a 2020 study released by the American Association of Community Colleges, community colleges account for just over 40 percent of U.S. undergraduates but historically see lower voter registration and voting rates than four-year universities.
“Community colleges are home to some of the most diverse and representative student populations,” said Clarissa Unger, co-founder and executive director, the Students Learn Students Vote coalition. “When community college students mobilize around elections and engage with our democracy, they drive community-wide change and we all benefit from the more vibrant electorate they create.”
“To get the next generation more involved in civic engagement and rebuild our democracy from the ground up, we need to reach everyone we can to get voters registered and engaged,” said Rebecca Pelham, executive director of Engage Miami. “Partnerships like these mean we can invest in civic holidays like National Voter Registration Day and reach every student and potential voter so they know their voices and communities matter.”
“At MOVE Texas, we believe that young people are the moment and the movement, and that registering to vote is the first step in engaging young people in all aspects of the political process,” said Claudia Yoli Ferla, Executive Director at MOVE Texas. “We are incredibly excited about our partnership with Levi Strauss & Co. for our favorite civic holiday, National Voter Registration Day. With their incredible support, we are investing in the leadership of young people and building the power it takes to influence elections, legislation, and policies at every level of government.”
In addition to the aforementioned nonprofits, Levi Strauss is working with ACLU Voting Rights Project, Civic Alliance, Citizens and Scholars, Hunger Free America and Houston Justice to boost voter registration and participation this year.
The company is also continuing previously launched initiatives such as offering its employees, including retail store workers, paid time off to vote. Its voter engagement program, which aims to enable employees to easily register to vote and find their polling places, volunteer at voter registration drives (through a partnership with the non-partisan organization Headcount) and serve as poll workers on Election Day remains in place as well.
Levi Strauss is a co-founder of Time to Vote, a four-year-old nonpartisan coalition of nearly 2,000 companies committed to guaranteeing that their employees have work schedules that allow them time to vote.
While these efforts and participating partners are officially nonpartisan, Levi Strauss has made no secret in the past that it leans left and supports gun control and other hot button political and societal issues.