By Michael Kapp

Young people are rising up across the country in powerful ways to effect change. As a young Democrat, I’m proud of what our generation has accomplished through grassroots activism since the 2016 presidential election. But our fight is far from over. In fact, we are just beginning.

To truly make change happen, we must all turn out to vote for Democrats on November 6.

In 2018, Democratic candidates and elected officials aren’t taking the youth vote for granted — Democrats have been with us in the trenches fighting for reproductive rights, decrying the separation of families at the border, and demanding action on gun violence, climate change, and student loan reform. The Democratic Party shares our values, welcomes young people into their winning coalition, and supports candidates from our generation.

As a young person on the new DNC, I have seen firsthand how Democrats are working tirelessly to empower young leaders to transform our generation’s energy and activism into votes for positive change. The DNC has invested in the College Democrats of America to support their efforts to mobilize college students on every campus. Under DNC Chair Tom Perez’s leadership, we have instituted paid internships at the DNC for the first time ever, demonstrating our shared passion for expanding opportunities for young people of all backgrounds. The DNC has also made unprecedented investments in developing authentic connections with youth across the country through the launch of innovative programs like the New Blue Crew and IWillVote.

The DNC’s New Blue Crew initiative recruits youth volunteer leaders to organize and engage college-aged voters in order to elect Democrats at every level, from local city races to Congress, in every corner of our country. In less than two months, we have expanded our reach to 33 states, recruited nearly 400 squad captains, and held voter registration drives on more than 150 campuses on National Voter Registration Day alone. And in addition to the national voter registration push, in the final 31 days of the 2018 election cycle, New Blue Crew is visiting campuses in 21 states across the country to host and support early vote and GOTV efforts. We are building the pipeline for long-term organizing success.

In partnership with youth engagement groups like Future Forum, College Democrats of America, and High School Democrats of America, we launched IWillVote — an unprecedented campaign with an ultimate goal of reaching 50 million voters before the midterm elections. It represents a major commitment by the DNC to engage, educate, and mobilize young voters in 2018 and beyond.

The DNC also supports the Democratic members of our generation who are running for office through our investment programs like Every ZIP Code Counts and the State Party Innovation Fund, both of which infuse money into state parties across the country to support local organizing efforts. If elected, Democratic congressional candidates Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York and Abby Finkenauer in Iowa will be the youngest congresswomen ever. Will Haskell, the Obama-endorsed millennial vying for a seat in the Connecticut state Senate, began his run for the Democratic nomination while still a senior at Georgetown. All of these candidates — and more — have committed to use their power and our generation’s life experiences to create better outcomes for all Americans.

These campaigns and the DNC’s investments aim to activate more young leaders, and they demonstrate the Democrats’ renewed commitment to earning our vote.

Simply put, Democrats share our generation’s values — we stand united on the biggest challenges we face today. On global issues like climate change, we are leading the charge for cleaner, greener energy and a healthier planet. On student issues like paying for college, we are calling for expanded access to quality, affordable education for all. On deeply personal issues such as the ongoing struggle for full equality, we fight side by side to protect everyone’s rights — no matter the color of your skin, your gender, your faith, or who you love.

Time after time, Democrats have fought for us, marched with us, and empowered us. On November 6, young Americans have a choice: we can either vote and be the margin of victory, or our inaction will be the cause of our defeat. In this historic election, we have to fight for the issues we care about.

We must act, and our course is clear: a vote for the Democratic ticket is a vote for our shared values. Join me in rising up and voting on November 6.

Michael Kapp is a Young Democrat, a DNC Member from California, and chair of the DNC’s Youth Council.