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Update from the Golden State


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By Ariel Boone

Since our last update, Young Invincibles has been realizing its dreams of westward expansion. California’s team has grown to a staff of eight, now including the California Policy and Research Director, Linda Leu, and me.  Three weeks ago, I started as the California Policy and Organizing Manager, joining the all-star team who opened the sunny Los Angeles office.

 Los Angeles Office

In May, Organizing and Communications Fellow Ben got the pleasure of turning the keys on our new digs.

ben keys

Some people wait a lifetime for a moment like this.

Health Fairs

Alongside our faith in social media, Young Invincibles knows that taking root in our CA communities sometimes means putting our boots on the ground where people seek advice.  We’ve offered resources and reached community members at WeConnect health fairs in Riverside, Sacramento, Bakersfield, and soon, San Diego.  Below, CA Communications Coordinator Adriana, CA Outreach Coordinator Aurora, and Ben at a health fair in May.

bakersfield fair

This booth was made for talking…

Netroots Nation

The third week of June, Adriana, Maria, and I drove to San Jose, CA for Netroots Nation 2013.  My inner nerd had dreamed of attending for years – it’s an annual conference about organizations and individuals using data and digital tools in smart ways.  It was like a high school reunion of every campaign I’ve ever worked on, every issue I’ve ever cared about, and every organization whose petition I’ve ever signed.

ariel nn

We were the cool kids table in the proverbial cafeteria.

maria nn

CA Outreach Coordinator Maria handled the Wheel…of…Millenial Misfortune!

Focus Groups

Young Invincibles continues to test our mobile app with communities across the Los Angeles area – young adults deserve an easy-to-use tool to get care and medical services, and give the best feedback on their wish list.  Every focus group raises thoughtful questions about the barriers young adults currently face in seeking care, which we then tailor to our presentations and training of other organizations.

maria focus

Maria’s group in June at the St. John’s Medical Center, in South LA, is definitely focused.

Community Events

Power 106 paired with Young Invincibles and Care1st to educate Californians about their health care options with the new marketplace opening October 1st. The response was overwhelming.

power 106

We were more popular than ice cream on a sunny day.

Student Loans

On June 10, 2013, Young Invincibles participated in a press conference hosted by Congress members Judy Chu (CA-27) and Adam Schiff (CA-28). California Director Tamika Butler spoke alongside student leaders and community college Presidents at the event, urging Congress to act before July 1st to keep federal student loan rates from doubling from 3.4% to 6.8%. We’re still working on keeping to keep student loan debt down and we are not going anywhere.

congress

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears… and cap my borrowing rate to ensure my repayment won’t stop me from having a family, making a life, and finding a good job!

Yay Area

After the opening of our Bay Area office in August, Northern California denizens will hear more voices and strong opinions from Young Invincibles in health care, higher education, and jobs conversations in the upper half of the state.  We are eager to get started, and can’t wait to be closer not only to decision makers in Sacramento, but also to vulnerable communities in NorCal.  Linda and I are both Bay Area locals, and if you are, too, we hope to work with you soon!