• Press Release

March For Our Lives Begins Mobilizing Young People in the 2024 Election with Senate Youth Town Hall in California

At our first national event of the 2024 election cycle, March For Our Lives organizers held candidates’ feet to the fire

Audience during the CA Senate Town Hall.

LOS ANGELES, CA — Yesterday, September 8th, in partnership with People’s Town Hall and SoCal Crossroads, March For Our Lives hosted a town hall filled with over a hundred people, with Rep. Katie Porter, Rep. Barbara Lee, Rep. Adam Schiff, and Lexi Reese, candidates vying for California’s Senate seat following Sen. Feinstein’s retirement. March For Our Lives activists organized the town hall to call on the candidates to lay out clearly where they stood on the issues, specifically how they would tackle gun violence, police violence, protect our schools, and to share how they would be a fighter for young people in the Senate. From Biden’s re-election campaign to state and local races across the country, it’s clear that gun violence is the top issue campaigns are focusing on in 2024, and is a driving issue for young voters.

Since our founding in 2018, March For Our Lives has become the largest youth movement in the nation – continuing to prove that young people are a force to be reckoned with and won’t stop fighting for a future free of gun violence. After tipping the balance in the last three election cycles with powerful, award-winning campaigns that mobilized millions of voters and broke records for youth voter turnout, March For Our Lives is poised to once again play a critical role in the 2024 election.

“Count us out at your own risk,” said David Hogg, March For Our Lives Co-Founder and Board member who closed the town hall on Friday. “Gun violence is the single greatest threat to young people’s lives in America. The gun lobby and their merchants of death have bought far too many politicians in DC who are willing to do their bidding. We need a fighter who will stand up to them and fight vociferously for our lives. The scale of the gun violence crisis means that our friends on Capitol Hill have to be like bulldogs, fighting loudly and consistently for our lives. We deserve nothing less. I was pleased to see the candidates who came today show such strong conviction, and I’m hopeful California will send a real leader to the Senate who will fight gun violence tooth and nail.”

“It’s refreshing to hear candidates compete with one another to show just how strong they are on the issue. I’ve been fighting for gun safety for the last ten years, and it wasn’t always this way,” said Natalie Fall, Executive Director of March For Our Lives. “For many years, even politicians on the left saw guns as a third-rail issue. That’s no more. Our polls show that having a strong position on gun safety is one of the single strongest predictors of youth support for a candidate, and that happened because Gen Z has stood up since the March For Our Lives in 2018 and said enough. Now, young people are making the margins of victory in tight primaries and generals across the country. Politicians can’t afford to be weak on gun safety anymore.”

March For Our Lives organizers celebrated a powerful victory this week after months of dogged activism with the passage of A.B. 28, which would tax firearms to fund community violence intervention programs—putting the societal burden of deadly weapons on the manufacturers and sellers who make them, for the first time. But more needs to be done, as recent shootings at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and yet another racist shooting, this time in Jacksonville, underscore the urgent need for change.

“It’s bittersweet. I was up in Sacramento a few weeks ago lobbying for a gun safety bill, and we won it. California has been leading the nation in gun safety. But we’re only as strong as our federal laws are,” said Nick Nyein, an incoming freshman at UCLA and organizer with March For Our Lives. “We still experience gun violence, and there are still cracks in our safety net. When a racist shooting happens in Jacksonville, or Atlanta, or Buffalo, or a school is attacked in Texas or Michigan, that scares me. I want to be able to live freely and safely anywhere in the country. And we’re not there yet. I’m glad the candidates heard from us today because they need to take this message to Washington. Young people are desperate to feel safe.”