Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, World Wrestling Entertainment™ Join Forces to Register More Than 2 Million Voters
Hip-Hop Team Vote joins Smackdown Your Vote! to Undertake non-partisan “Two Million More in 2004” campaign
WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 22, 2003 – Russell Simmon’s Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN) today announced that its Hip-Hop Team Vote is joining with World Wrestling Entertainment’s Smackdown Your Vote! effort to undertake a non-partisan “Two Million More in 2004” campaign. The objective is to get two million more 18-to-30-year-olds to register and cast their votes in the 2004 Presidential election than did in the Presidential election of 2000. The effort includes the stretch objective to register 4 million new “Generation E” voters by November 2004.
The announcement was made by Russell Simmons, Chairman of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, and Vince McMahon, Chairman of WWE™, at a news conference this morning at the National Press Club. Also participating in the news conference were Honorary Smackdown Your Vote! Co-chair and WWE Superstar Bradshaw™, WWE Superstar Maven™, Rev. Run of Run-DMC, Youth Vote Coalition Executive Director Veronica Delagarza, Hip-Hop Summit Action Network President and CEO Benjamin Chavis, and WWE’s Smackdown Your Vote! Executive Director Gary Davis.
(From left to right: Gary Davis, Executive Director, “Smackdown Your Vote”, Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), WWE Superstar Bradshaw, Rev. Run, Dr. Benjamin Chavis, President/CEO Hip Hop Summit Action Network, Russell Simmons, Chairman Hip Hop Summit Action Network, Veronica DeLagarza, Executive Director, Youth Vote Coalition, Vince McMahon, Chairman, World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., WWE Superstar Maven.)
McMahon said WWE’s introduction of Smackdown Your Vote! at the national political conventions in 2000 caught the attention of potential younger voters, more than 150,000 of whom registered to vote after the campaign kicked-off in July 2000. “Both WWE and Hip-Hop appeal to a broad cross-section of young Americans I can only imagine what the combination of
sports entertainment and Hip-Hop will do to attract the interest of younger voters in the 2004 elections now that we have several months in which to reach them,” McMahon said. “Who will these young people vote for? I would urge all the political parties and candidates to take the 18-to-30-year-old vote seriously in 2004.”
Simmons said Hip-Hop and WWE make a powerful combination. “Hip-Hop is redefining America, and youth today see themselves as Generation E. Generation E is the generation of empowerment, excellence, and positive energy. We are pleased to join Vince McMahon and the WWE Smackdown Your Vote! to encourage 18-to-30-year-olds to vote.”
Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, founded in 2001, is a non-proft, non-partisan national coalition of Hip-Hop artists, entertainment industry leaders, education advocates, civil rights proponents and youth leaders dedicated to harnessing the cultural relevance of Hip-Hop music to serve as a catalyst for education advocacy and other societal concerns to the well-being of youth throughout the United States. HSAN started its Hip-Hop Team Vote program this year. More information on HSAN can be found at www.hsan.org
WWE’s Smackdown Your Vote!, founded in July 2000, is a non-partisan approach to getting young people involved in the political process and registered to vote. Through Smackdown Your Vote!, WWE has collaborated with many non-profit, non-partisan organizations, such as the League of Women Voters, the Youth Vote Coalition, Rock The Vote, the National Foundation of Women Legislators, Project Vote Smart, California Vote America, Participate America Foundation, Close Up Foundation, and Freedom’s Answer to engage 18-to-30-year-olds in the political process. For information on the program go to smackdownyourvote.com.
World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: WWE) is an integrated media and entertainment company headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Toronto and London. Additional information on the company can be found at wwe.com and corporate.wwe.com. For additional information on WrestleMania xx, to be broadcast live on pay-per-view from Madison Square Garden in New York City on March 14, 2004, go to wrestlemania.wwe.com. Information on television ratings and community activities can be found at parents.wwe.com.
Media contacts: Gary Davis, WWE Smackdown Your Vote!, 203-353-5066
Jody Miller, Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, 212-431-5227
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