Legislative Advocacy in Texas

During the 2019 Texas legislative session, IGNITE young women chose to advocate for House Bill 375 to increase college students’ access to voting. HB 375 would require that polling places be made accessible to young adults on college campuses. HB 375 seeks to ensure that college students have the opportunity to cast their ballot at a convenient location on campus. This is an effective step to increase voter turnout among Gen Z and Millennials.

#IGNITEtheCapitol Austin 2019

“With IGNITE and the next generation of female leaders, I visited Austin and encouraged representatives to support HB 375, a bill that will create polling locations at public universities with over 10,000 students. These young women and the IGNITE Texas leadership team are working hard to ensure young people are heard loud and clear in the 2020 election.”  

- Tania Rodriguez, University of Texas Dallas, Junior

During the 2019 Texas legislative session, IGNITE young women chose to advocate for House Bill 375 to increase college students’ access to voting.

HB 375 would require that polling places be made accessible to young adults on college campuses. HB 375 seeks to ensure that college students have the opportunity to cast their ballot at a convenient location on campus. This is an effective step to increase voter turnout among Gen Z and Millennials.

IGNITE women attended IGNITE the Capitol in Austin, Texas on March 25 to advocate for HB 375. These young advocates concluded their day of advocacy feeling heard, empowered, and eager to continue championing the causes they care about through legislative advocacy:

“I gained the confidence to speak to my representatives. I had never advocated for a bill before so I was a nervous, but by the end of the day, I felt amazing and thankful for speaking out. I actually met with legislators who support HB 375. It was great knowing that they understood the importance of the bill for college students.”

- Nneka Chidinma Nnaji, President of IGNITE’s Brookhaven Community College’s chapter

“The first legislator I visited was unfamiliar with HB 375. The staffer was curious and gave us the opportunity to explain the bill and how it would benefit college students and increase voter turnout in Texas. It felt like a win to be able to inform the Representative's office about this important piece of legislation.” 

- Meagan Biscamp, President of IGNITE’s St. Edward’s University chapter


Be an Advocate for House Bill 375: Voting Accessibility for College Students

Bill Summary: According to the Texas Tribune, Texas had one of the lowest voter turnouts in the country with only 28.3% of the population voting in 2014. Although voting did increase by 18% in the 2018 midterms, it is still abysmal by any standard. While voting amongst all groups increased in the last election cycle, young adults still had the worst voter turnout. An estimated 31% of eligible people ages 18 to 29 voted in the 2018 midterms, according to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE). To tackle this issue, HB 375 requires that polling places be made accessible to young adults on institutions of higher education. HB 375 recognizes the importance of polling place accessibility and ensures that students on campus have the opportunity to cast their ballot at a convenient location on campus which is a first step to increase voter turnout.

Sign the statement of support Advocacy toolkit for HB 375 Bill Status Call Script


More about Legislative Advocacy at IGNITE

Political power includes amplifying voice and perspective to advocate for the issues IGNITE women care about most. IGNITE participants and alumni are championing policies that uplift women and youth, like protecting women's rights and maximizing voter participation.

In our Legislative Advocacy training IGNITE, young women learn:

  • the basics of why it is critical their voice is heard,
  • how to be an effective advocate, and
  • the ins and outs of their local and states’ lawmaking process.

Following training, IGNITE women head to state capitols across the country for a hands-on advocacy experience. On “IGNITE the Capitol” visits, young women:

  • meet with state legislators and staffers to advocate for a specific bill,
  • foster connections with IGNITE women from across the state,
  • tour the capitol to learn the state government’s history and see democracy in action, and
  • share IGNITE’s work and mission with elected officials and staffers.