WeWork is headquartered in New York City, arguably one of the greatest cities in the world, but also a city with some of the lowest voter turnout in the country (in large part due to the fact that New York state doesn’t allow most people to register to vote online).
When one of our WeWork Empire State members suggested that we do something to help combat the low-turnout issue, we knew immediately that she was onto something. With that, our voter-registration campaign was born.
The initiative, which ran from mid-February through mid-March, helped spread awareness of the upcoming primary election through both traditional means (for example, stashing voter registration forms at the front desks of select locations and distributing “I Registered to Vote” stickers) and, in true WeWork fashion, parties.
Seventeen of our New York City locations participated in the campaign, and eight hosted and promoted events to encourage registration, whether that meant pizza parties, happy hours, or even an America-themed bash at WeWork City Hall. Though the campaign was geared toward the New York primary, our Chicago team leveraged the idea and put the assets we’d created to good use by helping members there register for the Illinois primary.
Between those who registered to vote at the events and those who took advantage of the registration forms stashed at the front desks or in our common spaces, we managed to get about 500 WeWork members registered for the primary election. We’re excited about that progress and look forward to getting even more people registered in time for the general election in November.
In addition to our voter-registration campaign, we’re joining companies like Airbnb, Lyft, and Starbucks in participating in the TurboVote Challenge—an ongoing national initiative through nonprofit Democracy Works that brings organizations together in a nonpartisan, long-term commitment to increase voter registration and participation across America. The goal—80 percemt voter turnout by 2020—is ambitious, but we want to do our part to help.