THE BLOG
02/27/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Photos and Notes from The Declare Yourself Inaugural Ball -- The Youth Movement Is Growing

I was lucky enough to go to Declare Yourself's Inaugural Party during my time in Washington D.C. last week. I went with my friend Matt Bologna, who is a professional photographer. He took amazing pics that I wanted to share with you. Click here to check out Matt's awesome pics.

Declare Yourself
was started by the legendary Norman Lear to be the major youth movement in America. They have a number of on-going campaigns and are very effective with their voter registration, celebrity outreach, and youth organizing. It is inspiring to be able to work with them and I am honored by their support of my feature film and non-profit movement, The Youngest Candidate. Marc Morgenstern and Diana Nguyen run Declare Yourself with Norman Lear and their brilliance and hard work is unlike any other I have seen in the non-profit world. Norman Lear is so inspiring to me. He has dedicated his life to being a truly engaged citizen of America and I think he is someone we all need to look up to as an example of what one person can do in our democracy.

I did a lot of work with Declare Yourself before the presidential election this year. SEIU, Zune, and Declare Yourself were the major sponsors of my 21-city battleground state tour to get the youth vote out before election day. It was truly wonderful to celebrate the inaugural with people who you worked so hard with. For me, that was one of the best things about being in D.C. last week. It was feeling the special connection that we all had because of the immense amounts of work we all did before this recent election day.

It was wonderful to get to celebrate the inauguration of Barack Obama in D.C., but throughout the parties that I went to I could sense a feeling that everyone was now really ready to get to work. I'd like to think that the organizers and policy makers at these events understand the dire times we are now in and are ready to try and make real change for America. My work with the youth movement is not over. I am so inspired by what the youth movement did in 2008 and seeing the Declare Yourself Inaugural party was a huge sign of the power that the youth movement has created.

Needless to say their party was amazing. They had great speakers and performers. Norman Lear spoke about one of their new campaigns, Born Again American. Jamie Foxx, Jessica Alba, and Hayden Panettierre also spoke about their excitement for the current youth movement in America. Then John Legend and Maroon 5 performed. Then Samantha Ronson rocked the crowd and DJ'd (with Lindsay Lohan on stage) late into the night. Check out Matt's pics, they are rad... Thank you so much Declare Yourself for all your work and the amazing party!

-jp

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