There's an organization out there looking for motivated activists to take their voices a step further. Run for Something put out an emotional ad asking March For Our Lives participants to run for office after an estimated 1.2 million people joined marches across the country on Mar. 24.
The ad opens with the words "When Tragedy Struck" followed by video images of Parkland students fleeing their high school building on the day a shooter killed 17 people. Then the words "We Struck Back" appear on a black screen, followed by video of Parkland survivor Emma Gonzalez. "If all our government and president can do is send 'thoughts and prayers,' then it's time for victims to be the change we need to see," she says.
The ad continues along the same structure, with "We Walked Out" and "We Marched" interspersed with footage of students across the nation participating in protests. It ends with "Now It's Time We Run For Office," with Run for Something's website listed below.
The organization says it is "recruiting and supporting young progressives." They offer three ways for interested people to get involved — run for office, help those who have chosen to do so, or donate to the cause.
Many of the marchers may have to wait at least a year or two before they'll be eligible to run for office themselves. Depending on their age and the position they're looking to fill, some may have to wait much longer.
American citizens must be 35 years old to run for the presidency, at least 30 to run for the Senate, and at least 25 years old to become a House representative. State legislatures, on the other hand, are a different story. Depending on the state and the office, candidates can be as young as 18 and still run at the state level. In fact, 18-year-old Saira Blair won a seat in West Virginia's House of Delegates in 2014. In 2016, then 19-year-old Jacob Bachmeier became Montana's youngest ever elected state representative.
Run for Something currently has 118 candidates they're helping run all across the country. Their profiles list a diverse range of offices as well, from state assemblies and legislatures to county seats and boards of education.
If even a fraction of the young marchers who participated in Saturday's March for Our Lives signs up with Run for Something, the organization will be inundated with applications. Upwards of 1.2 million people is, obviously, quite a lot of people.
Then again, as Dana R. Fisher outlines at The Washington Post, not everyone at the marches was a young person. In fact, according to Fisher (who kicks the estimated total number of marchers up to two million), the average age of a protester over the age of 18 was actually 49. Other interesting stats from Fisher's crowd analysis include a whopping 70 percent of marchers being women, with 72 percent of all participants holding at least a bachelor's degree.
Fisher also found that, at least at the Washington, D.C., march, only 10 percent of marchers were teenagers. In fact, the average age of the crowd largely mirrored that of the Million Moms March, which also focused on gun violence.
Still, if 10 percent of protesters nationwide were teens (using Fisher's assessment of two million marchers total), that would still mean roughly 200,000 potential candidates in Run for Something's target audience. And it's worth noting that if the Mar. 24 protest in Washington, D.C., brought in the organization's estimated 800,000 marchers, that would make it the largest single-day protest in the country's history. (As USA Today points out, another group put their estimate at 200,000.)
With such a huge number of motivated gun control activists, it stands to reason Run for Something will be seeing plenty of new applications in coming days.