Parkland Students Launch Nationwide 50 Stops Tour To Register Young Voters & Talk Gun Laws Reform

Parkland students on 2-month bus tour to make voting cool.jpg

Anyone who thought the Parkland students might go into summer hibernation, hitting the beach and soaking up the rays is wrong. Last Sunday 788 diplomas -- four of them posthumous --- were handed out to graduating seniors of Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. On Monday students of the March for Our Lives movement announced the kickoff of a national summer bus tour designed to raise awareness around gun control issues and to register voters in advance of the November midterms. 

Launching June 15th at the Peace March in Chicago, the tour – named March for Our Lives: Road to Change – will make 50 stops across America in 60 days. The state of Florida will not be forgotten when a separate tour led by March for Our Lives activists rolls into action, with events in all 27 of Florida’s congressional districts. Registering young people to vote and educating the community about where their political candidates stand on gun reform and their relationship to the NRA is the students' priority.

"After we had the march, our thought process was, ‘Now that everybody knows what’s going on, how do we actually get them to do something and act on what they now understand and feel?'" Stoneman Douglas junior and March for Our Lives activist Alfonso Calderon tells Rolling Stone. "That’s why we decided that we wanted to be face-to-face with different people from all parts of the country, many of whom are underrepresented. Those are the people who are really going to make a difference in these votes, which are going to save lives."

Sarah Ullman Delivers A Bounty Of Ace Ads On Gun Reform With Her PAC One Vote At A Time

Photo: Brinson + Banks

Photo: Brinson + Banks

Meet Sarah Ullman, a young filmmaker on a mission to curb gun violence in America.  Showing just how dedicated Ullman is to leverage her PAC, One Vote at a Time, Vogue writes that her political ads helped flip 10 of the 15 seats Democrats picked up in the Virginia statehouse in 2017. 

In 2018, One Vote has signed on to work with 250 candidates in 10 states, including Stacey Abrams, who is running for governor in Georgia and the first-ever black woman gubernatorial candidate from a major party in United States history. In North Carolina, Ullman is excited about attorney Anita Earls, who is campaigning for a Supreme Court seat after helping to challenge the state’s redistricting laws. 

Ullman interned for House Rep (D-Conn) Chris Murphy in 2009. Living in Los Angeles, pursuing a career as a young director in 2016, Ullman listened to Murphy's 15-hour filibuster on the Senate floor in the wake of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida. 

As a familiar cycle of thoughts and prayers set in, Ullman felt helpless and angry. “I just was tired of feeling that way,” she says. She took to her Facebook page, asking her mostly film-industry–related friends and acquaintances, “What if I made campaign ads for people who are supportive of gun safety? Who’s with me?”

In setting up the PAC, she had a little legal help from Joss Whedon, whom she met though a producer friend and who sits on Everytown for Gun Safety’s Creative Council. Ullman recruited an entirely female team (“[Some people] asked, ‘Can you find a female grip?’ And I’m like, Watch me”) and headed to Nevada, funded mostly by donations from friends and family. There, One Vote made a video supporting a state background-check measure, which passed. “I realized if my video was able to convince 10 people, would be able to convince 100 people, anynumber of people, it will have been worth it, because in that background-check initiative, every vote mattered,” Ullman says.

Ullman recruited her all-woman team of about 11 women , based in Los Angeles, crowdfunded $37,000 and headed for Virginia, where she perfected their process.  Ullman and a team of four staff members set up a studio in an “activist house” in a chosen state. Invited candidates stop by to film their ads. “We’re able to process people through our studio much faster than we would if we were to go on location,” Ullman explains, while clarifying that they do also venture out to film subjects in the candidates' districts. 

Postproduction is handled by seven women based in Los Angeles. “We give them the treatment that I would give any clients in L.A.” In addition to the donated time and use of the best film equipment, she continues, they also benefit from One Vote’s “expertise in helping them shape their message and figure out how to translate what they already are talking about or what they already know into video.”

Because of their single-issue focus, Ullman acknowledges her PAC might not agree with candidates of every issue. There is one issue on which Ullman will not compromise: all candidates must be prochoice. Speaking in terms that even Trump can understand, Ullman says that with an all-female PAC, “ain’t nobody got time for antichoice Democrats, if we’re super-real about it.”

Responding to concerns about burnout, Ullman says, “The only thing that keeps me sane right now is knowing that I will be able to look back at this time and know that I did everything I could possibly do. Like, I am doing everything that I have in my capacity, every tool I have in my toolbox I am using right now, to make a difference.”

First Franca Sozzani Award Goes To Julianne Moore Sept 1 At Venice Film Festival

The first Franca Sozzani Award will be presented to Julianne Moore on Sept. 1 during the Venice Film Festival. The prize will be delivered by Colin Firth, Moore's co-star in 'A Single Man'. 

Created in honor of the late editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia, the Franca Sozzani Award will be first bestowed on Moore because "with the same strength and determination of France, {she} combined the excellence in art with a strong civil and social commitment." 

Sozzani was an exceptional light in the fashion industry, supporting design and creativity in every form, while also communicating the importance of channeling civic awareness and energy into humanitarian projects worldwide. 

Julianne Moore is chair of the Everytown Creative Council, a campaign dedicated to ending America's epidemic gun violence after the 2012 shootings of 20 children at Connecticut's Sandy Hook elementary school. Moore is also an active campaigner for gay rights -- perhaps on the chopping block in the Trump administration -- and she sits on the board of advocated for Planned Parenthood. 

Franca Sozzani Activist

A forest fire in La Croix-Valmer, near Saint-Tropez, France, on Tuesday. CreditValery Hache/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

A forest fire in La Croix-Valmer, near Saint-Tropez, France, on Tuesday. CreditValery Hache/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Franca came to mind yesterday, reading in the New York Times about the fires in southern France. The sight of beach lovers vacating the areas around St. Tropez caused us to recollect on Sozzani's infamous environmental-degradation editorial after America's gulf coast oil spill. 

Partnering with model Kristen McMenamy and photographer Steven Meisel, the editorial was illuminating in another way, showing the furor of politically-correct Americans who accused Franca of being flip in turning the disaster into a fashion editorial, compared to the Europeans, who have done a far better job of weaving environmentalism into their daily lives. 

If Sozzani was alive, there is no doubt that she would find a way to make this ravaging disruption of our lives in a fashion editorial about environmental degradation -- just as she did in the weeks after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill. 

Revisiting 'Water & Oil': One of Franca Sozzani & Steven Meisel's Most Provocative Collaborations