About the Program
Guns are the number one killer of young people in America.
Young people in this country have grown up living in fear of gun violence in our schools, neighborhoods, and so many other places that should be safe. It’s unacceptable. We know that gun violence is preventable, but for far too long, many of our lawmakers have sat on their hands, offering us thoughts and prayers while refusing to take action. But empty words don’t cut it. That’s why young people have been stepping up in communities across the country to demand more from our leaders.
Young gun safety advocates have been fighting for change in our schools, state houses, on Capitol Hill, and at the ballot box. The results are undeniable: when we show up, we are a powerful political force in this country.
Now, through Demand a Seat: Students Edition, young people can get the training, tools and support to take that advocacy one step further: to run for office or support the campaigns of Gun Sense Candidates. Because young people should have a say in the decisions that impact their generation and future ones. And if lawmakers won’t keep us safe, we’ll run to replace them.
Demand a Seat, first launched in 2021, trains grassroots volunteers and gun violence survivors to take the next step in their advocacy efforts by running for office and working on campaigns to elect Gun Sense Candidates.
Now, we’re building on the program’s success by launching our first Demand a Seat: Students Edition designed specifically to support young people looking to run for office or work on campaigns.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I apply to participate in Demand a Seat: Students Edition?
Submit your application by June 14, 2023 on our application portal.
What does the application process and timeline look like?
- Application window: April 27 – June 14, 2023
- Application review/interview window: June 1 – July 1, 2023
- Final interviews: July 1 – August 1, 2023
- Selection Announcements: Early August 2023
When is Demand a Seat: Students Edition taking place this year?
Friday, October 6, 2023 – Sunday, October 8, 2023
What is Demand a Seat: Students Edition?
Demand a Seat: Students Edition will provide extensive in-person training to students who are interested in running for office and working on campaigns. Participants will be trained by seasoned campaign pros and politicians and will learn the fundamentals of building a winning campaign, including organizing and building their teams, budgeting and fundraising, and honing their messaging.
What are the qualifications for participation and do you need to be a current Students Demand Action volunteer to participate in Demand a Seat: Students Edition?
We are looking for participants who demonstrate a clear desire and commitment to either running for office or taking an active role working for a Gun Sense Candidate’s campaign within the next five years.
You do not need to be a current Students Demand Action volunteer to be accepted into the program, but you must have a demonstrated commitment to combating gun violence in your community. If accepted to the program, you will be expected to take at least three actions with your local Students Demand Action or Moms Demand Action chapter before August 1, before the training takes place in October 2023.
Participants must be between the ages of 16-24 as of October 1, 2023 and available to travel October 6-8, 2023. Parental or legal guardian consent is required for participants under the age of 18.
Can I participate in Demand a Seat: Students Edition if I am not yet sure if I will run for office this cycle?
Demand a Seat: Students Edition is not only intended for those considering running for office during the current cycle—it is open to volunteers who are considering running for political office at any point in time, or those who would like to work on campaigns or in support of Gun Sense Candidates. If you are not sure if you are going to become a candidate or work on a campaign, you are still welcome to participate in the Demand a Seat: Students Edition. Our hope is that learning more about the process will help you to make more informed decisions about running for office or working on future campaigns.
Can I join Demand a Seat: Students Edition if I think I want to be a campaign manager and not a candidate?
Yes! Demand a Seat: Students Edition is also open to volunteers who may be interested in becoming campaign managers or campaign staff. Our hope is that participating and learning will help people make more informed decisions about running for office or working on campaigns for future gun sense candidates.
How is Demand a Seat: Students Edition different from existing Demand a Seat programming?
Demand a Seat: Students Edition provides much of the same training and tools that Demand a Seat does, but has been designed to maximize the skillsets, talents, and innovation of young leaders in an in-person, weekend-long training. Students Demand a Seat will empower young people to connect with their peers, build community and actualize the power of Gen Z in an environment designed just for them.
How does Demand a Seat: Students Edition differ from other campaign training programs?
Demand a Seat: Students Edition is a first-of-its-kind program geared specifically toward young people looking to take their advocacy work in the gun safety space to the next level.
While this program features a curriculum designed specifically with young people in mind, every participant of the program will be connected to a built-in network of program participants, alumni, and a community of millions of gun safety advocates and survivors across the country—something no other program can claim.
As one of the largest grassroots organizations in the nation, we provide a unique support network of campaign volunteers who already know how to help Gun Sense Candidates win by knocking on doors, hosting phone banks and raising money. By joining this program, you’ll be trained in and connected to unmatched resources and systems to support your run for office or your work to build successful campaigns.
Is there a cost to participating in Demand a Seat: Students Edition?
Students Demand Action will cover travel, meal, and lodging expenses for participants who attend the Demand a Seat: Students Edition training in October 2023.
What if I am not selected to participate in the Fall 2023 Demand a Seat: Students Edition?
Our inaugural Demand a Seat: Students Edition is intentionally limited to 40 participants to ensure each participant gets a robust and fulfilling experience. There will be additional opportunities for you to apply to participate in this program in the future and we will notify all applicants of future Demand a Seat: Students Edition opportunities.
Am I able to participate if I have already declared my candidacy for elected office?
This program will comply with all relevant campaign finance laws so if you have already declared your candidacy for public office please reach out to us directly about potential participation.