Off on the Right Foot – Republican

Off on the Right Foot – Republican – Brief Article

Caray Arvin

Rising high school junior Fritz Brogan isn’t old enough yet to vote, bat the ambitious 16-year-old is already being dubbed one of the “up-and-coming” stars of the political scene. On April 15, 2001, Brogan and co-founder Glen Weyl launched Teenagers for a Republican Victory, a Web-based grassroots organization designed to mobilize high school age conservatives to support the GOP and its candidates.

Fritz Brogan says he was inspired to establish Teenagers for Republican Victory because he perceived a significant base of support among his peers for the Republican agenda but was disturbed by the lack of formal channels available to high school students interested in political activism. He devised TRV as a means to promote civic engagement among young Republicans as well as to send a message to the GOP regarding the strength of the party’s youth wing.

Initial efforts to attract new members have centered upon the Internet, but Brogan and his colleagues have also made a concerted effort to call every state Republican party and are currently in the process of contacting county chairman by email. In July, Brogan traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with RNC operatives to try to integrate TRV into the national GOP structure.

Brogan estimates that by the end of June, Teenagers for Republican Victory had recruited 300 members from 26 states. He aspires to enlist over 5,000 students from all 50 states to perform critical groundwork for GOP candidates during the 2002 election year.

In fact, Brogan asserts that although most high school students are not eligible to vote, they make ideal campaign volunteers: “Youth volunteers work hard and are willing to do tasks that other volunteers often don’t want to do,” such as manning phone banks and going door-to-door.

The fledgling group has already received the endorsement of former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who says on the site, “Teenagers for Republican Victory is making it possible for young Americans to help create and develop the ideas that will ultimately shape their own futures. I can’t think of a more meaningful way for students to participate in the American political process.”

Teenagers for Republican Victory is not Brogan’s first venture into the political arena. During the 2000 election cycle, Brogan served as the chair of Teenagers for Bush for President, the official youth organization supporting Republican candidates in Florida and the model for Brogan’s nationwide TRV effort. For these efforts, Brogan was honored in March 2001 at the American Association of Political Consultants Second Annual Academic Outreach Conference as one of the top five rising stars in the world of Internet and politics.

Fritz Brogan may be the youngest accredited member of the American Association of Political Consultants, but just as the slogan for TRV claims, “Youth CAN make a difference in politics.”

Teenagers for Republican Victory can be found on the Web at GOP

COPYRIGHT 2001 Campaigns & Elections, Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group