March For Our Lives Thursday is calling on the Biden-Harris administration to appoint a National Director of Gun Violence Prevention and a Director of Youth Engagement – two positions that have never before existed in a presidential administration.
“In order to replicate the historic turnout and engagement of young voters in 2020, the Biden-Harris administration must meaningfully engage with the voters that helped put them in the White House," March For Our Lives said in a statement first provided to CNN Thursday.
"This is an important moment in our country’s history: young Americans are more politically active and engaged than ever before, and we expect this administration to be responsive to our needs. These two groundbreaking appointments would be an important step in that direction,” the statement continued.
The group is asking that a National Director of Gun Violence Prevention serve in a senior level position — adjacent to the cabinet — and that this person report directly to the President, leading a committee dedicated to studying gun violence and related reforms.
The group has also asked that the National Director of Gun Violence Prevention “reflect the understanding that gun violence is a public health crisis, and disproportionately affects our most vulnerable populations,” adding that, “candidates who have been impacted by gun violence and who bring an intersectional approach should be considered.”
March For Our Lives is also asking that a Director of Youth Engagement join the Biden-Harris administration to, “sit on the Domestic Policy Council and advise the President and senior staff on issues of importance to young Americans.”
The group has suggested that this position be filled by a member of Gen Z.
March For Our Lives was founded in 2018 by survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen students and faculty members were killed in the tragedy.
Since then, the group has led a massive youth-led gun violence prevention movement and a national push in both 2018 and 2020 to register and engage young voters.
“This necessary addition to the domestic policy team would prioritize issues disproportionately impacting young Americans, and ensure a seat at the table for young American voices, who have traditionally been shut out of the domestic policy agenda,” March For Our Lives said of the role, adding that the director would work with the Office of Public Engagement to coordinate an annual youth summit at the White House and pay special attention to the issues most impacting young Americans including climate change, racism, healthcare, education and gun violence.
Eve Levenson, Policy and Government Affairs Manager for March For Our Lives, told CNN the group believes it is crucial the incoming administration "remember their mandate to the young people who helped them get elected."
“We expect that they will work to ensure our generation is represented both in terms of prioritizing the issues we care about, including gun violence prevention, and ensuring youth representation in staffing," Levenson said.
“As the generation that has lead the social movements over the last 4 plus years that fundamentally changed the political landscape that determined the election, we’ve more than earned our seat at the table,” Levenson added.
Max Markham, incoming policy director for March For Our Lives, told CNN the country's youth can only expect to see the "progress and healing it needs" if the new administration offers them a "meaningful and unique seat at the table."