From: Kim Alexander <>
Date: Monday, June 29, 1998
Subject: A New Kind of Party Animal

Hi Folks:

I'm pleased to announce a new book that is arriving in bookstores now which features my work with the California Voter Foundation. "A New Kind of Party Animal: How the Young Are Tearing Up the American Political Landscape" is authored by Michele Mitchell and uses my work, along with several other "Generation X'ers" to dispel the popular image of American young people as disengaged, apolitical "slackers".

Tomorrow I will join Michele Mitchell and another person profiled in the book, Robert George, on the first hour of "The Diane Rehm Show" to discuss how twenty- and thirtysomethings are changing politics. The show is produced by WAMU in Washington, D.C., is broadcast live from 10:00 a.m. - 12 noon, and is carried by 60 public radio stations across the country.

I'll also be traveling to D.C. for the book release party to be held at the Capital on Tuesday, July 14th. If you are in the D.C. area and would like to attend this party, please let me know and I will try to arrange it.

"A New Kind of Party Animal" is published by Simon & Schuster and an excerpt from the book is available on their web site. The excerpt they chose to feature is Chapter 5: Cyberpol Values, which happens to be the same chapter that profiles my work with CVF. You can find the excerpt online at:

More information about Mitchell's book is available below, including the book's jacket copy, a brief summary about the author, and comments from Clarence Page, Senator Bob Kerrey, and others.

The book officially goes on sale July 2nd, but is available in some bookstores already. I hope you get a chance to pick up a copy and read it for yourself!

-- Kim Alexander, President
California Voter Foundation
(916) 325-2120

A New Kind of Party Animal
How the Young Are Tearing Up the
American Political Landscape

S & S TRADE, 1998
CLOTH, $23.00
ISBN: 0-684-83697-1


In this provocative and timely first book, twenty-seven-year-old political correspondent Michele Mitchell explores how young people, contrary to popular opinion, are redefining politics. It is the multimillion-dollar question asked by marketing strategists: Who are these people? It is the exasperation of political pundits: Where are they coming from? And, it is the anxiety of older Americans: Where will they lead us? Now, for the first time, these new political party animals are convincingly portrayed.

It's impossible to pigeonhole an eighty million-strong group that stretches from trust fund babies to welfare kids, from Daughters of the American Revolution to descendants of slaves and new immigrants, from Berkeley to the Bible Belt, from those raised by both parents to children whose parents are single or divorced. This is a generation in which many grew up as latchkey kids with television as a source of comfort, and a group that says "show me" when offered a promise because of its exposure to marketing and advertising. And because of their independence, young people do not unconditionally offer up loyalty. Plus, they are building their own communities and connecting through the technologies they are creating.

Mitchell explores six factors that not only set this generation apart, but are transforming the political world: lack of party affiliation, diverse interest in a range of issues, grassroots-based approaches to problem-solving, lack of gender bias, skepticism of marketing and advertising, and computer savvy.

In prose that is entertaining, lively, and fresh, we glimpse the lives of such up-and-comers as Jerry Morrison, in his run for office in Chicago; Kim Alexander of Sacramento, a pioneer in using the Internet to affect politics; Quillie Coath Jr. and Charles McKinney of Durham, North Carolina, propelled into community activism as a means of improving their neighborhoods; and Lynn Marquis, Robert George, and Bob Meagher, who are making changes at ground zero in Washington, D.C.

Insightful, succinct, and engaging, A New Kind of Party Animal is our road map to understanding the future of American society and politics.


Michele Mitchell a former communications director on Capitol Hill, is the youngest person to have written for the New York Times editorial page. She covered the 1996 election for National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" and is a fellow at the Public Forum Institute. She lives in New York City and Washington, D.C.


Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune:

"If you think of today's young voters as apathetic slackers who don't care about their political futures, this book is here to set you straight. Michele Mitchell explodes the stereotypes to take us inside the generation that will inherit the leadership of the next century. Read it and be amazed, even as you are amused."

Senator Bob Kerrey:

"This is an important read for anyone who wants to lead in the twenty-first century. Goethe once said: "Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do." This generation -- my children's generation -- is learning, applying, and doing. They are our nation's future and cannot and should not be ignored."

Tanya Melich, author of The Republican War Against Women:

"If you believe that young Americans are disengaged from public service, Michele Mitchell will prove you wrong. Her feisty book is a splendid addition to the political debate, illustrating that her generation is, indeed, revitalizing our dismal politics."

Tom Brazaitis Washington Bureau Chief, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland), and coauthor of War Without Bloodshed: The Art of Politics:

"On just about every page, Michele Mitchell deftly punctures another stereotype about her generation. Political operatives, the press, and the public will learn a lot in these pages about the attitudes and motivation of the young men and women who will shape the first part of the twenty-first century in America."