Chicago– As the 2008 presidential election approaches, all eyes are on the candidates and how voters will respond. Would the outcome be the same if teens under the age of 18 had the chance to voice their opinions? This summer, Disney star Selena Gomez and General Growth Properties, Inc, owner/developer of shopping centers worldwide and premier entertainment venues for teens, engage America’s youth on issues that impact their future through a unique, interactive teen election, UR Votes Count.
UR Votes Count is a one-of-a-kind experience that educates and engages teens on timely, relevant issues facing the nation and the world. It also allows teens to cast their vote for who they would elect as president of the United States. The campaign provides teens an opportunity to speak in one voice, potentially influencing this year’s election and making a critical impact in the 2012 election when most of today’s teens will be eligible to vote.
Disney star Selena Gomez kicks off UR Votes Count on August 16 at noon at Glendale Galleria (2148 Glendale Galleria in Glendale, California). UR Votes Count takes place at 150 malls across America in 42 states over six weeks. The events begin August 16, 2008 and run through September 21, 2008. For a complete list of UR Votes Count dates and locations visit www.urvotescount.com.
“I think it’s so important for kids to vote and be heard,” said UR Votes Count national spokesperson and actress/singer Selena Gomez. “Being a teen myself, I think it’s really important we are educated on the issues that affect us all; so when we’re eligible, we’re fully prepared to take on one of our greatest privileges and responsibilities – voting.”
UR Votes Count provides teens a national forum on topics, such as the environment, healthcare, the Iraq war, social security, national security and education. After reviewing the facts on the featured topics, teens will have the opportunity to cast their votes on the issues, as well as their choice for president of the United States. In a charity component, teens also can choose which charity will receive a $15,000, $7,500 or $2,500 donation from GGP. Once mall participants cast their vote they will receive instant giveaways and retailer offers, as well as become eligible for a sweepstakes that includes a $5,000 GGP mall shopping spree; entertainment package, including laptop computer, digital camera, flat screen TV, a sound system, a digital video camera and a $250 Discover gift card; and a fall wardrobe package, which includes items from the fall line of C7P, a Chip & Pepper Production, and a $1,000 GGP mall shopping spree.(a)
Starting August 16, teens unable to attend their local UR Votes Count campaign event can text the last name of their choice for president of the U.S. to 77812 (Barr, McCain, Nader, Obama). To confirm their vote participants must text back their year of birth and zip code.(b)
“With so much interest being taken in this year’s presidential election, it is the perfect time to engage teens in the issues and the election process so when they are able to vote, the political process and climate is not a foreign one to them,” said Wally Brewster, senior vice president, Marketing & Communications, General Growth Properties. “Educating teens on the issues and the candidates and then giving them the opportunity to vote, helps them realize just how powerful their voices can be. There’s no doubt the country will take notice when the results are announced at the end of the UR Votes Count campaign.”
To support UR Votes Count, GGP partnered with Envision EMI, LLC, the world’s largest creator of leadership and success programs for high achieving young people, as well as Declare Yourself, a national nonpartisan, nonprofit campaign to empower and encourage every eligible 18-year-old in America to register and vote in the presidential primaries and 2008 election.
About Selena Gomez
Talented newcomer Selena Gomez plays middle child Alex, the beautiful and adventurous daughter ready to embrace her magical powers in the new Disney series “Wizards of Waverly Place.”
Selena can soon be seen in “Another Cinderella Story”, a modern day take on the classic Cinderella story. Selena stars as a down on her luck high school dancer, who seeks the love of a charming prince (a popular pop singer who has enrolled in her school) played by Drew Seeley. Selena recently finished filming “Princess Protection Program” starring alongside Demi Lovato.
In the summer of 2004, Gomez was discovered as a result of Disney Channel’s first worldwide casting search; and three weeks after her location audition in her native city of Dallas, TX, she was invited to Los Angeles to meet Disney Channel programming executives. She was cast as a guest star in Disney Channel’s original hit series “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody” and “Hannah Montana”, as well as a couple of Disney Channel pilots.
She began her acting career spending her 7th birthday at an open casting call among thousands of other hopefuls competing for one role in the children’s television series “Barney & Friends.” Gomez was cast as a series regular for the series’ next two seasons. In 2003, her career accelerated into feature films, when she was cast in a supporting role in “Spy Kids 3D.”
Newly relocated to Los Angeles, 15 year-old Gomez resides with her parents, where along with her film and television career, she’ll continue to explore opportunities in music. Her birth date is July 22.
About General Growth Properties, Inc.
General Growth Properties, Inc. is one of the largest U.S.-based publicly traded real estate investment trusts (REIT), based upon market capitalization. Best-known for its ownership or management of more than 200 shopping malls in 44 states, General Growth is also a leading developer of master-planned communities and mixed-use properties. It has ownership interest in master-planned communities in Texas, Maryland and Nevada, and in smaller mixed-use projects under development in additional locations. Its shopping center portfolio totals approximately 200 million square feet of retail space accommodating more than 24,000 retail stores nationwide. General Growth’s international portfolio includes ownership and management interest in shopping centers in Brazil and Turkey. General Growth Properties, Inc. is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol GGP. For more information, please visit the company web site at http://www.ggp.com.
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