Frontlash was an activist group, led by young adults, instrumental in increasing voting and political engagement among American youth and minorities. Frontlash also served as a training ground for future personnel in the labor movement. It was created in 1968 by members of the League for Industrial Democracy (LID) and the United States Youth Council (USYC) in New York City as a nonpartisan organization to challenge political and electoral apathy among youth in the 1960s.
Frontlash stepped up their voter education efforts for young people when the 26th Amendment was passed in 1971. The organization sent members door-to-door, created poster displays, and set up public stands on sidewalks and college campuses to encourage wider political education and to register young voters. Later, they expanded their activities beyond voting rights to include international democracy and fair labor practices, such as child labor, apartheid, minimum wage, and workers rights. Frontlash organized boycotts and education campaigns throughout the 1980s and 1990s, recruiting new members on college campuses and universities across the United States.
Frontlash initially received only nominal financial support from the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) through its Committee on Political Education (COPE), but by the 1970s the AFL-CIO became Frontlash’s main financial supporter. In 1997, Frontlash disbanded, not long after completing it’s "Labor '96" political voting campaign. Today, the AFL-CIO continues Frontlash’s legacy of political education, engagement, and registering young voters.
Fresno, CA, undated. Frontlash records