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Billionaire Tom Steyer’s Advocacy Group Pledges $3.5 Million to Engage Young Voters in California

Tom Steyer, right, talks with students at Cal State Fullerton about voting in the Nov. 6, 2018 midterm elections.(Credit: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

Tom Steyer, right, talks with students at Cal State Fullerton about voting in the Nov. 6, 2018 midterm elections.(Credit: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

Tom Steyer made his fortune as a hedge fund manager taking risky bets in volatile conditions. In this year’s high-stakes midterm election, the billionaire turned political activist is making another costly wager on one of the most historically unreliable groups of voters: young people.

Steyer, whose advocacy group NextGen America has pledged $33 million to engage young voters in 11 states — $3.5 million alone in California — insists that his is no quixotic venture. He and others believe that the only hope Democrats have of taking control of Congress is to inspire new and infrequent voters to cast ballots as a check on President Trump.

Steyer, 61, roamed the Cal State Fullerton campus recently — clipboard in hand, shirt sleeves rolled up. He approached 18-year-old Marina Lieu, who told the graying man in front of her that voting didn’t interest her.

His head drooped. He heaved a sigh.

Read the full story on LATimes.com