Why The Youth Needs To Vote, From The DNC Director Of Youth Engagement
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of Elite Daily.
If you’re like most Millennials, you’re tired of partisanship, bickering, gridlock and a system that seems more and more like it’s stacked against your interests.
If you’re like most Millennials, you’re frustrated, tired and generally over Washington. And, if you’re like most Millennials, you’re probably wondering if your vote matters.
I’m here to tell you it does.
In 2008, and again in 2012, we overwhelmingly voted for President Obama, declaring with no small amount of passion that the America in which our generation wanted to live was one that made sure everyone had a chance to get ahead — one where no matter your background, you could succeed.
We were being held back by a catastrophic recession and were often stuck worrying how we’d get health coverage if we didn’t have a job. We saw the challenges ahead of us, and with those two votes, we took two steps to fix them.
But these massive challenges are not ones we can fix overnight. They take time; they take effort. But despite that, we’re seeing progress: 55 months of private sector job growth, the unemployment rate decreasing and more job openings than we had before the recession even started.
The uninsured rate among young people dropped more than any other age group. We’ve turned the ship around, but we still have further to go.
Democrats are fighting to make sure women get pay equity. We’re fighting to make sure young women have access to the healthcare they need and that young people won’t be fired for who they love and who they are.
We’re making sure young fathers and mothers have access to childcare, so they can balance their work and families.
We’re fighting to make sure college is more affordable and younger generations are not crushed by high student loan interest rates. We’re fighting to make sure that if you’re working 40 hours a week, you’re not living in poverty.
The conventional wisdom is that young people only vote with Democrats because of our inclusive positions on social issues, but these are core economic issues that help Millennials get ahead. We just want solutions to our generational problems, whether they come from the government or not.
We want to take risks, innovate and make differences in our community. But, if you’re stuck worrying about healthcare, student debt, gender discrimination or people finding out about your personal life, those things are going to be out of reach. These pragmatic solutions help everyone succeed.
But naturally, a generation focused more on solutions than partisanship is growing disillusioned with the way things have worked: Millennials have seen Republicans mow down the agenda for which they voted with arcane procedural tactics.
From the over 50 votes Republicans have taken to repeal or undermine the Affordable Care Act, to their attempts (and subsequent failures) to sue the President, to shutting down the government to take healthcare from millions of people, it’s clear Republicans care more about ideological brinksmanship than finding the solutions to our generation’s problems.
But that’s the GOP’s game: They want you to grow tired of the process. They want you sit on the sidelines because you think your vote doesn’t matter. They’re even making a concerted effort in states across the country to make it harder for you to vote.
But, while the Republican party tries to show off its right-wing bona-fides, Democrats continue to tackle the challenges of our generation. We’ve got more work to do, but we’ll never get it done if you stay home on Tuesday. Let’s keep moving.
Photo Courtesy: David P
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