Youthful adults focused on issues but aren't voting

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Source:   —  April 10, 2016, at 9:39 PM

But, it’s not just about selfies at the ballpark. Across the nation, more youthful people are using their smartphones as tools to fight for what they believe in.

Youthful adults focused on issues but aren't voting

As the father of two millennials, I know how obsessed this generation is with Snapchat, Instagram and every other social platform. But, it’s not just about selfies at the ballpark. Across the nation, more youthful people are using their smartphones as tools to fight for what they believe in.

From the #BlackLivesMatter movement, to immigration reform, to shaming corporate greed, one thing is clear: We’re in a new age of youth rising.

While than previous generations, this surge of activist energy hasn’t translated into the space where it can create a difference: the voting booth. In the latest election, less than ten % of Californians between eighteen and twenty-four voted. In fact, 18- and 19-year-old men were more likely to obtain arrested in two thousand-fourteenth than vote.

If youthful Californians are making an unprecedented investment in social change, why aren’t they taking that crucial step?

The CA Endowment, which depends on deep social modify to assistance empower struggling families, was determined to discover out. We commissioned a study to better realize what issues youthful adults care about most and why they’re not voting. We made a point of listening most closely to youthful adults of color and those in traditionally underserved regions. They're most likely to fall through the cracks of a traditional Obtain Out the Vote campaign.

In all of the interviews and surveys conducted by our researchers, one theme was consistent: discrimination. Youthful people view discrimination as the pre-eminent social justice issue of our time.

But it’s not only the traditional definition of “discrimination.” They're concerned about the most common consequence of discrimination: inequality.

They’re concerned about not being able to afford college.

They’re concerned about being denied access to health coverage or spotless drinking water.

They’re concerned about a dearth of work opportunities for youthful people.

And they’re concerned about the stigma associated with mental health issues.

Simply put, they look a lack of equity and inclusion as barriers to healthy, productive lives.

The youths we heard from are demanding inclusivity and practicing solidarity. They wish to be included in critical conversations affecting our communities.

Voters in this election will be the most diverse in U. S. history, particularly in California. There are more millennials presently than baby boomers and more youths of color than in previous years. Yet, among the more than 1.000 youths we interviewed, there was a feeling of being excluded.

One youthful woman said their voices are generally disregarded because they’re youthful and not taken seriously. One Asian American youth discussed how those most capable of modify are older adults because they keep the power.

Voting clearly hasn’t been favorite with youthful people. They’re frequently doubtful of the political process and unsure their votes – and voices – matter.

This could be the year things change. CA youths have a historic chance to go to the polls this Nov and prove their voices do matter. The health of our communities depends on their engagement. When younger voters turn out, issues necessary to them will command attention at all levels of government.

Youthful people are getting loud – at rallies and on social media. This is a excellent sign, but youthful voters necessity to get that same energy to the polls and indicate that inequality and discrimination aren't the future they envision.

As , “The more we don’t participate, the more we aren’t heard.”

When we start seeing selfies of youthful Californians with “I voted” stickers going viral, the future of our state will start to reflect their activism, their hopes and their dreams.

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