Millennials Are Political Power Players In 2016
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Politics and Activism

Millennials Are Political Power Players In 2016

Candidates need to focus on the four E's in their campaigns to win the millennial vote.

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Millennials Are Political Power Players In 2016

There are 31.5 million voters between the ages of 18-24 making up almost 10 percent of the United States population. The participation of young voters in presidential elections has declined since 1964 from 50 percent to about 38 percent in 2012.

In 2016, young voters have the power to swing the presidential election in their favor. Republicans and Democrats alike need to appeal to issues they are passionate about if they want the seat in the Oval Office.

Keeping up with the current trends of this age group, presidential candidates should develop opinions and possible solutions for the four E's: economy, education, environment and equality.


Economy

Raising the Minimum Wage

The current federal minimum wage is $7.25. Some cities like Seattle, Washington have taken matters into their own hands, and decided to raise the wage to $15 an hour. A new Senate proposal supports the idea of raising the federal minimum wage to $12 by 2020.

Reducing Income/Wealth Inequality

There a multiple ways to go about this issue: restructuring tax codes and social programs, redefining the poverty line, etc.

Education

Cost of Higher Education

Millions of youth are going to be (or are currently) dealing with $20,000 - $100,000+ in student loan debt from rising college tuition costs. President Obama proposed free two year college at the State of the Union Address in January. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, US Senator from Vermont, recently proposed a College For All Act which would make four year universities free.

Funding for K-12 Education

Hundreds of school districts across the nation have experienced a lack of funding from state and federal governments. These budget cuts have led to art, music, and sports programs being reduced or eliminated completely. Class sizes have increased, and teacher pay has decreased as well.

Emphasis on Standardized Tests

Being directly affected by No Child Left Behind after 2004, young voters were the guinea pig generation for annual standardized testing. SAT and ACT tests falsely told them that they were prepared (or unprepared) for college education. Our education system is outdated, and we have reduced our students to series of numbers and pencil-filled scantrons.

Environment

Investment in Wind, Solar, and Other Renewable Energy Sources

Weaning off fossil fuels will help us curb our greenhouse emissions, and create jobs.

Eco-Friendly Infrastructure and Products

Using recycled materials and more can help us reduce waste and reduce our carbon footprint.

Sustainable Practices for Water Containment and Agriculture

The severe drought in California is cause for alarm in terms of water usage and agriculture production. There needs to be a plan for the future in terms of assisting farmers and citizens through extreme weather changes.

Equality

Criminal Justice Reform

This should include: prison reform, decriminalization of marijuana, reduction of racial profiling by law enforcement, provide assistance for those who leave prison, etc.

Right to Marry

The Supreme Court will decide if states have the constitutional right to ban same-sex marriage later this summer, but presidential candidates opinions about the subject could still be weighed heavily.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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