More Young Voters Are Exactly What Our Elections Need

More Young Voters Are Exactly What Our Elections Need

A bit about why and how young voters can impact political races, and why we should all be engaged as part of our collective civic virtue.

On March 20th, the date of the Illinois primary, where we selected the candidates of our respective parties, and it went just about as expected; JB Pritzker clinched the Democratic Party nomination, as did Bruce Rauner on the Republican side. These candidates are ones many people my age would consider being "establishment," embodying elitism and wealth, rather than policies that would resonate with them. The issue is this; if younger voters are going to complain ad infinitum about these candidates, why do they not vote?

That is the premise of this; GET OUT AND VOTE, regardless of who it is.

Here in Illinois, the youth turnout was poor; Cook County officials were disappointed with the turnout of younger voters, with some estimates claiming numbers as low as 3%; that is an awful number for any demographic, and it discourages younger voters from turning out in the larger, more important general elections, as the candidate chosen does not epitomize anything they'd like to be associated with, or they are skeptical of that particular candidate (JB Pritzker, for example).

This, in turn, can lead to politicians being elected that they do not like, or politicians that aren't particularly good for a community (this isn't a partisan thing, so no, I'm not saying Democrat or Republican. Keep those comments to yourself). This is also due to things like the two-party system, where neither party really embodies their views, or a lack of any real contact between candidates and younger voters, potentially removing them from consideration as voters.

Voting is such an important right to have, and we should cherish it; it gives us our ability to voice our opinions at the polls. It provides us with an opportunity to dictate which direction our country goes, which policies we want to see implemented, etcetera, etcetera. Alas, this is often "negated," in many minds, by the idea that one vote won't change anything. It can, and does with competitive elections. Even if it didn't, there is a satisfaction to be drawn from voting as well, regardless of party or candidate.

We have seen the youth vote mobilized before; from 2000-2008, voter turnout for 18-24-year-olds increased almost exponentially. Thirty-six percent of eligible young people voted in 2000, and 47% did in 2004. For the 2008 election, turnout spiked, even tripling or quadrupling. But this was a decade ago, and it can't be used now; it just proves that younger voters can be persuaded to vote. Young people should remain politically engaged, and be willing to take the product of their engagements to the polls since these elections can dictate their adult lives.

So, what should we do? Post about primaries. Give dates, candidates, platforms, and positions. Allow these voters to become informed enough to make a decision, and to take it to the polls. Automatic registration for legal US citizens upon becoming 18 would not hurt, either.

When I went to my polling place, it looked barren and empty. It was sad. But also gave me hope, since I know we as a generation can change that, and have people engaged in the civic/political process. It takes time, and it takes effort, but it would surely be worth it to have a generation engaged enough in politics to thoroughly change the American body politic. I know it will happen someday; I can count on it.


Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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Customer Service Expert, Gary Brewster of Oneida Provides Tips for Displaying Appreciation to Your Customers

By taking a more direct and proactive approach to managing your customers, you can open up a new avenue of success for your business.


Customer relationships are a core part of your business success. Many businesses that outperform their competitors are just more responsive in this area. By taking a more direct and proactive approach to managing your customers, you can open up a new avenue of success for your business. How can you display genuine appreciation to them? Here are tips and practices from customer service expert and accomplished entrepreneur, Gary Brewster in Oneida, Tennessee that you can adopt.

Event Sponsorship

There are many small signs of appreciation you can show to customers, but hosting an event provides significant evidence to customers that your business genuinely acknowledges and cares for their support. With these events, you can treat customers as guests - which can be a great way to elevate your relationship with them. After these events, you can follow-up with your customers, build upon that relationship, and gain additional insights into their expectations.

Customized Products and Services

Customers will be pleasantly surprised to see products specifically catered to their preferences. This shows that you do respond to their feedback and are appreciative of the information they provide. Also, you are reinforcing the fact that your business firmly puts a priority on their needs and is committed to elevating their experience. You can personalize your products through a couple of means, including offering them in certain colors, modifications, labels, and more.

Use Handwritten Notes

A handwritten note is one of the best ways to convey authenticity in your messages. When you use this medium for sending messages of appreciation to your customers, it generates a more positive response. In a world saturated with emails, social media messages, and mobile text, a handwritten letter can stand out. You can work with your team in organizing a schedule where customers are sent handwritten notes. These can especially work great for the holiday season as customers are more receptive to goodwill messages during this time.

Develop a Loyalty Program

While your business benefits form loyalty programs, they also make the customer feel more appreciated. For your most consistent customers, you are sending the message to them that their loyalty has not gone unnoticed and that you are truly grateful. When repeat business is rewarded, the long-term benefits will be valuable. Instead of merely creating a loyalty program from scratch, consider doing research and recognize specific purchasing patterns within your customer base. You can then highlight certain products they favor and make that the focal point of your loyalty program.

When it comes to maintaining a high standard of customer service, communication and goodwill are valuable. Showing appreciation to your customers is more than simply communicating with them, but also conveying a general sense of commitment to their needs. Your business stands to gain immensely by developing this unique approach to customer service. Consider adding more of these elements as you build your customer service strategy with your team.

About Gary Brewster:

Gary Brewster in Oneida, Tennessee is an entrepreneur and commercial roofing expert. Driven by building excellent relationships, he takes pride in providing the best customer service possible. As a business owner, his goals include delivering exceptional service, solving complex problems, and giving back to the community. Outside of the office, Gary enjoys spending time on his family farm with his wife, children, and grandchildren.

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To The Generation That Might Not Care, A Green New Deal Is Crucial

Take care of our planet and our future.


The reality of climate change and method to address the issue has been a source of contention in the United States for far too long. While Republicans trail behind Democrats a great deal in the percentage who believe long-term, irreversible climate change is a real problem, an equally if not more important gap to acknowledge is that between generations.

A universally taught science concept in elementary school is the difference between weather and climate. Weather is the day-to-day condition of the atmosphere — rainy, sunny, etc. Climate is the weather of a particular geographic location over a long period of time. The weather in an area may be snowy on a particular January day but might overall have a warm climate (Trump has yet to learn this concept).

The gap between generational support for not only believing in the reality of climate change but if the government should take steps to prevent further harm on our planet is apparent. A few reasons that older generations may not support aggressive climate change policies are that many are not going to see the lasting impact of their harmful actions, may not want to acknowledge that their way of life for a majority of their life was detrimental to the environment, or that they simply do not think it is the government's role to further regulate current practices and lifestyles in the name of the environment (an argument supported by many conservatives).

Data For Progress

The "Green New Deal," proposed earlier this month by Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Edward Markey is mainly a list of ideas and goals rather than a carefully laid-out plan, though aims to eliminate greenhouse emissions through the creation of millions of jobs in the renewable energy industry, moving toward public ownership (a major source of disagreement among Republicans and Democrats), and much more. This plan is a comprehensive overview of many sources of environmental degradation that our nation has not addressed, despite the majority of the nation believing the climate change is a real issue.

There will undoubtedly be a major shift in the operations of many companies due to aggressive climate change policies, which could have been avoided at a drastic level if our nation had chosen to make climate change prevention a priority. Unfortunately, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, global temperatures will rise to an irreversible level in 12 years if the United States and other countries that greatly contribute to rising temperatures do not take action. A sense of urgency has been lacking for far too long is crucial.

Written into the recently proposed Green New Deal is a section detailing how it will attempt to remedy the inequality of those most directly impacted by climate change. Vulnerable communities, particularly communities of color, are not seeing an equitable distribution in disaster funding to prevent damage inflicted by the increasing frequency and intensity of natural disasters that have resulted as an increase in rising global temperatures — Which, regardless of your age, should be a glaring flaw in our current system.

I personally doubt that the entirety of the recently proposed Green New Deal will be enacted, however, I believe that anyone who values the quality of human life, clean air, clean water, food sources, for not just those in the United States, but around the world, should be supportive of a Green New Deal.

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