Young people want to be inspired. Be engaged and involved. And make meaningful decisions. But most of all, they want to change the world. The Democratic Party can and should be the vehicle they use to bring that change.
Millennials match baby boomers as the largest generation in the electorate. Yet, it is estimated that only one in five Millennial voters will vote in 2018. Democrats must earn the support of Millennials.
But we have work to do. Only 4 in 10 young voters identified themselves with the Democratic Party (only slightly better than 3 in 10 for Republicans).
We have to be honest about the barriers that exist between young people and the Democratic Party: distrust in political leaders, feelings of inconsequence leading to apathy, an ever more crowded digital and media world, and old-fashioned, ineffective modes of organizing.
The DNC needs a tune up. We need to expand the voice of young people in decision making in the party, provide the College Democrats, Young Democrats of America (YDA), and High School Democrats of America with the resources to succeed, build a bench of young candidates, boost engagement with young people by communicating our values, and protect young peoples’ access to the ballot box.
It will take all of us – elected officials, activists, and rank-and-file Democrats – to give the next generation the tools they need to succeed. Here is how we start.