"I come from a proud family that has been involved in public service for as long as I can remember. I want to work for you. We need to create more living wage jobs, improve our schools, and make public safety, gun control in particular, a top priority. With nearly a decade of government experience, I know what it takes to find solutions, navigate complicated governmental agencies, and get things done."
LIST OF ISSUES
Student Loan Debt Reduction & RegulationAnybody who has thought seriously about the Millennial condition for two seconds knew this one was coming. Anya Kamenetz was right; Millennials really are “Generation Debt.” We accept that the federal reserve can literally adjust the price of money by setting interest rates which impact the citizenry’s access to mortgages and home ownership. That being the case, the Department of Education should be able to abolish costly fees and penalties on student loans, and prevent them from being securitized by predatory private firms who profit from them. In addition, student loan debts owed to private firms could become the subject of a preemptive bailout before they further entangle our financial system and put us at risk for a future recession. If Ryan Gosling’s character in The Big Short is clear about anything, it’s that collatorized debt is a neoliberal tower of Jenga just waiting to come crashing down. I’m one of millions of Millennials who entered the job market in 2008, in a world beset by debt and economic downturn. We can prevent that from happening to our kids.
I am one of the millennials, at 80 million the largest generation in American history. We're now entering the workforce, and many will stay in or move to the DC area. But few of my generation may choose to live in Montgomery County if we can't find affordable housing in an urban setting.
Urban centers like downtown Silver Spring are pricing out millennials.
It's no surprise that DC-area housing is scarce and expensive. The popular "Shit People in DC Say" video jokes that all 20-somethings here live in English basements or converted sunrooms renting for $1,400 a month. Meanwhile, recent college graduate and Washington Post columnist Steven Overly has been documenting his struggle to find a place to live.
The issue of housing young adults is especially acute in Montgomery County, which has morphed from "the perfect suburbia" into a regional employment center where millennials can find work. There's already an acute shortage of affordable housing, particularly around Metro stations, where apartments can command rents 40% higher than those in other areas.
In Montgomery County, there are about 180,000 millennials, making up about 20% of the total population. As planning director Rollin Stanley points out, many of them have gone back to live with their parents. I did after I graduated college, as did most of my friends.
A Universal Caregiver Model is at the center of our generational situation as Millennials is the fact that we’re post-Boomers who will be entrusted with the task of caring for the previous generation while we work with limited resources to raise the next one. The stigma around so-called “pink collar” work is the result of deeply rooted sexism; the lack of respect for work traditionally seen as feminine. This needs to end. We are all vulnerable. We start off in life in need of care, and we end it the same way. We need federally mandated paid maternity/paternity leave, as well as accompanying stipends for child rearing and elder care. Several states already pay caregivers for the work they do to care for the aging, differently abled, and mentally ill. If it weren’t for this labor, many of our most vulnerable citizens would reside in state-run facilities, which cost exponentially more to maintain than paying an in-home caregiver. The model needs to be expanded to respect the work that men and women do to raise families.
This platform is non-partisan, pragmatic, and perfectly achievable within the current realm of political possibility. Some elements of it may appeal more to a conservative sensibility, and others to those who are more liberal. But while apolitical radicals on the right and left go on decrying the status quo without suggesting something better, I wonder what would happen if we lobbied for achievable reforms using the resources available to us. As Millennials, speaking up for ourselves clearly and in good faith will help us identify the obstacles that stand in the way of a more perfect union.
As voters head to the polls Tuesday, new research finds a generation gap on energy issues as millennials show greater concern about climate change.
Two-thirds of young adults (aged 18 to 34) say they’re inclined to vote for a political candidate who supports cutting greenhouse gas emissions and increasing financial incentives for renewable energy, according to an online poll of 2,105 U.S. residents by the University of Texas at Austin. In contrast, just half of seniors (aged 65 or older) say they would lend such support.
Unlike seniors, the majority of millennials say they’re willing to pay much higher prices to protect the environment. About 56% of young adults take this view compared to 20% of seniors.
“We’re seeing a widening gulf among older and younger Americans” on energy issues even as attitudes continue to track along political lines, says Sheril Kirshenbaum, director of the UT Energy Poll.
“Millennials are probably more aware of climate change,” she says, noting the plethora of climate stories and messages on social media in recent years.
They are more apt to vote for candidates who support cutting coal use (57%) requiring utilities to obtain a percentage of their electricity from renewables (62%) and imposing a “carbon tax” to reduce the burning of fossil fuels (43%.) Seniors say they’d back candidates with such views by 33%, 48% and 22%, respectively.
Twice as many millennials support the export of natural gas as seniors, who likely have vivid memories of long lines at gas stations during the 1973 Arab oil embargo.
Young adults show far less support for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry Canada’s oil sands to the U.S. Midwest. While 38% back the pending project, 55% of seniors do. Millennials are also less inclined than older Americans to support increased development of offshore oil and natural gas.
Nearly half of those surveyed in the latest UT Energy Poll, conducted Sept. 4 -16, say candidates’ views on energy issues will greatly influence their choices at the ballot box.
Yet that doesn’t mean millennials will necessarily swing the Nov. 4 election toward eco-minded candidates. Why? The poll finds that while 68% say they plan to vote, older Americans are even more likely to do so — a whopping 87% of those aged 55 and older.
TRANSPORTATION/ JOBS / DIVERSITY
A Federal Transportation Initiative, combined with 8. A Federal Jobs Program, and 9. A Clear Path to Citizenship for
Millennial ImmigrantsFor many Millennials, the mid-20th century days of automobile-centered lifestyles in homogenous suburbs are a pipe dream. And we should be glad. As the generation that saw the Exxon Oil Spill of 1989 repeated by BP in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, the overwhelming majority of Millennials support weaning America off of fossil fuel dependency. There’s no reason why a federal mandate—including dedicated financial subsidies—couldn’t encourage companies like Ford or Boeing to reinvent themselves as pioneers of a countrywide rapid rail transit system. A coherent green jobs program to build this transit system could be coupled with a clear path to citizenship for immigrant Millennials, who could earn full political enfranchisement by getting a decent-paying job in infrastructural development for these transit projects. This is about making the world better for Millennials in the present, and for future generations as well.
BUSINESS / JOB'S / CAREER'S
Job Classification ReformInterns. Freelancers. Temps.
The Millennial debt burden has made many of us members of an undercaste of laborers who endure low-wage gigs that don’t pay healthcare benefits. Aware of our precarious situation, corporations and non-profits in search of cheap labor prey on our desperation. They give us work, but refuse to classify us as employees—despite the fact that we perform vital functions for them. It’s no surprise that many believe the exploitative canard that Millennials “prefer praise to pay.” This is unacceptable and unfair. The Supreme Court of California’s recent ruling which dictated that Über drivers are to be treated as employees—not as “contractors”—set an important precedent. Hopefully, the localized rumblings will treble into federal reform. An employee is an employee is an employee.
5. Federally-mandated Wage Reform, and 6. Mandatory Income Tax
The cities that Millennials live and work in are increasingly cash-strapped. Budgetary shortfalls happen when a city’s tax base shrinks due to a) the disappearance of jobs and taxable income, and b) a reluctance to tax big businesses. As a result, many of these cities—and the people in them—take desperate measures on the path to financial solvency. Young people may look to the drug trade to supplant the income they get from poverty-wage jobs; and cash-strapped police departments lobby the federal government for grants and equipment that are tied to trumped-up crime rates and bogus arrest quotas. If America committed to growing its tax base with higher wages and a more progressive tax structure, there will be less incentive for citizens to commit certain crimes, and less incentive for cities to manufacture crime rates. Millennial activists have forced us to talk about police brutality as a race issue; the point is seldom made that it’s a socioeconomic one as well.