What is Giving Compass?
We connect donors to learning resources and ways to support community-led solutions. Learn more about us.
Giving Compass' Take:
• Sonam Kotadia, at Othering & Belonging Institute, explains how young voters with insightful opinions about inequality and justice are often neglected.
• Why are young voters' voices so often pushed to the margins in elections? What can we do to invest in young voters and offer them a sense of solidarity as active members of their communities?
• Learn more about the importance of youth in a strong democracy.
Despite some recent progress, most mainstream civic engagement and political outreach efforts continue to marginalize young voters in choices about strategy and resource allocation. Depending on the aims or “side” of the outreach campaign, this can take one of two forms: Young people are either taken for granted without having ever been courted or heard, or they are written off as not worth the trouble.
Pundits and strategists often talk of voter outreach as though there is one constituency open to bold proposals on economic opportunity and another interested in justice claims around identity, and that you must choose one or the other. Perhaps no voter group shows that choice to be a false one as much as young people. As detailed in the following sections, findings from the Nevada and Florida Civic Engagement Narrative Change surveys demonstrate that 18-29 year olds favor inclusive, progressive policies in both of these broad issue areas at a higher rate than the general population. What is missing is a strong sense of political efficacy and faith that “the system” will permit change of the type they envision.
The Civic Engagement Narrative Change surveys of Nevada and Florida offer clear evidence that young people in diversifying states are leading the way in embracing a racial justice agenda and expansive role for government in ensuring economic well-being. At the same time, a disproportionately large share of this group is telling us that they do not feel like voters. The fact that 31 percent of 18-29 year olds in Florida and 43 percent of those in Nevada cannot say that they generally think of themselves as voters is a problem that must be addressed.
Read the full article about young voters by Sonam Kotadia at Othering & Belonging Institute.