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American Young People and Politics

American Young People and Politics

by Prathusha Yeruva

Only 38% of people aged 18-24 voted in the U.S. 2012 Presidential election. This is extremely disheartening considering all the important decisions that government has the power to make concerning the fate of young people. Just in this past year, the government has debated back and forth on college affordability, same sex marriage, and access to organizations like Planned Parenthood. These are definitely all issues the young people care about, however they evidently need to learn to channel that passion into producing a productive outcome.

Most people don’t think that our government can create concrete change, but it needs to be understood that this is the only way to make things different. Young people need to get more involved in government, otherwise it will be extremely difficult to see progressive change in the future. Fortunately, there are quite a few ways that young people can get involved in politics.

Grassroots political organizers are the pulse of any political candidate’s agenda. To get involved, you should start off by getting into contact with your local party and asking them about grassroots campaign opportunities. Canvassing might seem ineffective and tiresome, put if the impact that you will have helped create will definitely be seen when polling results come out. It’s definitely a good idea to get involved at the national level, so if you live in the US, now would be a good time to start for opportunities to canvass for the presidential candidate that your views most align with.

If you are really dedicated and you find that you are actually quite dedicated to canvassing and working on political campaigns, you should also take up opportunities to canvass for state or county leaders. Even though it may initially seem like these leaders are insignificant, their importance will surely be seen in their impact on your daily life. Finding opportunities to work on political campaigns might be easier if you are involved with an organization like High School Democrats of America. HSDA works to organize high schoolers so that they can spread the Democratic message while also making teenagers more politically aware.


Even if you find that you don’t really like organizing or working on a political campaign, you should still find a candidate whose views align with your own and vote for them. Every vote truly counts and the privilege it is to be able to vote should never be forgotten. Today’s young people are the future leaders of our country and it would be a real shame if potential leaders would be lost because they were not developed or involved enough in politics. just because they were never exposed to government when they were younger and weren’t given an opportunity to find that passion within them.


Prathusha Yeruva hails from the Great Lake state and is currently a sophomore at Troy Athens High School. She has an interest in biology and journalism, as well as in female empowerment.


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