( – promoted by KathyinBlacksburg)
On Tuesday night, I met the people who are going to be running for Congress a few years from now. I spoke to the people who are going to be helping our businesses create the next generation of jobs. I talked with people who are inspiring and organizing their communities.
Here’s the great thing – most of them were only in their 20s.
The Fairfax County Young Democrats invited me to join them for some pizza at their meeting last night and, never one to turn down an opportunity to combine good food and good politics, I was pleased to accept the invitation.
I’m glad I did. All of the young men and women I spoke to on Tuesday night were bright, energetic, and committed to making their communities better places to live. I am very proud that our young people are taking ownership of the political process, and I’m honored to have them as allies as we move towards November. From the very beginning, our campaign has been about solving America’s problems the right way, not kicking the can down the road to the next generation – and I’m pleased to say that the next generation is fully on board with our efforts.
I am committed to supporting policies that support the next generation of Americans: increasing access to higher education, improving the affordability of healthcare, supporting the creation of new jobs, and making sure our energy consumption doesn’t destroy our environment by the time today’s youth reach middle age. Those policies have been the core of our Democratic vision for many years. I think they’re great ideas, and young people agree : a whopping 66% percent of voters under the age of 30 cast ballots for Barack Obama, and they made up 60% of first-time voters in the 2008 elections.
2008 showed us that young people are an increasingly powerful part of the electorate. When they vote, many of them vote for Democrats. Here in the 10th District, 18.4% of registered voters – about 93,000 people – are under the age of the 30. When you consider that only 240,000 people voted in the last midterm election, one thing becomes very clear: if young voters are mobilized and motivated, they can wield a tremendous influence on the outcome of this election.
For too long, the political hierarchy has written off young people, ignoring their ideas, assuming they won’t vote. Cynicism isn’t leadership, and it’s not the way to honor our children. That’s not the way the modern Democratic party operates, and I’m looking forward to working closely with young professionals throughout this campaign.
If you know a student who will be away at school on November 2nd, please email our field director and we’ll make sure you get an absentee ballot. But don’t wait until the fall – we need your help right now. Dozens of volunteers are coming together to make thousands of phone calls to voters all around the District. Will you join us? Volunteer today!
The energy and the ideas of Virginia’s youth are among the most valuable assets of the Democratic coalition here in the Commonwealth. I have learned so much from them already – and I can’t wait to see what’s next.