Why Millennials feel left out of our democracy?
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“It is important and right that all privileges of the law be ours, but it is vastly more important that we be prepared for the exercise of those privileges.” – Booker T. Washington

Millennials, the nation’s largest age demographic, is suffering from a lack of enthusiasm and education that may cause many of them to skip the polls this year. Millennials are confused and distressed at the next steps in life and thrown into the “real” world without any proper tools.

You ask why we won’t vote.

We say, tell us why we should.

Now let’s separate the demographics within millennials because not all are at risk in this year’s election. This election is about the college student who has reached its last year and still cannot afford it. Or the young single mother who has already picked up her second job in the last six months to support her family. This election is about the women who are in a state that has closed every abortion clinic and is traveling miles outside her state to save her life. No age group is exempt from either situation but millennials have been bathing in these plights since the early 1990’s.

Black and brown millennials who suffer the most from the legislation that is in place to stop any upward mobility in the country has only further testified to the reasons millennials are not involved this election. There are issues that plague black and brown communities, problems which persist beyond the election cycle.  

We watch our community blindly vote democratic because their progressive agenda is said to include those black and brown faces. But black boys and girls are still dying and not just at the hand of the police. Families are still without jobs and the foul practice of under-educating children are a constant. We’ve elected president-after-president and seen Congress become stacked with Republican, whose sole mission is to obstruct bills.

However, our lives have been uncomfortable and in that we have found complacency across the country. We’ve rebelled against the status quo and the all the rhetoric has fallen on deaf ears.

Now the importance of voting becomes the center of attention when it’s time to vote. Electing senators and congressman whose names ring out for six months until election day and then disappear into thin air day after election and never to be standing in the church or the community again. Empty promises have not gone unnoticed and just because millennials aren’t indulged in policies and regulations does not mean that millennials haven’t looked around and see the displaced and disparity throughout their communities. 

Chance the Rapper says in one of his songs, “People people, we the people would like you to know that wherever you go we’re right by your side.” 

Millennials aren’t looking for another hero or saver, we need a teammate. Someone that will play on the same team as the people that he/she represents and then that is when we will vote. I will admit it is a dishonor to our past generations that have already paid a debt for us but even after all this time black communities are not fully equipped to exercise those privileges and thus have given up.

Millennials have been called on more than ever in this election cycle and there will be a great number that will show up to the polls on that big day. But when those candidates win, don’t forget to call on us when keeping affordable healthcare becomes drawn out war or when tuition and financial aid also becomes the Battle of Saratoga. Don’t call only when calls for police reform become too loud to ignore. Don’t only include millennials when the pressure is high, include millennials when there is no pressure at all because we always remind them that in our communities the beast never sleeps.

Mickle is a Partner at Caldwell Strategic Consulting, A DC Public Affairs and Lobbying firm, Former General Counsel to Sen Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonBottom Line Bottom Line Media and candidates should be ashamed that they don't talk about obesity MORE of Florida and a graduate of Harvard University. Follow her on Twitter @StephanieMickle. Browner is a former staffer from the Democratic state party of Florida. Former staffer with Congresswoman Terri SewellTerrycina (Terri) Andrea SewellLive coverage: House holds third day of public impeachment hearings Yovanovitch: It's been a 'very, very difficult time' House to take up voting rights, government funding this month MORE. Follow her on Twitter @Browner_Nakia


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