In last Sunday’s Conversation, “Millennials have key role in shaping capital’s future” (Forum, Nov. 29), Justin Knighten wrote about opportunities for young people in the state and local government and how millennials “offer the prospect of taking California’s political accomplishments further and achieving more.”
We asked: What is the best way to engage young people to vote and participate in government?
Tristan Brown – A good way to have young people engaged is to engage young people. Many times I’ve seen ideas and comments from young professionals be dismissed by older professionals. Certainly there are times when it’s good to have experience temper young enthusiasm so that it’s applied in the best way possible, but other times it’s clear to young professionals that their vision is being ignored.
If you want to engage young people so they participate in government, give them some ownership in the process. Direct mail and TV ads aren’t going to engage young voters since we don’t watch TV in a traditional way and engage with our bills and business digitally. Candidates should engage with councils of young voters and listen to their issues and address them. Look to President Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders for examples of young activism.
Chris Smith – I can remember that in my 20s I was being pretty apathetic about politics because
1. I didn’t understand a lot of it,
2. I had a lot of my own problems to deal with and just didn’t have space in my brain for political matters, and
3. I felt as though few political issues impacted me or my life.
Karen Campbell – Show them how it matters to them. War = young people getting killed, even if not you, your friends.
Jorrel Verella – High school civics courses have been cut. We need to educate!