Roosevelt’s Next Generation Blueprint Campaign
California has a problem. That problem is Proposition 13. This amendment, passed in 1978, lowers property tax and limits its increase. Since its passage there have been huge repercussions. Communities can no longer depend on property tax to fund vital services and must raise other taxes such as sales tax. This system allows for low income communities to stay low income, allows for lackluster public services, and allows a decline in homeownership. The creation of this proposition was by the wealthy homeowners who have no interest for low income communities.
It is policies like this that Roosevelt @ Mt. San Antonio College participated in the Next Generation Blueprint for 2016, a document built by 1,000 young people from 160 cities, colleges, and universities that challenges our decision-makers to take action as they seek our votes. In the 2016 elections, Millennials and Generation Z will be 36 percent of the voting electorate. Generation Z will visit the voting booth for the first time in 2016, having become politically aware in a post-financial crisis world in which our institutions have betrayed public trust and gotten away with it.
We believe that it matters who writes the rules, not just what rules are written. Yet the data shows that less effort is made to reach us as voters, and even when candidates do try to connect, we’re only asked for our votes, not our ideas. We’re active in our communities but sidelined for the decisions that shape them. This creates a vicious cycle of low voter turnout and engagement, and it leaves our communities behind.
The Blueprint seeks to disrupt that status quo, elevating ideas on education, social justice, and the economy. We seek to end the school-to-prison pipeline, address the link between poverty and criminalization, and to reform the tax code to ease the burden on middle to low income earners. California can rewrite its rules with the partnership of young people and our elected officials. We can create an equal system with better schools and better communities.
We’re also asking our decision-makers to end the vicious cycle of disenchantment and disconnect between government and citizens. In addition to taking meaningful steps to decrease the role of money in politics, the Blueprint contains proposals such as lowering the voting age to 16, supporting paid internships to increase the diversity of emerging public servants, and modernizing voter registration (which includes repealing draconian voter ID laws).
We believe it is our responsibility to reshape our politics. We also believe our leaders need to meet us halfway. It will guide our vote, and more importantly, our enthusiasm.