How Young People Can Change Our Perception of Politics

Democratic member of the Virginia House of Delegates Danica Roem

Ted Eytan/Flickr

When I need an infusion of hope, this is exactly the kind of thing that does the trick:

Here’s what matters: you. Your issues, your opinions, your beliefs. Our 500+ candidates have shown us that they’re ready to make their voices heard and be the changemakers in their local communities. Thank you for standing with them and us.

— Run for Something (@runforsomething) August 9, 2018

The organization Run for Something has been doing great work over the last 20 months. But what gives me hope are those 18,000 young people who have stepped up and engaged in the political process. The line that grabbed me from that video is the one about how they are challenging the idea of what it means to be a politician. That is something that young people, without the baggage of tradition, are uniquely capable of doing.

One of the things that happens when we change the idea of what it means to be a politician is that we open the door to more diverse candidates who represent the totality of what it means to be American. Take a look at how Ayana Pressley, a candidate in Massachusetts’ 7th congressional district, describes why that is important.

To any progressive candidate or campaign that has had the charge of “identity politics” thrown at you…

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