We Care & We Want.

Unfortunately, presidential elections never seem to draw much attention from the American public, who more often than not, just don’t seem to care all that much about catching a Democratic or Republican primary debate in comparison to something like the NBA playoffs or a Games of Thrones marathon.

Heartbreaking as it may seem, active political participation has never been a particularly favorite pastime in this country. In fact, it’s more of a sore subject, something we kind of sort of just have to deal and go along with as citizens of such a poll booth crazed bundle of united states. Many a times, even important issues such as national security, health care, education, economics, or immigration reform don’t peak our interests in the ways that they should. Those nitty gritty races for an Oval Office seat often don’t either— they just happen to be another one of those trivial governmental races that happen every four years or so.

It hasn’t been all that different this time around. With several national debates already under our belts and POTUS having given his final State Of The Union address recently, election season is in full swing. Yet a recent Pew Research Center survey concludes that though attention to poll numbers has bumped up an ever so slight sixteen percent, the majority of Americans are still not following the race, with a little more than one-fourth really even caring at all.

2999130055_8697986e51_zLike it or not, political action just hasn’t been the thing. It never really has been. That needs to change though, and perhaps the best way to go about this is for us to realize that every vote can indeed make a difference. The under-35 generation is now the largest living generation to date, surpassing baby boomers by far with a whopping 75.4 million and counting.

So what does this all mean? Well, for starters, we’ve been given a luxury and a gift many people in other countries still do not have. So it’s time for us to appreciate that, to take advantage of that. The time is now for the general American public, to start ‘paying attention.’ If change is to be invoked, taking a long hard look at the issues and ‘doing something about them’ is key.

And sure, it may be relatively easy for me (as a mere Millennial) to say this while chomping away on the keys of a MacBook Pro, but really, with the recent Paris and San Bernardino attacks, declining national poverty rates, higher education cutbacks, impending climate disasters, and a whole slew of other life-death issues, it’s pertinent that we band together to examine our radical histories and step into the political spectrum. Here are some of the things we’d like to see our next President (and the U.S. government in general) pay attention to and (finally) address:

We want to flourish, not flounder as an economy.

Oh economics, what woes and troubles you continue to cause us Americans (and not just since the 2008 recession)! Jobs, the minimum wage, paid leave, income inequality, and breaking up big bank corporations—those are just a select few amongst loads of other financial problems we need to fix. Really, things have got to get done if we want to turn our daily focuses away from hefty pocketbook issues and towards more important things in life. Seriously, juggling three jobs and figuring out how to make ends meet is not the way to “live.” For anyone.

Like Baby Boomers and basically every other generation that preceded us, Millennials no doubt want the economy booming, not totally buzzed. As soon as it slows and slurs, companies get leaner and debt because inevitable. And speaking of debt, let’s not even get started on the topic of college affordability and student debt. These could not be more of a stresser, especially for youngins’ like ourselves who are often faced, even when coming into their mid-30s, the consequences of having resorted to student loans back in the day. Plus, there are always those unreasonable and always rising higher education costs that never ever seem to end. Good grief.

We want to sleep soundly again during nights, without our eyes wide open.

Back in 2001, 9/11 instigated some never ending foreign policy, border safety, and basic well-being issues that the U.S. has been constantly embroiled in since most of us can remember. As a naïve middle schooler, I didn’t fully realize the impact of the Twin Tower tragedy until much later. Too much later. But now, with ISIS, the refugee crisis, as well as the recent San Bernardino and Paris attacks, the topic of terrorism has once again reached a tipping point.

Should we be committing and/or deploying ground troops and armed forces to combat the self-proclaimed Islamic State? Should we be accepting refugees from foreign conflicts such as Syria or Central America like our European counterparts? Should we be helping to alleviate extreme poverty in other countries to combat extremism? As of recent weeks, everybody from Donald Trump and Nikki Haley to Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have said numerous things about these topics. Obama’s already been blasted for attempting to remove certain refugees via “inhumane” ICE raids earlier this year. There needs to be a solution. Fast. We need to feel safe. Now.

We want to go to school or work without having to worry about being brazed by dozens of bullets.

Columbine was nearly two decades ago. Sandy Hook was several years ago. San Bernardino was just a few months ago. It really seems that all too much violence has been and still is occurring in this country—and all because of guns. Second Amendment or not, actions need desperately to be taken to ensure that we can continue to learn, live, and work in utter peace and quiet. Period.

So please amp up on gun control reform, dear Mr. President—by enforcing stricter gun laws, paying stronger attention to the mental health care system, and requiring universal background checks for all gun purchasers.

We want to live, love and let loose– regardless of the color of our skin– without fearing those dressed in uniform.

As of late, this has become a huge issue. Since when should Americans—White, Black, Hispanic, or Asian—have to be super scared of men carrying shiny badges and guns who supposedly work to protect us as citizens? Sure, cameras may (or may not) help the totally hot-button issue, but really, my friends, it all comes down to one single thing: Racial injustice and how we have to work together to combat that.

We want to thrive without thinking that an imminent Apocalypse will soon be heading our way.

The threat of climate and environmental changes such as global warming has made life so much harder to deal with these days. Really, fearing that it may very well be the end of the world in a decade or two is not the way to spend our days.

011016-Millennial-Poll.V2It needs to be said though that not enough efforts are being taken to combat this nature-caused crisis we currently find ourselves stuck in. And seriously, if we don’t even have a place to live, there’s no need to worry about anything else, am I right?

So come on folks, it’s time to transition to mostly clean or renewable energy by, let’s say the year 2030, or conserve on all that water and energy we sometimes unknowingly waste to help along the process. As a southern Californian, I know all too well that Mother Nature is begging us to save on that H2O (and electricity!)– brown lawns and shorter showers aside, it’s a must!

We want clean and breathable air.

Face it, smog is bad—not only for hair, skin, nails, and the environment, but even helplessly automobile-dependent human beings who seem to be the very ones causing this dirty old mess. Let’s make some changes this year by putting heavier investments into building buses and railways for nifty transportation options such as carpooling, road sharing, and public transit systems. In the end, it could all add up to less cars, less smog, cleaner air, and more happy people. It’s a win-win.

-PC

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