It’s not every day we’re given the chance to help shape the direction of our country. For the first time ever, the number of Millennials eligible to vote (69.2 million) matches that of the Baby Boomer generation (69.7 million).
Although as a group we now have the greatest political power, we are also the least likely to vote—an ironic fact since the majority of our Founding Fathers was under the age of 40 when the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776. In fact, Thomas Jefferson was 33, Millennial age, when he drafted the historic document that birthed our nation.
Coming of age during the financial crisis of 2008, with student loan debt that has topped $1.3 trillion, it’s not surprising that we’re frustrated with government. A Pew Research Center study found over two-thirds of Millennials believe politicians are working for self-gain and are not adhering to our top concerns: student debt, job opportunity, and environmental issues.
When we asked Millennials in their junior and senior year of college to rank the most important issues in this presidential race, job creation topped the list followed by fixing health care, protecting the rights of women, and making college affordable.
We clearly have issues we’re passionate about, yet a recent Harvard survey stated only 7% of Millennials reported participating in a government, political or issue-related organization during the past year.
Still, that doesn’t mean we aren’t active in our communities. The same survey also showed one-third of Millennials participate in community service. We have a clear desire to make a difference, and now we have the power to make a real impact.
If this election cycle has taught us anything, it’s that it won’t be decided by corporations, the elite, or special interests. It will be decided by millions of people making their voices heard at the ballot box. From Donald Trump riding a wave of populist support to the nomination to Bernie Sander’s famous $27 average donation, grassroots support, and individual contributions have helped these candidates earn credibility and reshape the course of the 2016 presidential election.
Just as we’ve disrupted technology, creating social and mobile platforms that have completely reinvented the way we all communicate, Millennials have the opportunity to use our voices, our time, our influence, and our dollars to prioritize the issues we care about.
The Republican National Convention will be held July 18-21st and the Democratic National Convention is July 25-28th. It’s time to tune in, get informed, and take action! Regardless of your party affiliation, Chime and Rock the Vote want you to start getting involved in this election.
So, where should you start? First, register to vote. You’ll be surprised how easy it is. Don’t believe us? Watch President Obama share 5 things that are harder than registering to vote.
Next, donate to organizations that are helping register, educate, and engage other Millennials. When you make a donation of $25 or more with your Chime card to Rock the Vote, Chime will now give you $5.00 back!
It’s time to make history. Let Chime help you do it.