Two weeks ago, I wrote that this Congress is likely a dud, neglecting important issues and hurting Millennials in the long run. However, I never mentioned a way on how we can fix the system and make it work for us- instead of against us.
I feel I was implying the issues today cannot be solved by us, but the opposite is true. A National Journal article recently highlighted 25 women who are influencing the political landscape of Washington. What is so special about these women? All of them are Millennials.
Millennials can make a difference and there are many places where we can start. To that end, I present four groups that not only represent Millennials effectively, but allow Millennials to be part of the solution.
Generation Financial Knowledge and Development was started by Jesse Jacobs and Justin Dent to educate our generation about economics and financial independence in an informative and fun way. They created basic tools, including the paycheck calculator that finds your take home pay after taxes- helping Millennials plan for a financially stable future. You can get involved in many ways, from submitting your story of financial independence, writing about an issue that is important to you, or joining a college chapter. No matter what you do in GenFKD, it is always important to educate your peers about being financially independent.
#3 Represent Us
It’s no secret that since Citizens United, campaign financing has gone off the rails. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, politicians, donors and Super PACs raised over a billion dollars and spent nearly $940 million in 2014 with almost no guidelines on using the money. Represent Us is dedicated to ending this political corruption letting all voices be heard equally.
They have created a model legislation called the Anti-Corruption Act that is both constitutional and effective. Represent Us prefers a bottom up approach- passing the bill in cities and states to create a movement that would force Congress to pass the Anti-Corruption Act. Currently, Represent Us needs volunteers to help spread the word, mobilize popular support behind it or even start a college chapter. If Millennials want their voices heard properly, then we should fight to make our government transparent.
#2 No Labels
Bipartisanship is key in a divided government, yet Congress has been nothing but divided. No Labels is fighting to fix that by uniting Democrats, Republicans and Independents to come up with bipartisan solutions to fix the country’s problems. Founded in 2010, No Labels now has a caucus with over 70 congressional members and created the National Strategic Agenda, which aims to balance the budget, create 25 million new jobs in 10 years, make social security and Medicare financially viable for the next 75 years and obtain energy independence. The best way to help is through an (unpaid) internship in Washington, starting a No Labels College chapter, or working for a Congressperson that has joined No Labels.
#1 [Insert Your Group Name Here]
There are many groups that do important work, but sometimes the issue that motivates you most is not a national or a state concern but a community issue. Sometimes the group that stands for causes that matter to you is the one that you create. It can be as small as providing fresh food on the cheap to college students or as large as promoting gender equality. Whatever you decide to do, it is important to follow Gandhi’s words, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
As a generation we are capable of doing many things. Granted, it will not be easy but I believe that our future is a cause worth fighting for.