The young people mobilized by Obama's campaign were politicized in a strongly personal way long before the election contest even began. Their politicization grew from the cost of their own and their friends' involvement in the seemingly endless Iraq War. It grew from their
increased college and credit-card debt. It grew with the realization that the air they breathe gets dirtier every day. It came from a very simple but meaningful desire to make their lives better. What the campaign did, along with the longstanding work of many progressive youth organizations, was channel that energy and passion into the electoral process.For full article featuring Mattie Weiss, Ivan Firshburg, Sally Kohn, and others click here
It is now the responsibility of those same organizers to show youth the next step in that process. Civic education -- educating these new voters on the policy-making process and how their voice, art, technology, and activism can influence it -- is the way to transform into tangible results the decidedly progressive principles and values for which they voted.
At Campus Progress, we have spent the last four years working with youth to spread the word about what it means to be a progressive and how values like equality and justice can be affected through the political process. As representatives of the most diverse generation that our nation has ever seen, we are prepared to arm youth with the information and tools they need to move beyond engagement and onto results -- making our nation's laws and policies reflect the ideals that define our movement.
--Erica L. Williams, director of policy and advocacy for Campus Progress at the Center for American Progress.