- About Us
- Projects & Programs
- Get Active
- Roosevelt Institute
- Join Us On
Creating a Government By and For Millennial America
by Dante Barry
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
In 2008, Millennials crashed onto the political scene, proving to be a decisive influence on the election outcomes. Anomaly, the pundits claimed. Driven by a cult of personality, the commentators predicted.
We proved them wrong in 2012. This generation's investment in progress wasn't an anomaly; it was a bellwether. It's a commitment to civic participation that goes beyond the voting booth--Millennials volunteer in record numbers, use powerful new tools in the pursuit of social justice, and innovating across sectors to find new ways to advance social good.
As the largest student policy organization in the country, the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network captured the defining civic values of our generation--a deeply held concern for equity, a respect for individual and society, and a belief in community empowerment and self determination--through the Blueprint for Millennial America, a document that united thousands of young people behind a vision for the future we wanted to inherit in the year 2040. It was definitive, embracing a remarkable boldness amid a period of economic uncertainty and political stagnation.
IDEAL (ADJ): One regarded as exemplifying an ideal and often taken as a model for imitation.
DEMOCRACY (N): Government by the people.
However, there was a growing recognition and frustration that our systems and institutions were ill prepared to tackle the complex challenges ahead of us; challenges that require collective solutions, from climate change to rising inequality. Yet while Millennials are engaged, less than 30% believe that their voice is currently represented in the democratic process. This a problem that we can solve.
Using this generation's unique ethos and commitment to pragmatic problem-solving, Millennials across the country have collaborated to design their vision for a 21st century democracy and reject the idea that our system is too broken, too stagnant, and too outdated. They have identified the parts of the system that need to be fixed while articulating what a true democracy should look like.
Government By and For Millennial America, the third installment of our blueprint series, tackles some of the most fundamental, divisive, and difficult questions on the purpose of government in furthering our country's progress: how can we hear from more voices? How can we be more transparent? How can government be more egalitarian? How can we both support individual communities and the common good of every American?
Most importantly, this pursuit is grounded in one fundamental idea that defines America's distinctive pursuit of self-governance: in the words of our namesake,
Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country.
- President Franklin D. Roosevelt
We set out to craft a blueprint, and discovered, in conversations with over a thousand young people across the country, that the Millennial generation is not yet ready to give up on America's ever evolving experiment in a government by and for the people.
If we truly believe that government is of, by, and for Millennial America, than our approach to policy change is how we can design concrete solutions, act to elevate our voice, and build a movement towards a government for the 21st century.
Over the course of the year, the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network will use the Government by and for Millennial America document as a launching point to empower young people to identify and tackle our challenges in pursuit of a more inclusive and effective government.
- Join us: let's get started. Identify your issue and run a Government By and For Millennial America conversation on your campus to change the world.
- Reserve a hard copy of the report.
- Follow GBAF Tumblr: The on-the-ground look at how young people are taking action around the blueprint for 21st century governance. Have posts, videos, or articles to put up? Share it with us.
- Follow us on Twitter and Facebook and continue the conversation.
- Join us for a watch party during President Obama's first State of the Union of his second term on February 12 to elevate our voice and build a movement towards a government for the 21st century.