Young Voters Demand More From President BidenYouth-led advocacy groups warned that a failure to deliver on promises could jeopardize Biden's chances of a second term.
Ahead of U.S. President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address scheduled for Tuesday evening, four national youth-led advocacy groups on Monday warned the president that a continued failure to deliver on his promises to young voters could jeopardize his chances of a second term in the White House.
The Sunrise Movement, March for Our Lives, United We Dream Action, and Gen Z for Change reminded Biden in a statement that they helped convince young Americans “to defend our democracy in record numbers in 2020 and in 2022″—and those voters are expecting the president to work in their best interest and enact policies they have long championed.
“We are a vital voting bloc, and in the next two years, President Biden must listen to us and deliver,” tweeted the Sunrise Movement, which has been credited with pushing more than 100 Democratic lawmakers to co-sponsor the Green New Deal.
“We need to see more from President Biden,” said the organizations. “Without a Democratic majority in Congress, President Biden must step up and use the full extent of his power to invest in the top issues facing our generation. Young people demand bold action on climate change and gun violence, and we need solutions for our country’s immigration system that respect people’s rights and keep families together.”
Polls showed after the midterm elections in November that voters between the ages of 18 and 29 supported Democrats by a 28-point margin, and that turnout among young voters was the second-highest for a midterm election in three decades. Young voters of color particularly helped Biden’s party to avoid the “red wave” that political observers predicted, with 87% of Black youth and 67% of Latino young voting for Democratic House candidates, compared to 57% of young white voters.
Young voters nationwide also helped “lead Biden to victory” in 2020, reported the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University. Just over half of white young voters supported Biden, while 73% and 87% of Latino and Black young voters, respectively, backed him.
Groups including the Sunrise Movement and Gen Z for Change have been instrumental not just in get-out-the-vote efforts, but also pushing the president to secure broadly popular reforms, including student loan debt cancellation.
“In the last two years, young people, especially young people of color, organized to push the Biden administration to cancel student loan debt, make record investments to combat the climate crisis, and to undo some of the most heinous Trump-era policies,” said the groups.
They demanded that he end the anti-immigration policy Title 42, which he expanded last month, and declare a climate emergency and “invoke the Defense Production Act to expedite the U.S. transition to renewable energy.”
Although Biden approved major renewable energy investments last year when he signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law, the package also allowed for the expansion of fossil fuel use. Last week, his Bureau of Land Management gave partial approval for a major drilling project, a day after his Environmental Protection Agency blocked the Pebble Mine project.
In addition to pushing the president to deliver climate action and justice for asylum-seekers, the groups called on him to:
- Acknowledge the work of youth groups and activists when speaking to the achievements of the administration during the State of the Union;
- Declare a pathway to citizenship for all undocumented people;
- Defend the DACA policy in the courts and ensure the protection of immigrant youth from deportation;
- Declare the gun violence epidemic a national emergency;
- Establish an office of gun violence prevention to coordinate the federal response to the gun violence crisis; and
- Leverage the presidential bully pulpit and real power of the presidency to address gun violence through executive action.
The joint statement came as the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research released poll results showing just 37% of Democrats want Biden to run for a second term, down from 52% just before the midterms. The president has not officially stated whether he will seek reelection.
“Young people are the largest voting bloc in this country,” said the groups. “We made the difference in electing President Biden in 2020, saved Democrats again in 2022, and if President Biden wants to hold Democratic power long-term, he must listen to us and deliver.”Wait, before you go…
If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface. We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.
Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.Support Truthdig
There are currently no responses to this article.
Be the first to respond.