Despite backing Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the 2020 Primarie democratiche — Ahmadzadeh served as a student organizer for the progressive candidate while in high school — she voted for Biden in the general election.
Ahmadzadeh was able to get behind the President in part because he listed student loan debt cancellation, climate action, criminal justice reform and the Iran deal as issues he would prioritize.
Adesso, she’s disappointed.
“I was expecting substance out of his administration. I am getting some substance, but not enough,” Ahmadzadeh said, adding that she believes Democrats need to pass Biden’s social safety net plan as soon as possible. She cited prescription drug costs as one of the areas where Democrats could help her family.
Although Biden this week signed into law the $ 1.2 trilioni di conto infrastrutturale bipartisan
— that will deliver investments into traditional infrastructure such as roads
, ponti, transito, broadband and the electric grid
— young progressives say that package alone does not go far enough
Jeffrey Clemmons — a 21-year-old student who said he “agonized” over voting for Biden, but cast a ballot for the President — thinks Democrats should be “worried” about youth voter turnout in 2022.
“We haven’t gotten so many of the things that we were promised,” said Clemmons, who attends Huston-Tillotson University, a historically Black college located in Austin, Texas.
Ahead of the 2020 Elezioni presidenziali, Biden overcame an initial lack of support from younger voters.
Half of young people ages
18 per 29 voted in
2020, secondo ricerca from Center for Information
& Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts
). And in that age group
, 60% cast a ballot for Biden
, while only
36% voted for former President Donald Trump
, secondo CNN’s 2020 exit poll
But nearly one year into his presidency
, Biden's popularity is waning
. According to a recent CNN Poll conducted by SSRS
, among those under age
30, Biden’s approval has dipped to
61%, con solo 9% saying they strongly approve of Biden’s performance as president
Lessons from this month’s state and local elections
— most notably in Virginia where former Democratic Gov
. Terry McAuliffe lost support with younger voters
, helping Republican Glenn Youngkin win the gubernatorial race
— should serve as a warning sign to Democrats ahead of
2022, dicono gli organizzatori, adding that in order to secure the youth vote
, Democrats need to go beyond being anti-Trump and actively prove they are committed to improving the daily lives of young people
“It’s not enough to just run against Donald Trump. We need an affirmative vision about what you want to do with our future,” Maxwell Lubin, CEO of Rise, a youth organization focused on college affordability and voting rights, ha detto alla CNN.
Tuition-free community college was cut from the versione of Biden’s Build Back Better plan that passed the House
. Lubin worries that if it’s not revived early next year before the midterms
, it could be a repeat scenario
“Noi (poteva) have nothing to sell next year,” Lubin said about the midterm elections, adding that young people are the most likely to drop off as voters between election cycles.
Bruna Sollod, a 30-year-old DACA recipient, said that when running campaigns, “It’s not enough for Democrats to say they’re not Trump.”
Sollod, who serves as senior communications and political director for United We Dream Action, a youth-led immigrant rights organization, said the immigrant rights community is feeling let down.
While Biden promised action on immigration, he has not yet followed through.
Although Democrats and advocates have for months been pushing to include protections for undocumented immigrants in the bill
, that too could be left out of the final legislation as the Senate parliamentarian previously made a recommendation that a pathway to citizenship should not be included if Democrats use the reconciliation process
Sollod said she’s lived in the country for 22 anni, but currently has “zero pathways to citizenship,” explaining that her DACA status is not permanent, especially now, as the program continues to face legal challenges.
“I think the Democrats try to complicate things. They say there are these rules and tradition,” Sollod said, referencing the filibuster and Senate parliamentarian. “Voters don’t care about that. They want Democrats to pass bills.”
‘We expect a return on our investment’
allo stesso modo, climate activists have in recent weeks grown increasingly vocal about their frustrations
. They have taken a number of measures to demonstrate their anger
, including a 14-day hunger strike outside the White House
“Young people handed Democrats everything they needed in 2020: a governing majority and a popular mandate. If they fail to deliver their agenda, then they will be the reason young people disengage from politics forever,” said Varshini Prakash, executive director of Sunrise Movement, the progressive youth climate activist group.
“We expect a return on our investment and for politicians to deliver on their elected promises,” Prakash said.
Ellen Sciales, spokesperson for Sunrise, said the disappointment young progressives are putting on display should make Democrats nervous.
“Democrats should fear that young people won’t come out to vote in 2022 and Democrats will lose,” ha detto alla CNN. “And there’s too much on the line to lose.”
inoltre, some young progressives worry that even if a pared down version of the Build Back Better bill passes, due to a lack of clear messaging from Democrats, the average young voter doesn’t know what’s in the bill or how it will impact their life.
“The sad thing is even if the smaller version of the Build Back Better bill does pass, we need to do a lot more work to get young voters to understand what’s in the bill,” said Ali Sait, a 20-year-old student at the University of Chicago.
Sait, who is originally from Texas, said that Democrats’ weak messaging on their priorities is a problem that could impact youth voter turnout.
Ahmadzadeh, like Sait, said the Democrats’ messaging needs improving.
“I know it’s early to know what specific parts of our community will get the money, but I want to know how that will affect me personally,” lei disse.
To fill the gap
, Sunrise Movement wrote a post sul blog attempting to explain the negotiations and Build Back Better legislation to its community of supporters
But according to Clemmons, if Democrats want support from young progressives, it’s up to them to effectively reach young people with their messaging.
“Right now we’re facing the climate crisis, evictions, health care crisis,” Clemmons said, adding that in order to “ispirare” young voters, Democrats should highlight “calcestruzzo” policy proposals.
“I need to hear a theory of change,” the self-described progressive said. “How do you plan to include us in the process of your legislation and how do you plan to move it forward on these issues?”