• Jessica Hernandez

We Are Young: Campaign of the Future

Image courtesy of One Connecticut

There is something extraordinary about working on a campaign that is staffed completely by people under the age of 27. From high school students to recent college graduates, young progressives have come together to create real change within the world of politics.

In the past few years, we have seen young people rise and fight for the causes for which they believe. From gun reform to climate activism, we are stepping up and taking matters into our own hands.

Our whole lives, we have been warned of the climate crisis and the negative effects which are impacting our planet. We have also borne witness to too many school shootings and preventable tragedies to count. The feeling of being unsafe in a public space - often one in which you are supposed to feel protected, like a school or place of worship - is all too familiar, and we have become accustomed to seeing social media posts about how things need to change.

Instead of letting our elders be the ones who make changes to better humanity and the planet that we inhabit, we are taking matters into our own hands to make sure these changes actually come to fruition.

Time and time again, other generations have proven their inability to solve pressing issues. It’s long past time we begin making real changes when flaws are made apparent. Even now, the response to the COVID-19 has highlighted the issues that must be addressed most urgently. The health care system, the education system, public assistance programs, and the institutionalized inequalities that exist within them have never been more apparent.

Mere months ago, the idea of universal health care was shot down by many, but people are realizing that it’s the best option to ensure that as many people as possible have access to basic health care. Trying to deny this is a fruitless effort, especially during a pandemic. It’s long past time we rework the health care system to be for the people instead of for profits. Health care is a basic human right, and the key to upholding this is by making sure that everyone has equal access to it. Affordability should not be a factor when considering necessities.

Living through this has not only encouraged young people to raise their voices and help make changes, but it has also shown other generations that the time for change is now. In just a few months, we will be voting in the most important election in our nation’s history. To bear witness to such a historical event is not enough - young people across the country are gearing up to make sure the changes we know the people of this country deserve become reality.

To be a member of a campaign run by young people is to finally see yourself and your aspirations for the future of this country reflected in your peers. It is the passion for change and ambition to make it happen that can be felt through a Zoom call or group message. It is the unwillingness to alter one’s views to appeal to others. It is the initial spark that is needed to ignite a world of change. We may be young, but the future is ours for the taking and we are going to ensure that it is not mishandled any further.

No idea is too bold, no intern is too young, and no voice is silenced within this campaign. Communication is key, and this is abundant within the For the Many campaign. Adam Christensen is present for every interview and weekly campaign call, which is a factor that really motivated me upon joining the campaign. We are not working to elect some official whom we’ve never met or heard from before - we are working with the candidate to get him into office.

I have always been hesitant to join political campaigns for this very reason: I wanted to make sure the candidate was really someone who I could rally behind and rest assured that they are fighting for the issues for which I believe. I didn’t want to work for someone who gave empty promises and simply talked about getting things done. I wanted to work with a candidate whose intent was to follow through with the points on their platform and would advocate for those who have long been overlooked in politics. When I heard about the Christensen campaign, I knew I had to be a part of it.

Finally, a campaign that reflected my own views and was not only advocating for the people but was made up of them, too.

Long gone are the days of campaigns run by people who have the money but lack the willingness to make a change. For too long, politics has been about financial and social status, when it really should be about the people. Listening to them and advocating for them is one thing, but building a movement led and directed by them creates an entirely different outcome. We are a group of diverse young people, who vary in age and background but are all working toward the same goal. Once people realize that this is the only way things are ever really going to change, the world will never be the same.

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