By Generation Opportunity, Special for US Daily Review.
Generation Opportunity recently concluded a grassroots organizing tour across Michigan engaging young people in college, those who have chosen to pursue a path outside of college – including stay-at-home-parents – those pursuing a profession in the trades or other professions, and young professionals throughout the state to listen to their top concerns. Michigan’s young adults said that the poor economy, the lack of economic opportunity and jobs, and skyrocketing gas prices were impacting both their daily lives and their future dreams. Among those who cited higher gas prices, most indicated it would cost them more to go to work, go to school, visit family or friends, and make it more difficult to pay their bills.
Generation Opportunity’s Michigan Tour included stops in Ann Arbor, Hillsdale, Kalamazoo, Holland, Grand Rapids, Allendale, Lansing, Flint, Detroit, Rochester, and Auburn Hills. Colleges and universities visited include Wayne State University, the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Hillsdale College, Western Michigan State University, Hope College, Grand Rapids Community College, Cornerstone University, Grand Valley State University, Calvin College, Davenport University, Aquinas College, Oakland University, and Oakland Community College.
“Young people have the same concerns as the rest of Americans. Years of record unemployment and steadily increasing gas prices are the chief factors impacting our daily lives – they are hitting young people particularly hard. The lack of job opportunities and scarcity of meaningful, full-time jobs are impacting young Americans’ ability to plan for the future,” said Terence Grado, Generation Opportunity’s Director of National and State Policy. “Many young Americans are being told they should redefine success and settle for part-time jobs that do not prepare them for their careers. It should come as no surprise that they are growing more and more frustrated with the lack of leadership in Washington, D.C. People we elected, who fail to listen to our concerns and insist on spending America deeper into debt, are expecting us to pick up the tab long after they leave office.”
Generation Opportunity also met and trained Michigan college leaders from Kettering University, Marygrove College, Siena Heights University, and Aquinas College at the American Student Government Association (ASGA) Conference last fall.
Recently, Generation Opportunity expanded its national grassroots efforts through its online “Grassroots Training Guide Series” by making all guides available in Spanish. The series is available at http://generationopportunity.org/take-action/ and in Spanish athttp://generationopportunity.org/espanol/.
Generation Opportunity commissioned a poll with the polling company, inc./WomanTrend (April 16 – 22, 2011, +/- 4% margin of error) and a highlighted result for all young Americans ages 18-29 appears below:
Millennials Reject Washington Leadership and Failed Economic Policies:
- Just 31% of 18 – 29 year-olds approve of President Obama’s handling of youth unemployment.
- 69% say the current leadership in Washington fails to reflect the interests of the younger generation.
- 69% prefer reducing federal spending over raising taxes on individuals in order to balance the federal budget.
- 59% of overall Millennials agree the economy grows best when individuals are allowed to create businesses without government interference.
- 70% would increase production of domestic energy sources like oil, natural gas, and coal.
Delayed Dreams from a Poor Economy and the Lack of Opportunity:
- 77% of young people ages 18-29 either have or will delay a major life change or purchase due to economic factors:
- 44% delay buying a home;
- 28% delay saving for retirement;
- 27% delay paying off student loans or other debt;
- 27% delay going back to school/getting more education or training;
- 26% delay changing jobs/cities;
- 23% delay starting a family;
- 18% delay getting married.
ABOUT GENERATION OPPORTUNITY
Generation Opportunity is a non-profit, non-partisan 501 (c)(4) organization that seeks to engage everyone from young adults, to early career professionals, college students, young mothers and fathers, construction workers, current service men and women, veterans, entrepreneurs, and all Americans who find themselves dissatisfied with the status quo and willing to create a better tomorrow.
Generation Opportunity operates on a strategy that combines advanced social media tactics with proven field tactics to reach Americans 18-29. The organization’s social media platforms – “Being American by GO” on Facebook and “The Constitution by GO” on Facebook – have amassed a total fan base of more than 2.4 million. Both pages post links to relevant articles and reports from sources ranging from the federal General Accountability Office (GAO), to The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Brookings Institution, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, and The Heritage Foundation.