HomeLearning CenterGen Z Playing a Large Role in Politics as the Most Engaged Generation

Gen Z Playing a Large Role in Politics as the Most Engaged Generation

Originally publised by Ugonma Okoroafor for YR Media

JERSEY CITY — In the last five years, Gen Z has come of voting age and they tend to be disillusioned with traditional political structures and parties, and are skeptical of mainstream politics. About eight million Gen Z are eligible to vote this year and of that number, 47% are BIPOC. YR Media’s “Control Z: #Vote2024” series examines the impact the young generation will have this election season and how more Gen Z candidates are looking to have a seat at the table.

Gen Z, the young and dynamic cohort born between the mid-1990s and early 2010s, is driving a paradigm shift toward a brighter future. 

As a result of growing up with the internet, they have access to more information and resources.  They navigate social media platforms, share information instantaneously and mobilize quickly on important issues such as climate change, racial justice, and gun control. They don’t hesitate to use their power for good. 

Moreover, Gen Z is known for its diverse and inclusive mindset. They are more likely to align themselves with progressive ideologies, and Generation Z has proven to be a formidable force in recent political movements. This impact has made Florida House Representative Anna Eskamani, one of the younger lawmakers in the legislature, connect with Gen Z. She said she tries to amplify their young voices.

“The reality is that a lot of the younger voters don’t feel inspired right now, they don’t feel like voting matters, they don’t see themselves in their elected officials, and so I literally think it’s important to provide that contrast to be that voice that can really speak to a younger generation,” said Eskamani.

In a survey conducted by CIRCLE, the 60% and 82% that did vote, “both Millennials and Gen Zers strongly believe that elections are important and that they have the power to affect change.” The study reported, at similar rates, that voting is a way to participate in the country’s development and that young people can influence and affect change. Voting for a specific candidate represents a powerful tool for making a difference. “Gen Z’s desire to influence the outcome was the second most cited reason for voting in 2022.” Their political beliefs are being shaped by a variety of influences unique to the era in which they live.

Gen Z voters feel a sense of urgency to make a change and seek candidates who will listen to their concerns and address their needs. They are looking for candidates who have realistic solutions and will work hard to implement them, not just make promises. They are also looking for open and honest candidates about their intentions and policies.

Retired educator and Director of Energizing Young Voters Pat Supplee has worked to encourage youth to become involved through civic education.

“I am devoted to working with young people. We must help them become knowledgeable voters and engaged in civil life,” Supplee said. She said she believes if young people want the world to change, they must be involved. From her perspective, young people need to understand the importance of voting.

Ashleigh Ewald, a 21-year-old college junior at Oglethorpe University and student body president. She is also the state director for Voices of Tomorrow. Ewald said young voters are eager to vote for progressive leaders.

 “I think that well-educated voters, I’m talking about young people who go above and beyond to do the research, will vote ethically to help move our country forward,” she said. 

She added that while some support from Gen Z for President Joe Biden is dwindling, she feels excitement around the 2024 Presidential Election will eventually pick up.

Ewald’s insight is right on track with Gen Z’s overall view. Axios conducted a recent poll which found that young voters’ enthusiasm for the upcoming election has decreased significantly since 2019. This could be an indication of a waning interest in the political scene among younger generations. This could be due to a lack of engagement from political candidates and parties in reaching out to young people and addressing their concerns. It could also suggest that younger generations feel that their voices are not being adequately heard or their issues are not being adequately addressed.

Gen Z must continue to fight for their rights and participate in elections. The new generation of leaders is paving the way for the Alpha generation in politics. Preparing them for tomorrow’s world, advocating for a more fair and just society. They are pushing for recognition of their rights and are demanding more representation from those in power. They believe that it is time for a new wave of progressive policies that prioritize the needs of future generations.

Back to News