Dear Gen Z, to protect your right to protest, you must exercise your right to vote
Young people have shown again and again how far they’re willing to go for climate justice — organizing and attending some of the biggest global protests the world has ever seen, engaging in mass acts of civil disobedience, and calling out institutions, politicians, and organizations for failing on climate. But I fear they might sit out the U.S. presidential election.
As a millennial and longtime youth climate-justice organizer, I’ve been speaking to hundreds of young people, and I’ve heard over and over again how much folks feel disaffected by electoral politics and unenthused about their voting options. A recent survey found that more than 40 percent of Gen Z respondents didn’t think their vote would matter in the presidential contest. Early evidence from North Carolina shows young voters lagging far behind older voters in returning their requested mail-in ballots.
Many of my peers have told me they would rather protest and get arrested blocking pipelines than vote. I love protesting, too, but right now, voting is also an act of resistance. If people don’t vote, they’ll be playing right into the hands of the fossil fuel industry.
The fossil fuel industry wo... Read more