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Articles by Organizer for Sunrise Movement San Diego Nikayla Jefferson

Nikayla Jefferson is an organizer for Sunrise Movement San Diego and a Public Voices Fellow of The OpEd Project and the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication. She is also an incoming political science doctoral student at UC Santa Barbara. Follow her at @kayla_nikayla.

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The views expressed here do not reflect any official organizational opinions or positions at Grist and Fix. This post has been updated.

I’m 23 and co-chaired the Bernie Sanders 2020 campaign for California because, despite the age gap between Bernie and me, he was the presidential candidate who best understood my generation’s story.

Bernie understood that we’ve grown up in a broken and corrupt system — that we graduate with a lifetime of student debt and then are told we are unqualified for jobs that pay a living wage, and that too many of us are faced with the choice between food and rent. He understood that we’ve lived in the shadow of the Great Recession and an endless war. And he understood that our generation will live the rest of our lives fighting to survive the climate crisis.

For me and many other young people, Bernie was the only candidate who offered the kind of transformative change our country desperately needs.

Over two presidential runs, Bernie spoke our generation’s dream to life. When he lost momentum and dropped out of the race, I was heartbroken. I felt like any chance of a just and livable future was gone with his candi... Read more