Votes Are In: Illinois Millennials Put Financing Education and Reducing Imprisonment Rates On Policy Agenda for 2015
[CHICAGO] — At a first-of-its-kind Millennial-driven Convention in Chicago this past Saturday, young people concerned about major issues facing the state — such as unemployment, civil rights and rising education costs — came together and voted on a policy agenda for 2015 to address these problems, and more.
A Millennial-Driven Policy Platform for 2015
Employment: Raise the minimum wage & index it to inflation
Health: Fund a trauma center for gun violence victims on the South & West sides of Chicago
Environment: Create tax incentives for companies to increase energy efficiency & create or use renewable energy
Education: Provide equitable public school funding by reforming or rethinking local property tax distribution
Civil Rights: Prohibit the imprisonment of first-time nonviolent offenders, & decrease the sentences of past marijuana offenders
Civic Innovation: Integrate civic innovation into the K-12 curriculum by teaching how to use government data to solve community problems
Legislative Reform: Change the procedure for drawing legislative district boundaries to give everyone equal representation
Judicial Reform: Limit the caseloads of public defenders, allowing them more time to focus on each case
Executive Reform: Create stricter rules to decrease the influence of lobbyists, like a waiting period between working in government & lobbying
Fair Elections: Require candidates to receive funds only from Illinois residents & limit contribution amountsThe Convention marked the culmination of nearly 60 caucuses held by young Illinoisans this past summer, who brainstormed policy solutions that were put on the Convention ballot. They gathered under the umbrella of a new Millennial movement called NextGen Illinois.The movement, started by Young Invincibles and the Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network — in partnership with community organizations — drew more than 700 young adults this past summer to bars, community centers and parks to discuss the state’s future.
Historically, young Illinoisans have voted at disproportionately low rates during midterm election cycles, according to reports by CIRCLE; the Convention had the potential to change this. Please be in touch with questions.