Millennials are now a voting block of potential voters as large as the Baby Boomer generation, and they are paying attention to the 2018 midterm elections in Illinois. A Rock the Vote poll found that the economy, particularly employment, minimum wage, and paid leave, college affordability, and student loan debt are the top issues on young adult voters minds, and for good reason. Young adults today earn 20 percent less when adjusted for inflation than Baby Boomers did at their age, and it has become harder to earn a college degree. Illinois has the fifth highest tuition at four-year public colleges in the country, and it has increased by 26 percent since the recession.
YI held conversations with dozens of young adults across the state on their policy priorities for the 2018 midterm elections. We heard from community college students, young adults preparing to enter college for the first time, and recent graduates. With voices coming from Carbondale, to Peoria, to Chicago, we heard loud and clear that young adults are ready for 2018 candidates to put forward visionary solutions to the largest higher education and workforce challenges facing young adults.