Adventures in PR Land

Gen Y and Erica Williams *With Video*

Posted on: December 19, 2010

*Image from americanprogress.org*

“You can call us the millennial generation…., young people, gen Y, the MTV generation, call us whatever you want to but ordinary”.

“For my generation, politics doesn’t mean a bumper sticker or yard sign. It’s not necessarily a rally or a protest …lobbying…It’s doesn’t  always mean voting.  [gasp]”

– Erica Williams

Hello and Happy Sunday Readers!

As I promised on my LinkedIn page, I will blog about a video I found over the weekend from a Pop Tech 2009 YouTube video. Pop Tech is a conference in Maine that deals with popular culture and the internet ( http://www.poptech.org/)

There was this speaker who talked about Generation Y and how we engage in the political process ( if you have kept up with my blog, you know how much I love to discuss anything Gen Y–  I bet you did not know that I love politics even more, but I don’t discuss it that much on this blog).

Here name is Erica Williams and I simply loved the speech she gave to the audience about our generation and how we want to change the world.

Here are some of the highlights of her speech.

Erica Williams, has engaging anecdotes and compelling messages about the power of Gen Y. She begins with her father’s last sermon and the message she carries with her.  After his death, she wrestled with living up to her father’s legacy while accomplishing this in her own way.  She found a solution with politics. Her passion is infectious while she eloquently describes the plight, thinking, and actions of the Gen Y political process.

  • She said by 2020, every person of this generation will be of voting age during a presidential election, which will be 103 million people… 90 million will be eligible to vote, and 40% of the electorate
  • She admits that she doesn’t like politics and on average this generation doesn’t like politics

(I must agree to a certain extent. I love watching cnn, reading up on the latest political news, watching online shows like “The Young Turks” to get a outside perspective of what is going on. But what turns me off is the infighting between parties, stalled progress, policies that are against my best interest, and baby-boomer centered polices while ignoring everyone else)

  • We are the most civically engaged, but this is not expressed through traditional means. In order to engage Gen Y, politics itself must be redefined
  • Then she talks about the healthcare town hall debates last year. There was an absence of young people at those rallies. However, it was erroneously assumed that youth absence equaled youth apathy. But the healthcare debate impacts Gen y as much as any other person. The number one reason why young people do not have health insurance is because of the cost…. Sound familiar…. It is not invincibility or lack of concern, it is a lack of resources

Remember the rule in the Obama healthcare plan which allows a person to stay on his/her parent’s healthcare plan until 27, she explains that her organization helped rally and get that section passed in the bill.

  • Instead of going to the  town halls, younger people researched the bill online, then collected petitions and signatures online, established an online forum, then they gathered video testimonials by young people and described how they were personally affected by the broken healthcare system, then they sent all of this information/data to the same legislators that were at the town halls, then the youth representatives were called to Washington and spoke with the legislators  face to face, then they spoke to Nancy Pelosi who put the new age provision in the bill.

Williams talked about more things in the video. I suggest that you check it out. I really love how she is passionate about GenY issues and I want to look into the Center for American Progress even more. I am really interested about how politics affects this generation. I don’t want to sit on the side lines and wait for legislation to “happen” to me, but to change it for me.

Here is the video link ( I couldn’t embed it… sorry):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlLTbaDaFAE

Thanks again for reading! Comment or just drop a note to say hello.

Signing out on… The Roberts Report

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Sabrina Roberts

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