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Research Analyst Terrance Woodbury Releases New Opinion Editorial, “Millennials Are Not Waiting for a Seat at the Table, They Brought a Chair”

February 12, 2019

WASHINGTON, Feb. 12, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Terrance Woodbury, a millennial researcher and Senior Analyst at Brilliant Corners Research and Strategies who conducts focus groups and public opinion polls study the perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors of millennial voters and consumers, has issued the following opinion editorial:

Millennials Are Not Waiting for a Seat at the Table, They Brought a ChairAs millennials seize political power how will they govern?

There has been a lot of talk in the early days of the 116th Congress about the historic gains made in working towards a truly representative democracy in Washington. The most women ever elected, the first Native American women, and the first Muslim women. The People’s House, as Congress is affectionately called, is beginning to look a lot more like the people it represents. But there is one group often left out of the representation conversation, millennials.

The 116th Congress also represents the youngest Congress in history comprising 26 millennials (age 22-37), up from just six the previous year. These millennials decided they would not wait for a seat at the table to become available, but instead brought a chair - they challenged incumbents and demanded generational representation at the table of democracy. In the same election cycle, a record 700 millennials ran for state legislative seats. And just this last month a millennial, Pete Buttigieg, became the first millennial to announce his candidacy for President of the United States. Indeed, millennials, many of whom first exercised their votes in the era of Obama, are now amplifying their voices in the age of Trump.

This generational representation is significant since millennials are grossly under-represented across all chambers of political power; we are 27 percent of the electorate but only 6 percent of Congress. This representation is also significant because having our voices at tables of power will inherently change the conversation to reflect where America is going rather than where it has been.

To be clear, our voices are not monolithic. However, there are three defining elements, what I refer to as the Millennial Archetype, that give a glimpse into what we can expect from millennial governance. These elements echo across our identities and our ideologies.

The recession generation. Most of the millennials entered the workforce during the worst recession followed by the biggest bank bailout in recent history, leaving us to fend for ourselves. That recession saddled millennials with massive student loan debt coupled with crippling unemployment. As a result, we maintain healthy distrust for large institutions.

Millennial governing: Corporate regulation and student loan reform (not to be mistaken with lowering the cost of college) will be a part of most millennial governing agendas. Regulating banks and big corporations will also be a prominent priority for millennials.

The internet generation. Millennials were the first generation that grew up with internet access in the home. We use the internet to connect with each other and have forged some of the most profitable companies in the world through social media and the shared economy. Most importantly, we overwhelmingly trade privacy for convenience. We also became more aware of urgent problems facing the world and recognized the interconnectivity of the human experience.

Millennial governing: Expect millennials to impede the regulation of social media companies and the shared economy. Millennials will also prioritize reversing the effects of climate change...since we must eventually inherit the earth.

The majority-minority generation. Central to who we are is, well, who we are. We are the most diverse generation in history and have ushered in the rapid diversification of America. We have overwhelmingly migrated back to urban centers where diverse people and ideas flourish. We are less likely to participate in the othering of people, foreign or domestic.

Millennial governing: more tolerant and compassionate toward differences in religion, orientation, and ethnicity. This will also significantly affect foreign policy where millennials assuming power will be less likely to ignore humanitarian challenges or injustices abroad.

It is a worthy venture to pay close attention to how millennials govern, what we prioritize and how we continue impacting the world as we’d like it to be. At this very moment, there are thousands of millennials preparing to run in various elections in 2020. So, consider it a foregone conclusion, that millennials are coming to the table with a chair, and preparing to change the entire menu.

Follow Terrance Woodbury on Twitter @t_woodbury1

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:Taroue Brooks Taroue.Brooks@yahoo.com 202-431-1119

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