2012 presents young voters with the opportunity to help bring about a better political reality. Disappointment with the current state of affairs in Washington does not justify sitting on the sidelines: as has often been said, democracy is not a spectator sport.
This weekend, over 400 youth leaders from across the Midwest converged in Cleveland, Ohio to do some political organizing. But these activists weren't coming to knock on doors for Mitt Romney or phone-bank for Barack Obama.
As a Gen Y-er, a product of hip hop culture and a young person in this economy, I've been conditioned to determine my own destiny, and, for all intents and purposes, hustle. So the answer is simple: When your government can't govern, govern yourselves.
Historically youth radicalize when disparities between expectations and reality persist. Young people need jobs in America, as is the case around the world, and we shouldn't wait for mass protests before taking serious action.
The attitudes of Millenials represent more than a mere generation gap between younger and older voters in the population -- they constitute a political chasm when it comes to the policies of the two major parties.
Young voter participation has been on the rise. But at the same time we are now seeing a concerted state-by-state effort to construct new barriers and even reverse existing laws that created greater access.