OPINION: Youth Matters

Austin Belet, Opinions Writer

Out of 64 candidates for our municipal election cycle, only 9 are running that are under the age of forty.

We live in a generation of people who have grown up with more information and more access to that information than any generation before us. We have been fortunate enough to have been able to learn and grow in ways that have been unimaginable and unseeable, but we aren’t running the game. Why haven’t young people been trying to run for office? We have this passion to change the world, but we do very little to do it ourselves. We have been relying on people from other generations to make the decisions we want to see.

We have two people running for president under the age of forty, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Representative Tulsi Gabbard.

We have a few people elected to the Florida legislature how are under forty to include Chris Sprowls, Anna Eskamani, Carlos Guillermo Smith, and Clay Yarborough.

Our Governor is forty and his opponent in the midterms is currently thirty nine.

Our city government currently has no one under the age of 40 elected.

Well, we didn’t anyhow.

Rory Diamond, a republican from Neptune Beach, come in at 39 to become to only council member who is under forty elected to our city council since 2015.

Not to say there aren’t options otherwise. In districts 7, 8, 10, and 14, as well as at-large groups 1 and 2 there is at least one option for a candidate who more accurately reflects the views of our generation.

We live in a time where we have to worry about a climate that is changing at such a rapid pace that if measures aren’t taken right now to correct it, we can doom our futures simply out of negligence. We face an older generation mandating to those of us who will be, if not already are, running the world exactly how we will do so. We face a critical turning point in our history that gives us the leverage to move policy and progress in the direction that we want it to go.

I don’t think that every person who is eighteen needs to try to become a council member. I do think that instead of allowing the average age of congress to continue it’s steady ascent, we should be helping more and more young people run to more properly reflect the kind of life we aim to lead.


For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].