By Michael Lin
How would you feel if your grandparents were tasked with drafting legislation to solve today’s most pressing issues? Because that’s really what our government looks like right now.
As of 2021, the average age of our Senate was 63, and the average age of our House of Representatives–a bit younger–was 58. How well does this represent the population of the United States?
According to a report by Statista, just 16.63% of the population of the United States is over 65. However, exactly half of our Senators and nearly 32% of our House of Representatives fall under this same age category.
While it’s true that age is just a number, how much faith must we have in our Congress to represent young voters and legislate on the issues that matter to us most? Can we trust that our elected representatives are truly in touch with issues like climate change, student debt, gun violence, and long-term economic outlook?
The America that half of our Senate and nearly 32% of our House of Representatives graduated into is dramatically different from the one they continue to legislate on.
We, as young voters, have the power to shift the face of our government and ensure that our representatives are–in name and in practice–representative.
So why register to vote? It’s not just the thing we can do; it’s the only thing we must do.
The incredible team at PA Youth Vote is working hard to address this exact matter: increase voter registration among the youth. Their campaign to support voter registration and education in Pennsylvania seeks to get the 8,000 18-year-olds in Philadelphia's public high schools registered. The creation of a civically-minded, informed youth is certainly an uphill battle. But, as we know, nothing good comes easy.