A new study by CIRCLE (The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement) dispels misconceptions about young voters.
This is crucial data as we prepare to dive headfirst into the sure-to-be treacherous 2012 election season.
The study found that roughly 75% of young people are civically engaged in some capacity, and that youth engagement is diverse, falling into 6 distinct patterns.
“The Broadly Engaged (17.5% of black youth) filled many different leadership roles and did most of the civic and community work performed by young African Americans;
The Political Specialists (15.45) were focused on voting and other forms of political activists;
The Donors (9.7%) gave money to political or social causes but did little else
The Under-Mobilized (21.1%) were registered to vote but did not actually vote in 2010 or do much else
The Talkers (13.8%) report discussing political issues and were avid communicators online, but did not take much action otherwise; and
The Civically Alienated (22.5%) did hardly anything at all.”
Yet while it’s terrific that so many young people are engagedin some way, it’s also very troubling that so many aren’t. We won’t have a say in this democracy of ours unless we actively engage with it!
“Peter Levine, director of Circle, points out that the numbers are, in part, troubling: That one in five young black voters is almost entirely civically alienated “reduces such individuals’ political power, making them easy to ignore, and keeping them away from networks and organizations that work together to support both political and personal gains.”
How can we be most-effective in mobilizing young people?
Sound off below!