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Climate change PAC reaches out to millennials this election

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Climate change PAC reaches out to millennials this election

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

by Laura Wiersema, News Editor

INDIANOLA, Iowa — Millennials have the power to change this election if they take action, which is exactly what NextGen Climate, a political action committee dedicated to stopping climate change, is trying to help them do.

“Millennials in the past have not been voting at the rate that other groups have,” said Zack Davis, NextGen Climate’s state director for Iowa.

The millennial generation is as large as the baby boomer generation in the U.S. electorate, according to the Pew Research Center. This means millennials’ votes have the potential to change the course of this election. For many, this will be the first election millennial voters can participate in. Due to the absurdity of it, however, some are opting out.

“Being supportive of an issue is one thing; doing something about it is another,” Davis said.

In a poll released by NextGen this month, 71 percent of millennials said they would they would be ashamed of the U.S. if Republican Donald Trump were to win this election. In addition, 73 percent believe Trump is racist.

“(Millennials) already look at (Trump) and think that he’s a horrible choice for president,” Davis said. “What we want to do then is make sure that they don’t just think that or post about it on Facebook, but they actually turn up and vote.”

U.S. citizens have a unique opportunity to help make decisions about how they’re governed by voting. Granted, they may not have a direct hand voting bills into laws, but they can support a candidate who agrees with them. The 2016 election may be polarized and conflicting, but nothing can happen without action.

“There’s a saying that if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu,” Davis said. “By voting, you’re pulling up your seat at the table and you’re having a voice in this conversation.”

NextGen doesn’t just want millennials to vote. They want millennials to vote for the candidate they say has a solid plan to take action on climate change: Hillary Clinton.

While NextGen exists in eight states, Iowa has high stakes in the renewable energy industry. The U.S. Energy Information Administration ranks Iowa second in the nation on wind energy, which provided 31.3 percent of Iowa’s energy in 2015.

“Clean energy being such a big part of the economy here, young people having such a big impact in this election… and the importance of the timing of this issue, we see all of those three things lining up,” Davis said.

NextGen Climate Iowa is on 23 college campuses across the state helping students register to vote for a candidate who will take action. For more information and a voter’s guide, visit nextgenclimate.org.

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