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Black Millennial and Gen-Z Voters Chime In On What’s Important Leading Up to the November Midterm Elections

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13 mins read

Are candidates truly speaking to the issues that concern to Black Millennials and Gen-Z voters?

By Jeffrey L. Boney, NNPA Newswire Contributor

Originally appeared in NNPA 

As we know, elections have consequences.

With that being said, the voice of Black millennial and Gen-Z voters is critical when it comes to impacting the outcome of any election—local, countywide, state, or federal.

The 2022 midterm elections will definitely cast a major light on the future of this country, and with recent decisions surrounding education, healthcare, voting rights, abortion, student loans, and other issues, every vote will be crucial in determining what that future looks like.

The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA)—a trade association of the more than 200 African American-owned community newspapers from around the United States—recently asked several Black millennial and Gen-Z registered voters whether they planned to vote in the upcoming midterm elections and what their most important issue is going into the election.


Na’Shon (28-year-old, Black male)

Are you a registered voter? 

Yes.

Are you currently in school, working, or both? 

I am current working, and in school as an HBCU Doctoral student in Public Policy.

What is the most important issue that you want elected officials to address in 2022? Why? 

The most important issue that I want elected officials to address in 2022 is crime. The level of crime can be a major influence on how and when people move to our beautiful city to access good southern culture and economic opportunities for the sake of attaining a Good Life.

Will you be voting in the upcoming midterm elections in November? Why?

Absolutely. The late Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson said that “Politics is not perfect but it’s the best available nonviolent means of changing how we live.” I am a firm believer in that ideology. Moreover, it is my civic duty to participate in electing leaders who will impact the way my son and I shall live.


Elizabeth (24-year-old, Black female)

Are you a registered voter?  

Yes.

Are you currently in school, working, or both? 

Both.

What is the most important issue that you want elected officials to address in 2022? Why? 

The Economy. Definitely, the economy. Because we aren’t making smart moves.

Will you be voting in the upcoming midterm elections in November? Why?

Yes, I will. First off, it’s my right so of course I will exercise it. The current leadership for the upper-level government is not who I want in office. I think they have made decisions that have strongly impacted us, and no one seems to care about that. I think elected officials should address what’s happening in their own backyard. If you go against what your constituents want, or you don’t fight for change, then you’re not the right person for the job.


Aaron (32-year-old, Black male)

Are you a registered voter? 

Yes.

Are you currently in school, working, or both? 

I am an HBCU Graduate student and currently employed.

What is the most important issue that you want elected officials to address in 2022? Why? 

Voting Rights; to continue to protect this right all Americans have to ensure our democracy lasts.

Will you be voting in the upcoming midterm elections in November? Why?

Yes, because I know the important connection of voting to everyday life. I’ll be voting to honor my ancestors who endured beatings, jail, and even death, so I may have this right.


Joshua (31-year-old, Black male)

Are you a registered voter? 

Yes.

Are you currently in school, working, or both? 

Just work!

What is the most important issue that you want elected officials to address in 2022? Why? 

The issue that must be addressed for me this midterm is definitely the protection of women’s reproductive health rights. As a proud son, brother, and friend of many strong Black women, the empowerment (not just freedom to do so) for women to make decisions that THEY deem best for THEIR bodies, in order to be the healthiest and best version of themselves, is of utmost importance. Looking at the landscape of society and history, it is (or should be) clear that when protected and empowered, our world is a better place with women contributing at the highest possible level.

Will you be voting in the upcoming midterm elections in November? Why?

Yes, I will be exercising my right to vote simply out of pride, duty, and spite. It’s a right that many people years ago (maybe even now) didn’t want me to have. It moves the needle of progression, and it’s a middle finger to the powers of injustice that be.


Jonita (37-year-old, Black female)

Are you a registered voter? 

Yes.

Are you currently in school, working, or both? 

I am working.

What is the most important issue that you want elected officials to address in 2022? Why? 

Women’s State’s Rights, because it’s my body.

Will you be voting in the upcoming midterm elections in November? Why?

Yes, because my voice matters.


Caleb (21-year-old, Black male)

Are you a registered voter? 

Yes, I am a proud registered voter

Are you currently in school, working, or both? 

I am in school and working

What is the most important issue that you want elected officials to address in 2022? Why? 

I believe that all issues are important, so no issue is truly more important than others. But, I will say that I would love to see is more infrastructure changes and new beautification and developments for younger people. I feel as though throughout my entire childhood things have always looked the same with no major changes, additions, or much at all. Things are changing now, and I would like to continue to see these changes.

Will you be voting in the upcoming midterm elections in November? Why?

Yes, I will be voting. Because I believe no matter how young someone is, if you are able to vote, and even if you don’t vote, your voice should be heard, and your opinion should matter. Voting gives people the decision to change the world and every vote matters!


Trey (24-year-old, Black male)

Are you a registered voter? 

Yes, I am a registered voter.

Are you currently in school, working, or both? 

I am currently a undergraduate senior at an HBCU

What is the most important issue that you want elected officials to address in 2022? Why? 

There are countless issues that I feel need to be addressed by our elected officials, but most pressing are today’s wages. In today’s economy, I think that now even what we once considered middle class wages are just not enough to live off of in today’s society.

Will you be voting in the upcoming midterm elections in November? Why?

I’ll be voting in the midterm elections, because I think that the longer certain individuals are in office, the greater risk to the lives of everyday people.


As you can tell, this cross-sector of Black millennial and Gen-Z voters are engaged and wanting to bring about change and have their voices heard.  It is imperative that each political party, elected official, and grassroots civics group, take the voice and vote of these young, Black voters seriously and do everything to get them to the polls this November.

Jeffrey L. Boney is a political analyst and frequent contributor for the NNPA Newswire and BlackPressUSA.com, and the associate editor for the Forward Times newspaper in Houston. Jeffrey is an award-winning journalist, author, dynamic, international speaker, experienced entrepreneur, and business development strategist. Follow Jeffrey on Twitter and Instagram @realtalkjunkies and www.jeffreylboney.com.


Excerpt:
The 2022 midterm elections will definitely cast a major light on the future of this country, and with recent decisions surrounding education, healthcare, voting rights, abortion, student loans, and other issues, every vote will be crucial in determining what that future looks like.

Photo Caption:
This cross-sector of Black millennial and Gen-Z voters are engaged and wanting to bring about change and have their voices heard.

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