The Existential Crisis Facing Our Democracy

Maria Yuan
Founder, IssueVoter

By Chloé Johnston

Maria Yuan, Founder of IssueVoter, is taking part in the Generation Roundtable’s Steering Committee because “we believe in giving everyone a voice in our democracy, and this includes Millennials and Gen-Z.” Young people care about democracy. The Generation Roundtable, which will raise awareness about this fact, will hopefully help motivate civic engagement, which is what IssueVoter is passionate about.

IssueVoter serves as a tool to make civic engagement more accessible with alerts before Congress votes, sending individuals opinions directly to their Representative, and keeping Congress accountable with personalized scorecards of their Rep’s votes. Educating people of all age groups and education levels in such a way empowers them to take a more active role in their nation’s democracy.

The existential crisis our democracy is facing is critical for the next-generation to address.

But according to Yuan, “a democratic government cannot serve its constituents if the constituents do not voice their opinions both at the voting booth and year-round.” For example, during the midterm elections of 2018, voters from the ages of 18 to 35 accounted for less than 15% of the vote, which had a 30% turnout in the United States. As a whole, the average voter turnout of Americans ages 18 to 29 is consistently lower than that of all other age groups.

By joining the Generation Roundtable, IssueVoter hopes to see: Millennials and Gen-Z making their voices heard on policy-issues year-round, increasing turnout rates of young voters, and action by elected officials from recognizing the Generation Roundtable’s unified message. Yuan hopes that by “establishing unity on political issues [will] actually generate[s] policy instead of generating ideological thought, and, ultimately, the policy will affect the people, not political theory.”

Ultimately, the issues the Steering Committee focuses on–climate change, economic mobility, and democracy–are all related. When there is democratic participation in policy, we will have the ability to increase economic mobility and prevent further climate change.

Creating visibility around the bi-partisan issues that the next-generation cares about will create a movement towards policy change. As a nation built on laws, it’s a change in policy that will create the future we all envision.

With Yuan at their forefront, she believes that “together, we can create the world we want to live in with a democracy that truly represents the people.”

For more information about the Generation Roundtable, and it’s Steering Committee members, read our previous blog about “A Vision for Better Politics.”

About the Author

Chloé Johnston is the Counterweight Editor and Graphic Designer for the BridgeUSA National Team. She more recently graduated from Oregon State University with her Honors Bachelor of Science in Psychology. In her free time, she freelances and writes for her blog, The Extroverted Introvert.