Where Do We Go From Here?

Jesse Barba
Senior Director of External Affairs, Young Invincibles

By Chloé Johnston

With entire sectors of the economy dissipating and our daily lives brought to a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic, young adults are struggling, even more so, to find a job or pursue/maintain their education. As a result, many young people are finding employment in under-paid or high-risk frontline positions. To Jesse Barba, Senior Director of External Affairs at Young Invincibles, “These employment outcomes disproportionately impact marginalized populations, exacerbating pre-existing inequalities in our economy and painting a bleak picture for the future of young adult involvement in the workforce.”

As the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically affected young adults in the workforce–highlighting the disproportionate impact and exacerbation of inequalities on marginalized populations–the only question left is, where do we go from here?

With that question in mind, Barba offers this, “Political divisiveness has persistently stymied young people from benefitting from a well-functioning government, and it’s long past due to extend the table of democracy to include young people and their voice: the Generation Roundtable is the starting point.

As a far less partisan group, compared to previous generations, young people are the future. The Generation Roundtable–with its intended focus–makes a bipartisan approach to policymaking as the most effective and sensible path forward possible. For young people that have only known political stalemate and division, Barba sees “the goal of a solutions-oriented approach to policymaking and politics as an alluring one.”

Democracy reforms are critically needed to restore the full faith in our historic experiment of this Republic because every institution relies on trust to be effective. Looking towards our nation’s future and its current state, we should not misconstrue compromise to mean weak.

To Barba, “Compromise and unity are how you drive the path forward on the most pressing issues of our time.” And considering our current state, there is no time it is more needed than now.

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.