Opinion: The transformative power of Gen Z in politics

By Sabrina Bousbar

March 18, 2024

“We deserve better than do-nothing politicians who just offer more ‘thoughts and prayers’ after every mass shooting,” Gen Z congressional candidate Sabrina Bousbar writes in an op-ed.

As a daughter of immigrants and Gen Zer running for office, I know firsthand what it’s like to be underestimated and undervalued. It’s an obstacle that young women of color, and young people more broadly, often encounter as their perspectives are discounted and disregarded.

And I’m here to say that’s a mistake.

When it comes down to it, Gen Z holds significant, transformative power. Our generation is the first to grow up in the digital age, and we are a powerful force in shaping political discourse and driving movements. We are increasingly adaptable, come from so many different backgrounds and perspectives, and are eager to collaborate and find actual solutions.

From gun violence to abortion rights to economic security to the climate crisis, these urgent realities profoundly impact all of us, and especially our generation. And it is imperative that we, as Gen Z, do our part because we are the key to a better future for all of us.

It is my firm belief in the power of Gen Z that led to my bid for Congress in my home district in Florida this year. And as I speak with voters, it’s clear that people across the country are ready for leaders focused on actually getting things done.

We deserve better than do-nothing politicians who just offer more ‘thoughts and prayers’ after every mass shooting.

We deserve better than do-nothing politicians who are dead-set on banning abortion nationally, attacking family planning like IVF, and restricting access to lifesaving healthcare.

We deserve better than do-nothing politicians who deny the climate crisis, particularly in the face of stronger, more deadly hurricanes, and refuse to act on the existential crisis of our time.

My opponent Anna Paulina Luna is at the center of Congress’s inaction on these pressing issues that impact people’s everyday lives. Rather than working towards solutions, she continues to prioritize conspiracy theories and her right-wing extreme ideology above the people she is supposed to serve.

These very real problems are here, whether we like it or not, and there is so much at stake for our generation. For example, I am the product of a community already feeling the effects of the climate crisis – and it’s my personal knowledge of the pain it can cause that fuels my passion for boosting resiliency and preparing for the future.

But let me say this: Despite some of the challenges before us, I am hopeful for the future. Here in Florida, we are progressing towards a measure on the 2024 ballot that would enshrine abortion protections in the state constitution. People are energized and believe that politicians don’t belong in the doctor’s office. Period.

RELATED: Florida Republicans ask Supreme Court to restrict access to medication abortion

It’s critically important that we stay energized. From voter suppression tactics targeting college students and communities of color to partisan polarization and institutional obstacles, so many barriers to entry exist for young people who are interested in participating in our democratic process. We must address these systemic challenges and create an environment that empowers young people to participate actively in shaping the world we live in.

Corny as it may sound, it’s up to us to be the change we want to see. Our generation has great enthusiasm and potential as the fastest-growing voting block in the coming years.

That’s why I am so thrilled to see more and more young people run for office, not just here in Florida but nationwide. Representation in government matters, and is a vital step to ensuring our priorities are heard.

We are the leaders of today, not tomorrow, and we have a responsibility to step up. Our present – and our future – depend upon it.

As I always like to tell friends, family, and supporters: another day another slay. We’re going to keep up the work and win back the House this November.

Author

  • Sabrina Bousbar

    Sabrina Bousbar is a public servant, preparedness and recovery expert, and organizer who has dedicated her life to bringing people together to solve problems. Now, she is running for Congress in Florida’s 13th District. If successful, Sabrina will be the country’s first female Gen Z member of Congress.

CATEGORIES: COMMUNITY
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