National Consumers League

Life Lesson 5: How I Learned to #TurnOutForWhat

Seth WoodsOne of the reasons I love LifeSmarts is that we teach teens life lessons the easy way (rather than the hard way). We take that seriously, that’s why our motto is “Learn it. Live it.”

This time, I don’t have a “life lesson” per se, but rather an imposition:

Go vote. And if you’re not yet 18, make sure your friends who can vote do so.

A recent Harvard poll shows that only 26% of voters under 30 plan to cast a ballot on Election Day, a noted drop from two years ago. And while it’s true we’re not voting for a President this time, this year’s elections will be just as important (if not more important).

On the ballot this year are 36 U.S. Senators and all 435 Representatives, who will have the chance to make great changes to government policy. Some of these issues are especially important for teens and millennials:

  • There is a movement to raise the minimum wage to over $10/hour. How would your life be changed if that happened?
  • Health care laws continue to be a controversial issue. What happens to your family if your coverage changes?
  • Millions of credit card numbers have been stolen from major retailers’ databases this year. What should the government do to protect these consumers?
  • What happens if the federal government shuts down again?

Not to mention there are elections for countless state and local offices that will have a greater impact on your life than Congress: state legislators who decide how much money goes to education and health care, county officials who set road budgets and noise ordinances, school board members that could start your school day later or fund your team’s travel to the National LifeSmarts Championship.

Smart consumers are also smart citizens, and it is your obligation to vote. Take this opportunity to speak up and be an active part of your community.

Go vote.

And if you’re not yet 18, make sure your friends who can vote do so.