While young Americans struggle to find secure jobs and pay off their student loans, the rich continue to pour their money into elections, skewing the entire political apparatus towards their needs and wants. In 2016 alone, $3.15 billion was spent on lobbying, stealing the ears of those we elected.
But what if 80 million Americans between the ages of 18 and 35 had full time lobbyists, working around the clock to advance policies that benefit them now and in the future? What if we played the game?
Everybody deserves to be heard. It’s our turn now.
And it began with a question. In 1995, then-political advisor Matt Miller asked then-Senator Alan Simpson what could be done in light of the growing inequity between young and old. Nothing, Simpson said.
“Nothing would change until someone…could walk into his office and say, ‘I’m from the American Association of Young People. We have 30 million members, and we’re watching you, Simpson. You [mess with] us and we’ll take you out.”
Miller would recount this anecdote in a 2012 op-ed in The Washington Post. What he’d anticipated had come true. Today, young Americans are coming of age only to inherit crippling student debt, decaying infrastructure, and a political to-do list that borrowers from our future. The list goes on.
25-year-old clean tech analyst Ben Brown read the op-ed that year. If a lobbyist could walk into a room supported by millions of young people, he thought to himself, it would change the game. Four years later, Brown launched the Association of Young Americans. 🚀
AYA is a non-partisan membership-based organization two decades in the making. We work to insert the voices of the 80 million Americans ages 18 to 35 into everyday politics. It’s time to get to work.
Content & Community
Equipping our community with digital tools to organize and engage with legislators around issues young Americans care about.
Partnering with more companies that align with our values to secure exclusive discounts for our contributing members.
Scaling efforts to create digestible, non-partisan guides and posts that break down current affairs, and explain how policies affect you.
Hiring lobbyists to pressure legislators at the national and state level into giving young Americans a seat at the table.
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