What issues resonate with teens?

Generation Z and millennials will comprise 37 percent of the 2020 electorate

The state and the nation face many significant challenges heading into the 2020 election, and the youth vote will play an integral role in the outcome.
We polled over 200 students and asked them to pick one of 10 issues on our poll that they deemed the most important. Here are the results:

Noah says:

In terms of the current state of the United States government, Congress to be specific, both the house and senate face a huge issue of polarization between republicans and democrats. As party presides over country, loyalty and patriotism, the American government appears to be at an inefficient standstill compared to the powerhouse of a nation it represents.
I personally am quite disgusted by the present condition of our American government, and am a strong supporter of bipartisanship, rather than this partisan nonsense. The idea of a bipartisan Congress in this day and age, however, seems almost as realistic as a fantasy novel.
In its contribution to this polarization, gerrymandering is an extremely pressing issue being addressed nationwide, and North Carolina is in the spotlight of the Supreme Court. Gerrymandering is a political term that describes the redrawing of voting district lines to favor a certain political party, a process that is absolutely legal. The problem with gerrymandering arises when manipulation of district lines becomes based on race or socioeconomic status or the lines drawn are so nakedly partisan that they call into question whether the constituents of a district are fairly represented.
The state’s extremely partisan gerrymander is made evident through analysis of statistics from The New York Times. With almost three million voters cast, the 2018 midterm electorate was split between 51 percent republicans and 49 percent democrats. Now tell me why, with nearly half of the electorate, the democrats only managed to secure 3 out of 13 house seats in the United States house?
These district lines are so ridiculous, that just recently, the Supreme Court is reviewing the case.
We need to return to an era of competitive house districts that elect candidates who must reach across the aisle in order to solve the pressing dilemmas, like immigration, that have been stymied in a hyper-partisan congress.
I am openly conservative by nature. I am absolutely in favor of immigration reform, though not necessarily reform in the idea of our current republican White House throne-sitter.
Reform for immigration isn’t actually a partisan issue to begin with. Both democrats and republicans poll in favor of some sort of restructuring.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals for example, a program developed by the Obama administration, has overwhelming support by 86 percent of Americans according to a poll by ABC News/Washington Post. The program is also supported by 75 percent of republicans and 96 percent of democrats. With an issue so obviously bipartisan, why is nothing being done about it?
That brings us back to gerrymandering. Gerrymandering allows for focus on party over country, and a politician’s next term rather than their current. It also completely eliminates the competitive aspect of elections as some districts are drawn in such odd shapes to capture the largest percentage of same party supporters, causing some politicians, such as democrat Alma Adams in district 12, to win by a whopping 73%. A literal donkey could run in the Charlotte-centered district and be successful.
If more candidates had to appeal to a broader electorate to even get to congress, I bet they’d be more inclined to work to solve difficult problems, like immigration reform, health care reform and making social security solvent well beyond 2030.

Lexi says:

Our national leaders have many things on their plate—crises to deal with, a country to run. With all of these concerns, many issues get thrown to the backburner or get overlooked by the barrage of news stories regarding the president’s latest statements or latest tweets.
One such story that may have been overlooked recently involved the special needs population.
In late March, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos earned the criticism of many over a budget proposal that would completely cut funding for the Special Olympics.
The Special Olympics is one of the efforts put forth to provide equal opportunities and fun for all with disabilities.
The administration’s proposal would have slashed at least $7 billion from the Department of Education programs, including funding meant for the Special Olympics. The organization received $17.6 million in federal funding this year.
This is the third year in a row that the president’s budget has proposed cutting to education funding but the first time that those cuts threatened the Special Olympics.
The Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities and physical disabilities, providing year-round training and competitions to 5 million athletes and Unified Sports partners in 172 countries.
As evidenced by the reaction to the proposed cuts, many people place a high value on the program.
As quoted in a New York Times March 27 article by Sarah Mervosh, Representative Barbara Lee, Democrat of California, told DeVos in a congressional hearing, “I still can’t understand why you would go after disabled children in your budget. You zero that out. It’s appalling.”
I share the congresswoman’s anger and also find fault with DeVos’s other budget priorities regarding education spending.
DeVos stated to one source that they, “Had to make some difficult decisions with this budget.” Her 10 percent decrease cut in her department’s overall budget would also cut school-improvement funding and the use of technology in the classroom.
DeVos’ solution would be private funding by donors.
While private funding is and could be a great way to supplement government spending, there are certain things the government needs to fund. Those with special needs are citizens, too, and they and their siblings and parents and friends derive important benefits from the confidence boost provided by athletic competition. The government supports such a program because it reflects our national commitment to those with special needs.
To cut funding for such a program in no way is a solution. In fact, it creates a bigger problem. It unravels the bond between intellectually and physically competent and disabled people, the promotion of acceptance and inclusion, and the transformative power of joy and sports.