Perspective of A Young Man in the States

Getting the chance to share my perspective with this audience is something I consider to be an honor and a privilege (thanks Russ!). Welcome to the mind of a 23-year-old young man of color raised by a family built with the energy of God.

I’ll start with a little background.

I was born in Medford, Oregon and raised in Clackamas, a small suburban town on the SE outskirts of Portland. After graduating from Clackamas High in 2013, I attended numerous institutions – Shoreline Community College and Portland State University to name a few.  In August 2015, I enrolled at the University of San Francisco, a dream school of mine. Although I was excited to relocate to California, moving to San Francisco was a culture shock. For the first time, I faced significant shifts in my personal life that led me to consider how my priorities should evolve.

While sitting in my dorm room on what seemed to be a regular January night, I had this crazy idea pop into my head. A feeling I’d never felt, a realization that was utterly unexpected. I spent the next few months writing about this idea. I dedicated a massive number of hours to studying, understanding, thinking about, and developing these concepts… Fast forward to April 2016… I met with Russ at the Linkedin headquarters in downtown San Francisco to share the project with him. Now, the idea is coming together as a mobile application called Volley Music. I’ve recently relocated to West Hollywood, California and Volley is launching on the iOS app store mid-summer 2018.

As of late, I have been seeking another profound purpose, something to give back as well as create space away from this twenty-nine-month long startup roller coaster ride I’ve found myself on.

Votergy is that opportunity…

I will be able to share with humans from all walks of life, create common spaces, and develop a more profound sense of appreciation for our existence. I intend to build peace among the people by spotlighting individuals and movements that have left positive legacies within the political world.

So here it goes:

Generation “Everyone” part 1

Summarizing and expressing views on The Generation Gap in politics by the PEW Research Center is where we will start. Our goal is to help demonstrate why the younger generations play significant roles in influencing the trajectory of our democracy.

The first goal is identifying the individual generations and how each one observed our previous president, Mr. Obama, and recognizes our current president, Mr. Trump. The second focus is to understand the differences in the overall thoughts and opinions developing within the “millennial” generation compared to “Generation X”, the “Baby Boomers” and the “The Great Generation.” PEW separates U.S citizens eighteen and older into six different generations. There isn’t a science behind these categories, but we use them as tools or markers to make observations and frame the debate. Below is the outlined construct.

Post-Millennial generation

Born: 1997 and later

Age of adults in 2018: 18-21

The share of adults population: 5%

Share non-Hispanic white: 53%

Our youngest generation is yet to be named. With only a 5% share of our adult population, the identity of this generation is still blooming.

Millennial generation

Born: 1981 to 1996

Age in 2018: 22 to 37

The share of adult population: 28%

Share non-Hispanic white: 56%

Generation X

Born: 1965 to 1980

Age in 2018: 38- 53

The share of adult population: 26%

Share non-Hispanic: 61%

The “younger” generations stand apart from the older generations in their views in regards to the overall scope of the government. As time passes, these generations’ experiences will shape our notions of democracy and social policy – tending to a more inclusive and representative view of the world.

The first-year approval rates of the two most recent presidents by Millennials and Gen Xers is an example of these similarities. 27% of millennials approve of our current president’s job performance; leaving 73% of millennials who don’t. Gen Xers generally followed suit with 36% approval of the current president and 64% disapproval. President Obama, on the other hand, received a 64% approval rate from millennials and a 55% approval rate from generation X.

To bluntly say it; our current president is failing at his job according to the majority of Millennials and Generation X. However, their voting rates are leaving the policy decisions to their grandparents: millenials are expected to vote at a sub 20% rate in the upcoming mid-term elections compared to well north of 50% for the older generations.

Baby Boom generation

Born: 1946 to 1964

Age in 2018: 54 to 72

The share of the adult population 29%

Share non-Hispanic white: 72%

Silent generation

Born 1928 to 1945
Age in 2018: 73 to 90
The share of adult population: 11%

Share non-Hispanic white: 79%

Our older generations, Baby Boomers and Silents generated similar feelings to one another regarding the president. 44% of Boomers and 46% of Silents have approved of the president’s initial 12 months in office.

To bluntly say it; the peers of our current president, the majority of the generation he belongs to doesn’t support him or his efforts, although it is more of a mixed bag than within the younger cohorts and these generations vote at relatively high rates: north of 70% in presidential years.

Greatest generation

Born: 1901 to 1927
Age in 2018: 91 and older

Generation “Greatest” consists of mainly grandparents, great-grandparents, and great-great-grandparents. For example, the father of our current president was born in 1905 and would be considered part of this generation. They are on average seven times more likely to vote than an 18-34 year old according to a Portland State study, but they are expected to be less than 10% of the vote in 2018.

To conclude, there are noticeable differences such as age and race within the generations, but one common understanding is feelings towards our current president. Unfortunately, that mutual feeling has a negative connotation to it and may seem discouraging that the majority of U.S citizens are upset with the current performance. Seeing this as an opportunity to grow rather than a depressing reality is key to overcoming the struggle we are facing as a nation. Encouraging and accepting the current president may seem like a reach for most, but expressing compassion will always outshine demonstrating anger. This type of problem will not solve itself, and so sharing thoughts and opening dialogue with others are excellent ways to raise awareness and initiate change. We have seen in recent research that this is a defining quality of the younger generations — we are looking for compassion and positivity, even in the face of difficult times.

Think about this perspective then brainstorm with your peers, family, and friends about ways to develop more compassion towards our president because at the end of the day;  no human is perfect.

In the words of Grammy-nominated recording artist, J. Cole;

“My intuition is telling me there will be better days”

Peace & love,
Jacob

One thought on “Perspective of A Young Man in the States

  1. Jacob, I applaud what your efforts and drive. I especially honed in on he Gen X comment about not voting. This must be corrected!

    Bravo, Jacob.

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