2022 Election

Young People’s Issues are ALWAYS on the Ballot

November 3, 2022

By Nicole Hensel, executive director 

Young people make up one-third of the electorate in Colorado. Our voice, our vision, our values will shape our state’s political future. This is terrifically clear as we approach the 2022 midterm election on Nov. 8. In anticipation of this critical election, we did a statewide listening tour to learn about young people’s priorities, concerns, and hopes for the future. Guided by what we learned, as captured in the Youth Agenda, we asked candidates about how they prioritize (or don’t prioritize) young people’s political goals to inform the six (!!) different versions of our 2022 voter guide.  Candidates’ answers (and nonanswers) revealed that the people running to represent us don’t always follow the vision young people want to see—especially around economic justice and community safety. 

Economic Justice

Young people believe in a future where there is an ​​abundance of shared resources, every person’s basic needs are met, and we all have equitable access to improve our lives. One of the first hurdles we’ve encountered to pushing this vision is Colorado’s broken tax code and restrictive economic policies. 

Our generation is inheriting decades of stifling economic policies that prioritize tax cuts for the rich instead of investment in our schools, libraries, parks, and roads. Colorado’s regressive tax policy, TABOR, divests from our futures and drains our public resources each year and in perpetuity. TABOR’s slash and dash approach contradicts with young people’s belief in the importance of mutual aid and that our tax system should actually help the people who need it the most. If we want to address rising inflation, the cost of living, and affordable housing, we need to address the challenge at the root cause and change our tax system to reflect our values. We need to invest in our basic human needs—housing, education, healthcare, and more.

If politicians want young people in their corner to create a more equitable future, they must prioritize public investments over tax breaks for the wealthy few. That’s why we’re asking you to join us and vote NO on Proposition 121

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Community Safety

Young people believe that everybody deserves to live in healthy, safe, and thriving communities where systems of oppression are replaced with systems of care and accountability. Unfortunately, we’re still seeing politicians place the blame on individuals, rather than the systems and environments that shape people’s lives. 

We know that when people have their basic needs met, it’s easier to move on from survival mode to an environment where they can thrive. That’s why we should get folks the help they need, whether they are facing eviction and need legal assistance, or they are unhoused and cannot find affordable housing in their neighborhood. Community safety starts with community infrastructure and systems of support. 

When we invest in social infrastructure, we’re taking care of each other and making it easier for everyone in a community to thrive. That’s why we’re voting YES on Proposition 123 and YES on Denver Initiative 305 (No Eviction Without Representation).

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Vote Your Values

We must elect representatives who share our values and vote for ballot measures that promote OUR vision of the world. To see where your candidates and ballot measures stack up, check out our 2022 Youth Agenda voter guide. Join the hundreds of thousands of young Coloradans who are making their voices heard this election—and join us in the fight for our freedom.