July 27, 2018
“Our democracy can be something that's vibrant, something that's living and breathing.”
Scott Warren is the CEO and co-founder of Generation Citizen, an organization that works to ensure students in the United States receive an effective civics education. We talk about the unique power of political action to bring about change and the need to teach our youngest generations how to be active participants in our democracy.
Political action is still king
All of the important issues that affect our daily lives touch the government in some way. Politics is a powerful agent for systemic change within government. The more frustrated we are, the more imperative it becomes to participate.
The problems in our democracy run deep
One of the most reliable predictors of voting behavior is income: the participation rate is 80% at $80,000 or more, and only 40% at $40,000. We need to invest in teaching all citizens, and especially young people, their rights and responsibilities in a democracy.
Action Civics is an essential part of the answer
Action-oriented civics education in school should be prioritized like STEM subjects. Without the knowledge and practice, we cannot expect the population to be engaged. Students should learn by doing in the classroom: identifying an issue they care about, devising a plan of action, and following through with elected officials.