Gen Z Voting in 2020
Release Date: 09/14/2020
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On today’s episode, I’m joined by Sithara Menon. Sithara is a student and political organizer working to register college voters in Florida. As a UCLA senior planning to graduate next spring with a degree in biology, Sithara is passionate about turning out the youth vote of her peers and making sure young people’s voices are heard.
Today we’ll talk with Sithara about growing up in the San Francisco Bay area, why she’s so active as a political organizer, how at the age of 20 she’s already had to advocate for her own pay increase, and why everyone should vote in November’s election.
What We’re Talking About:
- Call to Action: REGISTER TO VOTE and vote.
- How Sithara became so active in politics early in her life. As the daughter of immigrants, the expectation of being a doctor/lawyer/tech professional ran deep in her community and family. However when she came to college, she became a community organizer.
- Young people are increasingly active on social issues - Covid, protests, environment. They are putting in the effort to educate themselves and get engaged. The breakdown comes when it turns to voting as only about 30% of young people do.
- There are a lot of barriers to voting for the first time - the physical barrier of registering, turning out to their polling place, and understanding how to vote from college.
- Sithara thinks EVERYONE should be on tik tok. It’s fun!
- She finds that taking control of her own finances also includes spending her money with organizations whose values match her own.
- 24:00 - I decided to take a quarter off of school.
- Sithara found herself in a unique situation for a 20 year old of having to ask for accommodations for her job due to covid - while also asking for a pay raise. After doing so, she found that it was so much easier than expected.
- 28:18 - “As young women, and young women of color, we’re not given much space to ask for what we want, much less what we need. I think that taking that step for myself was personally really empowering, but also helped me see it wasn’t that hard.”
- Sithara considers herself as a bit of a spender - she’ll pay more to support local farmers, donate to a movement she wants to support. But while she is very willing to give, she also considers herself a minimalist in that she doesn’t buy new clothes, and saving money is important to her.
- DON’T FORGET TO REGISTER TO VOTE - AND TURN OUT TO THE POLLS!!! NOVEMBER 3RD IS ELECTION DAY
- Twitter @ssmenon2 @studentpirgs @flopirgstudents