Q&A #3: Gen-Y And The Mayoral Race

Via email, “Jackie” asks:

Are you impressed or disappointed by Generation Y and their contributions to the mayoral race? And why?

I would separate this out a little: I think the Gen-Y/Millennial activists have demonstrated a real enthusiasm for door-to-door canvassing and other help-the-cause activity as well as interest in serious, rigorous engagement on the issues. But that’s a relatively small portion—most are not very connected to local politics and have largely checked out of this campaign, it seems to me.

The interesting thing is that, as a group, they are critically important to the future of the city—they generally want to live in thriving, progressive urban areas, tend to like it here in Boston, and are currently facing, or soon will face, the big question of whether they can stay here. For most, the answer is currently “leaning no,” due to a combination of affordability, schooling, transportation, safety, and social issues; we need to turn that to “leaning yes.” I think the candidates have generally understood that and taken it seriously, but I don’t get the sense that it’s been a big part of what’s driving the electorate, and that’s probably in large part because that generation is not being heard. Perhaps we’re just not hearing them, and they’ll make that clear on November 5.


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