Editor’s note: Kirsten Silveira was formerly a news editor at the Collegian.
Creating jobs, education and healthcare are the main priorities of the younger generation, according to the New York Times article, “A Growing Trend: Young, Liberal and Open to Big Government.”But should the youth be concerned with the $16 trillion in debt?“I guess a better question would be why shouldn’t they care. I think that people don’t realize because it’s so politically muddy how big of a deal the debt is,” said Kirsten Silveira, regional director of The Can Kicks Back and senior political science major at CSU. “Regardless of your position on the political spectrum or future aspirations, the national debt crisis will directly impact your life.”As a new grassroots campaign launched in November, The Can Kicks Back is in the beginning stages of making its way to CSU’s campus this year. The organization, concerned with lowering the national debt, seeks to educate and mobilize our generation to increase pressure on congress to enact a bipartisan debt reduction plan by July 4, 2013.
“One we build our network to hopefully 100,000 young people this year we need to give them the information and the tools they need to be effective in putting pressure on their elected officials so that they work with the other party to find an effective solution,” said Nick Troiano, a field director for The Can Kicks Back.
“One of the main ways we’re going to get to 100,000 young people this year is through our grassroots organizing field program and that entails organizing chapters on a local level in high schools and college campuses where groups meet regularly, come up with outreach plans and then help to recruit others to the cause,” Troiano said.
Silveira is currently planning a kickoff event to take place on campus and to get the word out about CSU “kicking back.” She has been reaching out to different departments and organizations and spreading the issue as non-partisan. The plan is to work with people of different backgrounds and affiliations for a common goal.
“For the kick off, I am working with The Campaign to Fix The Debt and The Concord Coalition to have a panel of individuals speak on the importance and widespread effects of the debt, as well as an interactive debt simulation where attendees will get to try their hand at balancing our national budget,” Silveira said.
“We’re just looking to bring people to the table and have important conversations that ensure a successful future for not only our generation, but our country and the generations that come after it.”
Collegian Writer Cassandra Whelihan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org