NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Gen Z 2020 : The first decision

The 2020 elections are arguably one of the most important election cycles of American history. What also makes this year very special is that it’s the first election year that many of Gen Z can vote in. Gen Z is very active on social media and is known for their activism on said sites. Gen Z may be active on social media but are they willing to go out and vote?

“Who qualifies as Gen Z?”  According to the Pew Research Center anyone born from 1997 to now is considered Gen Z.  “How many are there”  according to Statista, there are 67.12 million Gen Z kids in the entire U.S. Finally, “How Many are able to vote” According to the Pew Research Center “24 million will have the opportunity to cast a ballot in November”.

However, this does not mean their registered, it’s just an overall number of how many people will be turning 18 and up. As a member of Gen Z, myself I wanted to get my peers’ perspective on the 2020 election and current politics in general

I sat down over zoom with Julia Taliaferro who’s a freshman at Framingham state and  a political science major.

Finn: First question are you voting in the 2020 election.

Julia: Yes.

Finn: If so, who are you voting for.

Julia: I am voting for Joe Biden.

Finn: What did you think about the debate last night.

Julia: Oh god it was a nightmare, I mean it wasn’t worse than I expected, but it didn’t really make me more confident in my choice.

Finn: Do you think Biden has more gained momentum since the pandemic .

Julia: I think he has since so many Americans have died. I don’t know how much he’s gained out of it but I think it’s a safe bet he has gained some more supporters.

Finn: Since you are voting for Biden, are you just settling or are you confident in your support for him.

Julia: I am settling for Biden, I really liked Bernie Sanders.

Finn: Do you think the current president has done anything for the country.

Julia: Can it be negative.

Finn: Yes

Julia: Yeah, I feel like he reinforces a nationalist mindset. It is so clear that he doesn’t care about certain people, which is reflected by how he is focusing on the economy during a global pandemic.

Finn: What policies do you like from Biden.

Julia: I like his ideas on climate change but last night he revealed that he doesn’t support the green new deal. All in all, I think he is good for woman’s health care and I support how he wants to expand health care for the country.

Finn: How do you think the rest of Gen Z is voting.

Julia:  I feel like Gen Z is mostly liberal, but as you know we went to a tech school, so we’ve seen both sides of the spectrum. I think Gen Z is becoming more of a progressive generation. I’m also sure that all the other generations before us also claimed to be the most progressive

Finn: Final question, there is a common stereotype of Gen Z talking a big game about change on social media but the not bringing about said change. Do you think Gen Z will bring change in 2020?

Julia: Maybe not in 2020 but I feel like there has been a lot of activism influenced by Gen Z. Again, Gen Z is young at this time, there is a good chance that our generation can make a difference, it might take a while because most of us are turning 18. But I think our generation will make some sort of change, positive or negative who knows.

In 2020 there are a lot of unknowns. This election is an unknown, both candidates have their diehard supporters. This election won’t be decided in one night, but one thing is for sure. Gen Z wants their voice heard and they have the numbers to do it.  24 million members of Gen Z will be eligible to cast a vote in November. This election may be an unknown, but one thing is for sure, Gen Z will be showing up to the polls in 2020.