New Era Colorado Releases Youth Agenda, Issue Platform Shaped by Young People Across Colorado

September 15, 2022

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 15, 2022

CONTACT: Camila Navarrette, Communications Director 

Camila@NewEraColorado.org 

323-423-5898

New Era Colorado Releases Youth Agenda, Issue Platform Shaped by Young People Across Colorado

 

DENVER, CO – Today, New Era Colorado, the leading voice for young people in Colorado politics, announced the Youth Agenda, a platform that reflects young Coloradans’ priority issues and demands ahead of the midterm elections. 

Informed by 1200-plus conversations with young people across the state, the Youth Agenda names the top issues young people care about and their vision for change at the local, state and federal levels. The policy platform is also a tool to apply an intersectional lens to the organization’s 501(c)3 educational and 501(c)4 advocacy and electoral work. “We’ve worked non-stop since 2006 to empower young people in every corner of Colorado to make their voices heard because we believe in the power of young people to create change. We’ve registered over 250,000 young people to vote, turned them out at record levels, and won major victories to expand access to our elections,” said Nicole Hensel, executive director of New Era Colorado. “Now, for the first time, we are clearly articulating what that change looks like and the progress young people demand to see from decision-makers.” 

The Youth Agenda’s key issues include: 

  • Climate Justice
  • Reproductive Rights
  • Higher Education & Student Debt
  • Economic Justice
  • Democracy Reform
  • Health Care & Mental Health 
  • Education 
  • LGBTQ Rights and Gender Expression
  • Immigrant Rights 
  • Criminal Justice 

New Era will lead advocacy and organizing efforts in the first five issue areas and support partners in the latter five. The platform has 18 sign-ons from partner organizations, such as Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR) and Colorado Fiscal Institute. “We know that young people will create the world that we want to see—one that is inclusive to all people and built with and alongside our communities,” said Christina Soliz, political director at COLOR. “We’re ready to continue to work in partnership with New Era to collaborate on these issues together.”

To find a full list of supporters, please visit our website

The release of the platform comes less than two months from the contentious midterm election in Colorado, where young people make up one-third of the electorate and are increasingly frustrated with not seeing bold progress on their priorities. In 2020, New Era turned out 86% of young people in their base to vote and Colorado boasted the third highest youth turnout in the country. “We inherit the crises our leaders create and the problems they perpetuate, but the Youth Agenda provides a platform on which we can fight for ourselves,” said Kiri Uhland, Youth Agenda organizing fellow at New Era Colorado. “For decision-makers, the Youth Agenda proves that we are serious about demanding change; for young people, the Youth Agenda shows that we really have the power.” 

The election arrives on the heels of recent actions to address the student debt crisis nationally and protect reproductive rights in Colorado. While young people are energized to see their issues on the ballot, they know the fight isn’t over. “November is a chance for voters, particularly young voters, to let politicians know that we won’t stand for policies that uphold unjust systems,” said Hensel. “It’s a chance for young voices to be heard and our power to be recognized, for the long term.” 

New Era will continue to run the largest statewide civic engagement and turnout program to mobilize young Coloradans with the Youth Agenda as the guiding framework. You can review the full policy platform here.  

 

New Era Colorado is a grassroots and nonpartisan nonprofit that organizes and mobilizes young people to participate in the political process. The organization works closely with students and community members through civic engagement, issue advocacy, and leadership development.