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Declining Civic Involvement

January 17th, 2012 by Mike Vasilinda

A new report shows Florida’s 18 to 29 year olds vote less often, are less engaged in their communities and volunteer less than young adults in other states or other age groups in Florida. The study was published by the Florida Joint Center for Citizenship, the Lou Frey Institute of Politics and Government at the University of Central Florida, the Bob Graham Center for Public Service at the University of Florida. As Mike Vasilinda tells us a new voting law may make it harder to turn the situation around.

Florida’s millennial generation, those 18 to 29 are voting less than the same age group nationally and are less involved politically and in civic endeavors than young adults in other states or older age groups in Florida.

The Florida Civic Health Index is a study by Former US Senator Bob Graham’s Center for Public Service and the Lou Frey Institute of Politics, among others.

“We found that Florida was 46th out of the 50 states in terms of its indicators of good citizenship,” says Graham.

The Report shows that besides voting, political action among Florida’s young adults is almost non existent. Involvement by students at Florida State runs the gamut: We talked to five students with five very different responses:

“Just this weekend there was a show with a bake sale going on, bringing people together.
“for this girl with Leukemia. We made about nine hundred dollars this weekend.”
“Ah…do I have to answer the question.”
Do you volunteer, do anything else? “ah…no.”
“I join clubs.”

But New legislation under court challenge makes it harder to register to vote or work to register others. Bob Graham says the law won’t encourage millennial’s to get more involved. “I think that’s going in the wrong direction. And that bill, unfortunately, particularly will affect the 18 to 29 year olds,” says the former Governor and US Senator.

One bright spot in the Report: Race is not as significant in determining civic engagement among 18 to 29 year olds as it is in older age groups.

The four levels of involvement measured in the latest study include. registering to vote, voting, non electoral political engagement such as going to meetings or meeting with elected officials, joining a group, and volunteering in the community.

Posted in Education, Elections, Ethics, Voting | 12 Comments »

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