Influence of money on politics leaves young people out of the process
Sep 18, 2019 | 2:47 PM
Baltimoreans are fighting back against the big money in our elections. In November 2018, we voted overwhelmingly in support of Question H to create the Fair Election Fund and we’re now working with the Baltimore City Council to implement a strong program that will strengthen the voices and political power of everyday people, including young people (“How to reduce the influence of big donors on city government,” Sept. 16)
As a young person, the influence big money has over politics is especially relevant to my generation. We understand that money has too much influence in our elections and that those with access to wealth, mostly older individuals, have more political sway. According to a report by Demos, most large donations come from people in older demographics. The everyday person, let alone young college student, does not have the luxury to write a $500 check and not miss it. On average, college students spend around $1,000 a year on books and supplies needed for a successful education. Even if it would go to a worthy cause, large contributions are out of the question for most of us.
With low wages and the high cost of living, even young people who choose not to pursue higher education are faced with obstacles that prevent them from giving large donations. Young voters are tired of being excluded from important conversations because of our age and income. Legislation passed today, whether for better or worse, has the power to impact our lives for years to come so we should be engaged in the process from the start.
The Baltimore Fair Election Fund will make it possible for us to have a more active role in our democracy instead of watching from afar.
Faith Carter-Nottage, Baltimore
The writer is a student at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.