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Next Generation More Actively Engaged in Public Policy than You May Think

Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines, Iowa, after ...Image via Wikipedia

As any business decision maker can tell you,  government policies can have an impact on bottom line of a business. Consider for instance, in the Iowa legislature current legislation being discussed over budgets, tax credits, property-tax reform, and business procedures, and how much money these new laws will either cost or save the business community.

After a three-year effort, the Generation Iowa Commission, which the legislature formed to study and recommend policies to attract and retain young professionals in Iowa, was able to convince the legislature to place a member of the next generation on the various boards and commissions that recommend policy and legislation.

YP Iowa, a subgroup of The Iowa Association of Business and Industry, and one of the few statewide young professional organizations in the nation, has successfully organized a "YP day at the Capitol" for the last three years. The legislature itself has seen a number of new members under the age of 40 in the last few cycles.  Even the heads of both the Republican and Democrat parties in Iowa are under the age of 40.  Former gubernatorial candidate and Generation Iowa Commissioner Christian Fong would contend we have no choice but to engage the next generation. Otherwise they will leave.

The Pew research on Millennials had some interesting stats on Millennials and political activity.  Millennials tend to be more engaged in political matters than previous generations were at the same age.  This is great news, but it should come as no surprise.  The next generation has always been an active generation and the 2008 elections only cemented the notion of next generation political engagement. As a result, both political parties have seen “gold in them hills” and are increasingly shepherding and intensifying efforts to grab hold of the next generation as their new voting bloc.  Efforts of groups such as Act Blue and the Next Right have also emerged and writers such as James Carville and Robert Samuelson are claiming one side has lost touch with Millennials.

No one for certain can tell you which way these Young Professionals will land on the political landscape, but it will continue to have an impact on Iowa.

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