The issues that are most prevalent among young voters today are; affordable housing, costs for education, gas prices, and the Iraq War. Their concerns over their ability to get an education and start lives have become a hot topic when I go out in the area. I am approached by young voters in Monmouth County all the time. They ask me questions about what is happening in the political world when it comes to the problems that we face.
These issues are in a large way tide together. Affordable housing is a problem for anyone of our generation that is attempting to start their lives after school in our area. The debt that the ones who go to college have accumulated over their time in school is a huge burden. Gas prices rising with no end in sight. Low starting salaries, if they are even able to find decent jobs. Concerns about their friends, and family serving their county in the war. These have all made our generation wake up to the reality that this generation faces a real test to the way we live our life.
With less and less money being devoted to education. Many young adults and their families are facing the fact that they may not be able to afford to go to collage. This is a scary concept to many families. It is a known fact that in the 21st century college has become a prerequisite for having the ability to enter the middle class. Many young adults elect to take loans to pay for their college education. The range of the debt that they accumulate is from $25,000 – $100,000 depending on the degree that they obtain.
Starting salaries have not risen anywhere near the rise in costs that these young people face. The rapidly rising cost of education and transportation has become oppressive to young adults. This along with a shrinking job market makes the prospect of building a life in the communities that they grew up in look less likely to happen.
With average rents in our area ranging around $900 – $1,100 for a one bedroom apartment and houses going for around $300,000 many young adults have come to the reality that they can not afford to live here. Many of the young adults that do try to live in this area have turned to communal living. In reality we are turning to a quality of life that traditionally has been that of migrant workers. In many communities in our area resident have been trying to pressure town leaders to take steps to end the practice of communal living. So what is the next step? When college educated people are forces to except a lower and lower quality of life just to survive we are not heading in the right direction.
Weather you agree or disagree with the Fair Housing Act of 1985. It has made it a constitutional obligation to provide a cretin percentage of a towns housing affordable. This is rentable and owned housing.
With elected officials in our area standing in opposition of affordable housing and funding education they have shown that they do not stand with their younger constituents. I feel that they will find the folly in this on Election Day with the ever growing feeling of desperation among younger voters combined with the overwhelming feeling of a need for change.