Missing Faces: Creating a Reflective Democracy
The United States is on its way to becoming a minority-majority nation. Currently, millennials make up 83.1 million Americans, exceeding the 75.4 million baby boomers, and representing more than one quarter of the nation’s population. The size is complemented with great diversity – 44.2 percent are part of a minority race or ethnic group. They potentially have the greatest political power as a voting bloc, but this largest and most diverse segment of the population is not voting.
While the faces of voters continue to diversify rapidly, those leading American politics have not. The average age of elected officials in federal government has fluctuated between 53 and 63 since 1945. Seventy-one percent of elected officials are men, 90 percent are white, and 65 percent are white men. In fact, white men have eight times as much political power as women of color. This trend is evident in Ohioas 39 percent of the population consists of white men, and yet they comprise 67 percent of elected officials.
This phenomenon isn't just limited to race and gender. Other identities are under- represented in American politics including members of the LGTBQ+ community, although their numbers have been increasing.
How can we create a government that is more reflective of the American population? And how can young people, people of color, women, and other underrepresented groups be empowered to enter into the political arena? Hear from elected officials and experts from traditionally underrepresented groups as they share their stories and successes.
Nickie J. Antonio, State Representative for Ohio House District 13
Annette Blackwell, Mayor of Maple Heights
Shontel Brown, County Council Representative for District 9
Tiffany Roberts, President of Turning Point USA - Cleveland State University
Moderated by Youth Forum Council Member Milan Jain.