Attracting Generation Y to the Ballot Box

In 2008, Generation Y voted at an impressive rate. On November 2, the country will go back to the polls to elect members to the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, and many state legislatures. Thirty-six states will elect governors and other statewide officeholders.

But are young people on track to have their voices heard in the midterm elections as they did in the presidential contest?  Professor Krista Jenkins, an Associate Professor of Political Science at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, N.J., will help us gauge Gen Y’s engagement level in the November races.

Professor Jenkins joins Keeping Up with Gen Y to discuss real world reasons why young people should be involved in the political process. After all, as she points out, when it comes to the important issues of the day, such as the economy and foreign policy, it is Generation Y who have the most to gain or lose by how legislators address them.

More about Krista Jenkins
Krista Jenkins is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, N.J.  Professor Jenkins has authored articles on gender and politics and is co-author of A New Engagement? Political Participation, Civic Life, and the Changing American Citizen, a book that examines generational differences in political attitudes and participation with a specific emphasis on Generation Y.  She’s currently working on a book that, based on interviews with mothers and daughters, examines how different generations of women understand women’s status, opportunities, and limitations in the post-women’s movement.

A native of Southern California, Professor Jenkins graduated from UCLA and received her doctorate from Rutgers.

About Tamara Bell

Tamara Bell is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Y Gen Out Loud, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that provides a platform for Generation Yto discuss national politics and public policy issues.

Tamara began her journalism career as a staff reporter for the Dallas Times Herald. A few years later, she moved to York, Pa., as a political reporter for the York Dispatch, covering local, state, and national government as well as writing investigative stories for the mid-sized daily newspaper.

A Texas girl at heart, Tamara returned to Dallas a year later to work as press relations director for the re-election campaign of U.S. Rep. John Bryant. The next year, she moved to Austin and the Texas Legislature, where she stayed for 15 years. While at the Legislature, Tamara worked for Democratic House members as Chief-of-Staff and Press Secretary, and as a Senior Policy Analyst for the Senate State Affairs Committee chaired by a Republicansenator.

In 1996, Tamara became co-owner of a political newsletter covering state issues and elections. As Editor-in-Chief, Tamara helped shape the weekly publication into a must-read for state officials, legislative aides, and lobbyists. More recently, Tamara wrote a regular column analyzing coverage by the Texas Capitol Press Corps for an online political publication. She also works as a lecturer in the Advertising Department at The University of Texasat Austin.

Tamara has also been a judge for the 2010 Bright Ideas Award given by the Texas Daily Newspaper Association, served as a panelist at the Society of Professional Journalists 2010 Region 8 Conference where the theme was How to Save Journalism, and has been a guest lecture for the Advertising Department’s Internship course, speaking about the jobs outlook for graduating seniors.

Tamara earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Journalism from The University of Texas at Austin, and her B.A. in Journalism from Texas A&M University. She resides in Austin with her son, Jackson.

Tamara Bell is also the Host of Keeping Up with Gen Y on WomensRadio. Keeping Up with Gen Y offers discussions, interviews, and commentary about important issues of the day from the perspective of Generation Y (18-to 30-years-old). Aimed at all generations interested in learning about and inspiring young people, this show features professionals, experts, researchers, and members of Gen Y who share insights and experiences about the topics on the minds of today’s young adults.