"I actually think the current president has created in people an urgency that the things we take for granted – these freedoms – these values – aren’t a given. You have to fight for them,"
says the 27-year-old Mayor of Stockton, Michael Tubbs. Endorsed by Obama and supported by Oprah, Tubbs has made a name as an "Instagram mayor", with the aura of a rock-star to many of his fans. "Millennials are organisers. Millennials are entrepreneurs and millennials are disruptors and I am proud to be a millennial"
, says a speaker, ushering Tubbs on stage at a Democratic convention. But in spite of his popularity, Tubbs' radical policy of paying gun-criminals up to $1,000 per month for staying out of trouble has aroused petitions for his sacking. "We’re seeing a revolution of sorts, young people flipping districts and running for office – and this whole idea of waiting your turn has sort of been thrown by the wayside”
, says Alex Morse, who was elected as Mayor of Holyoke at the age of 22. He has faced backlash over his $12 million plans to produce marijuana from the city's decayed factories. Will the young mayors' optimism translate into positive change?
Produced by Dateline, SBS Australia.