Youth In Revolt
Millennial mayors shaking up America's old politics
Millennials now outnumber baby-boomers in the United States, but they remain underrepresented in politics. Meet two young mayors of struggling cities, whose controversial ideas are engaging a new generation.
"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?