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The State of Reform
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"The only way to reclaim our democracy and create a political system that is truly of the people, by the people and for the people is by getting big money out of politics," argues Devin Hiett.

To engage young Americans in politics, we must end Citizens United

Hiett graduated in December with degrees in international studies and journalism from the University of Oklahoma. She is a volunteer at American Promise, which advocates for amending the Constitution to regulate the raising and spending of electoral campaign funds.

Younger generations are often berated for not turning out to vote at meaningful rates, and that criticism is not totally unwarranted. In the 2016 presidential race, people between 18 and 29 made up just 13 percent of the electorate. But rather than chastising Millennials and Gen Z for not voting, we need to focus on why they aren't showing up at the polls.

Ten years after one of the worst Supreme Court decisions ever, the real answer should have become abundantly clear.

In the 2018 elections alone, special-interest spending exceeded $5.7 billion. The fossil fuel industry has invested more than $2 billion in the past two decades slandering sustainable climate legislation, and the National Rifle Association has spent more than $203 million on political activities since 1998. In comparison, only half of 1 percent of Americans donate more than $10,000 in any election.

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The idea that young people don't vote because they are apathetic is a fallacy. Throughout history, many of the most influential activist movements around the world have been led by young people, and this momentum has accelerated in recent years.

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