Voting, California-style

Originally publishedat  Los Angeles TimesIf we want to 'fix' voting in America, the Golden State could be the model.The lessons of the 2012 election are still being learned, but here's one we already know: We need to do more to increase voter participation.In many battleground states, the intense and highly partisan presidential campaign bumped up turnout percentages from 2008. But in most states, where the outcome of the presidential contest was predictable, voter participation fell from the historically high levels of four... Read more
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Asian-Americans Are an Emerging Force in U.S. Politics

Originally publishedat NationalJournal In the countless commentaries focusing on the demographic factors shaping the outcome of the 2012 election, there has been virtually nothing said about the contribution of Asian-Americans to the electorate and to Barack Obama’s reelection. It will be hard to ignore this growing group of voters much longer.Since at least 2009, the number of Asian immigrants entering the United States has exceeded that of Hispanics, and in 2012 Asian-Americans cast a higher percentage of their ballots for Obama than did Hispanics (73 percent... Read more
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Millennials Ready to Play Key Role in Housing Market Recovery

Originally publishedat NewGeography.comRecent data from a survey commissioned by Better Homes and Garden Real Estate (BHGRE) suggests a pent up desire among 18-35 year-olds to own a home of their own that could easily fuel a real estate boom for at least the rest of this decade.In contrast to predictions from some futurists that the Millennial generation, born 1982-2003, will be content to be lifelong renters, BHGRE’s survey found home ownership still ranked as young Americans’ most important definition of personal success.  Overall, three-fourths of those... Read more
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Another Millennial Triumph

Originally publishedat Huffington PostIn an election as close as this year's presidential contest, any group can make a credible claim for having made the critical difference in the outcome. But there is certainly no denying the impact the Millennial Generation (young voters 18-30 years old) had on the outcome of the 2012 election. Because it was so surprising to so many (but not us) there was as much commentary among the chattering classes on the day after the election about... Read more
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Millennial’s Ecological Empathy

 Originally publishedat BeInkandescentMillennials were taught to treasure nature. In 1995, almost in the middle of the generation’s birth years, 1982-2003, Disney produced an animated version of the legend of Pocahontas, which uses the heroine’s communication with animals and plants at each dramatic turning point in the story.The need to empathize with nature was further imprinted on young Millennial minds through the lyrics of the movie’s hit song, “Colors of the Wind,” that... Read more
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The GOP’s Hispanic Political Malpractice

Originally publishedat NewGeography.comOne of the more curious developments in American politics over the last two decades is the political malpractice of Republicans in dealing with Hispanic-Americans.  Indeed, it now appears that the 2012 election may well be determined by the share of the Latino vote that Governor Mitt Romney is able to keep from falling into President Barack Obama’s column.According to the Investor’s Business Daily tracking poll, Hispanics prefer Barack Obama by a greater than 2:1 margin (61% to 29% on October 25).  Hispanic-Americans have tilted... Read more
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Service, Inclusion Are Paths to Salvation for Religion in the Millennial Era

Originally publishedat NationalJournal  A recent Pew survey described an America that is more religiously diverse and less religiously observant than at any time in its history. In the two most publicized findings, Pew pointed out that for the first time ever, the number of Protestants in the U.S. population fell to less than half, while one in five Americans claimed no religious affiliation.The implications of this change will be felt widely across U.S. politics, culture, and--based on Garrison Keillor’s tongue-in-cheek reference to... Read more
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Millennial generation could kill the NFL

Originally publishedat Christian Science MonitorMany protective mothers and fathers of Millennials aren't allowing their kids to play tackle football because of health risks. These attitudes could close the NFL’s pipeline to many talented players. But these concerns also have the potential to change the violent NFL culture for the better.The emergence of the Millennial generation poses an existential threat to the future of the National Football League.Professional football has been America’s favorite spectator sport since 1972 when baby boomers became the most important TV audience demographic. Steve Sabol,... Read more
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Women, Minorities, and Millennials Will Determine America’s Next Civic Ethos

Originally publishedat NationalJournal On one level, the 2012 presidential election is a battle between two distinct party coalitions: a Republican coalition heavily centered on males, people over 50—especially seniors—and whites; and a Democratic coalition built around women, younger voters—especially Millennials—and minorities. But it is also a dispute over policy and program, because the party that develops a winning majority coalition will also determine America’s new civic ethos and answer the fundamental question of U.S. politics: What should be the size and scope of the nation’s... Read more
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Why Millennials Choose a Blended Life Over a Balanced One

Originally publishedat BeInkandescentThe cry for a better balance between work and life is deeply rooted in generational attitudes and behaviors.Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) tended to be workaholics—causing the average time their Gen X children spent with an adult role model during a typical day to fall to about 14.5 minutes.Despite their parents’ attempt to make these fleeting moments “quality time,” adult Gen Xers (born 1965-1981) are determined not to let their own work life intrude on the time they spend with... Read more
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