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Florida’s government is ready for a Millennial takeover

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Great news, everybody! Millennials are probably Florida’s best hope for survival.

Oh wait, that’s actually kind of horrifying.

This isn’t a knock against my 18-to-34-year-old friends. It’s just that Florida is facing crazy existential problems, and our elected leaders don’t really give a shit. So Millennials are responding in kind by not giving a shit about our political leaders.

I can’t really blame you. But can we talk for a second?

It’s about those problems. They’re cinematically epic. One is that global warming will cause even more flooding in Florida’s coastal cities, right about the time we run out of drinking water from our depleted aquifer. And another man-made disaster is our wacky, disconnected state government, which is hurting – and even killing – our own people, while ignoring these looming crises.

The 2014 legislative session ended on May 2 without so much as a vote on our water supply, or on what we’ll do about those floods. And Gov. Rick Scott continues to dance around the issue of Medicaid expansion, even though the delay is causing an estimated six Florida deaths a day.

Florida’s own government has abandoned its responsibility to protect us. That’s incomprehensible to a young generation that values volunteerism and public service.

It almost makes sense to disengage from a system like that. But the awkward reality for young Floridians is that, as much as your elected leaders don’t seem to deserve your time and attention, you currently don’t deserve theirs.

That’s because you’re probably not even going to vote this November.

A new national poll of 18-to-29-year-olds by Harvard’s Institute of Politics predicts historically low participation in this year’s November elections. Harvard found that only 23 percent of young Americans say they will “definitely be voting,” which is 11 percentage points lower than five months ago.

The same poll says that Millennials increasingly agree with the statements “elected officials seem to be motivated by selfish reasons” (62 percent) and “elected officials don’t seem to have the same priorities I have” (58 percent).

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