Missouri Young Adults Rank Gas Prices, Poor Economy, and Unemployment as Top Issues

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Generation Opportunity grassroots team meets with and listens to young business leaders and small business owners at the St. Louis Business Expo; conducts organizing tour across Missouri college campuses.

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Generation Opportunity’s grassroots organizers were actively engaged in the “Show Me State” this week. The grassroots team met with and listened to a wide range of young adults including those working in the professions and the trades, entrepreneurs, community college and university students, young parents, and others who provided their personal stories on the issues that matter to them. Higher gas prices, the lack of economic opportunity, and historically high youth unemployment were discussed and identified as the top issues impacting young adults across all backgrounds and professions throughout Missouri.

“Surging gas prices, the lack of jobs, and the poor economy were significant issues of concern among young people in Missouri. Young adults who own small businesses, those who work the in professions and in the trades, young mothers, students, and those seeking jobs all raised these issues consistently. Missouri’s young people have real, practical concerns about how they can make ends meet every week because of higher gas prices and even larger concerns about how their lives are being delayed by the poor economy,” said Evan Flores, Director of Field Operations for Generation Opportunity. “Young people know the status quo is preventing many of them from finding full-time, meaningful work - we are dedicated to using our skills to mobilize our networks and communities to put America back on track.”

Generation Opportunity’s Missouri tour began in St. Louis as the grassroots team joined the 2,500 people who attended the St. Louis Business Expo. The Expo is described as “the largest business-to-business trade show and conference in the state of Missouri.” The event provided the Generation Opportunity team the chance to talk with local business leaders, small business owners, entrepreneurs, and job seekers about job creation and the need to reinvigorate the private sector. The Expo, which featured more than 100 exhibits, was co-sponsored by companies and organizations such as Charter Business Regions Bank, Innovate St. Louis, Charter Media, US Bank, PNC Bank, Missouri Procurement and Technical Assistance Centers, Stlouisgreen.com, Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers, St. Louis Small Business Monthly, Clarus Communications, Evans & Dixon, the United Way, and AT&T.

Generation Opportunity field organizers then deployed to St. Louis Community College, Harris-Stowe State University, Ranken Technical College, and the University of Missouri where they connected with large numbers of college students. Young adults relayed their personal stories of how hard it is to find meaningful jobs in their chosen career path due to poor economy and how rising gas prices have already had a negative impact on their very limited budgets. Last fall, Generation Opportunity grassroots organizers met with and trained students from East Central College in Union, Missouri, at the American Student Government Association (ASGA) Conference.

Generation Opportunity encourages young adults to become more involved in the democratic process through voter registration, issue advocacy, social media, and online training in order to increase the impact of their voices. Recently, Generation Opportunity expanded its national grassroots efforts through its online “Grassroots Training Guide Series” by making all guides available in Spanish. The series is available at http://generationopportunity.org/take-action/ and in Spanish at http://generationopportunity.org/espanol/.

Generation Opportunity commissioned a poll with the polling company, inc./WomanTrend (April 16 – 22, 2011, +/- 4% margin of error) and a highlighted result for all young Americans ages 18-29 appears below:

Millennials Reject Washington Leadership and Failed Economic Policies:

  •     Just 31% of 18 – 29 year-olds approve of President Obama's handling of youth unemployment.
  •     69% say the current leadership in Washington fails to reflect the interests of the younger generation.
  •     69% prefer reducing federal spending over raising taxes on individuals in order to balance the federal budget.
  •     59% of overall Millennials agree the economy grows best when individuals are allowed to create businesses without government interference.
  •     70% would increase production of domestic energy sources like oil, natural gas, and coal.

Delayed Dreams from a Poor Economy and the Lack of Opportunity:

  •     77% of young people ages 18-29 either have or will delay a major life change or purchase due to economic factors:

o    44% delay buying a home;
o    28% delay saving for retirement;
o    27% delay paying off student loans or other debt;
o    27% delay going back to school/getting more education or training;
o    26% delay changing jobs/cities;
o    23% delay starting a family;
o    18% delay getting married.


Generation Opportunity is a non-profit, non-partisan 501 (c)(4) organization that seeks to engage everyone from young adults, to early career professionals, college students, young mothers and fathers, construction workers, current service men and women, veterans, entrepreneurs, and all Americans who find themselves dissatisfied with the status quo and willing to create a better tomorrow.

Generation Opportunity operates on a strategy that combines advanced social media tactics with proven field tactics to reach Americans 18-29. The organization’s social media platforms – “Being American by GO,” “The Constitution by GO,” and “Gas Prices Are Too Damn High” on Facebook – have amassed a total fan base of more than 2.8 million. All three pages post links to relevant articles and reports from sources ranging from the federal General Accountability Office (GAO), to The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Brookings Institution, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, and The Heritage Foundation.

Read about Generation Opportunity here; visit “Being American by GO” on Facebook here, “The Constitution by GO” on Facebook here, and “Gas Prices Are Too Damn High” on Facebook here.

For our Spanish-language page – Generación Oportunidad – click here.

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Matthew Faraci
Generation Opportunity
(202) 997-1636
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