• Press Release

Nation’s Leading Youth Organizations Join Members of Congress to Unveil 'Youth Agenda' – Calling on Biden to “Finish the Job”

“If you commit to prioritizing these actions, young people will turn out and make ‘finishing the job’ a reality,” the letter reads. “To invest in America, invest in us.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, ahead of President Biden’s State of the Union address, a coalition of the nation’s leading youth organizations—March For Our Lives, Sunrise Movement, Gen-Z for Change, and United We Dream Action—led a press conference in Washington D.C to unveil their Youth Agenda alongside Senator Bernie Sanders and Reps. Summer Lee, Jamaal Bowman, Ro Khanna, and Greg Casar. The Finish the Job” Youth Agenda—a response to the President’s campaign slogan— outlines key issue areas that Biden must deliver on if he is serious about earning young people’s support in November. From combating climate change, protecting democracy, and ending gun violence to securing permanent protections for immigrant communities and calling for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza – young people are once again demanding that President Biden fight for our lives and protect our futures. 

The coalition of youth-led organizations also sent a letter to President Biden and Vice President Harris, calling on them to adopt the new youth-focused agenda not only for their campaign but right now for their current administration. 

Young people fought hard to push the Biden Administration to back key priorities, including the  American Climate Corps, the Office of Gun Violence Prevention, and the pause of LNG exports, and we’re not letting up now. There is far more the President can and must do to pursue a progressive agenda that truly invests in the lives and future of our generation. From record-breaking heat, the continued ravage of the gun violence epidemic, attacks on our immigrant communities in states led by MAGA Republicans, to the fueling of the global war machine, including in Gaza, young people are fighting for a future where we can all live and thrive. The Youth Agenda is not only a policy roadmap and a call to action for the President but for any candidate who wants to win the youth vote.

Young people across the country have spoken. If the President and his administration want to earn our support, they must follow the roadmap to success outlined in our agenda and make genuine progress on the issues that matter to our lives.  Since 2018, the youth vote has soared to record heights, bringing the President to the White House in 2020 and beating back a right-wing wave in 2022. Biden received stronger support from voters ages 18-29, especially from young people of color, compared to any other age group. In the 2024 election, Gen Z and young millennials will make up well over a fifth of the American electorate, and we are a core part of the President’s winning coalition. Our needs and aspirations must be taken into account. 

Natalie Fall, Executive Director of March For Our Lives, said:

“However you square it, young people are inheriting a broken and imperfect world. But as young people step into their political power, we are not accepting things as they are. Young people have organized and stood up for ourselves and our future. It’s time for our leaders to do the same for us. So we are saying to any candidate who wants our vote: listen to us, govern with our needs and our future in mind, and we will deliver you our votes. We know that our vote is a precious and powerful thing. In 2024, you cannot win higher office without the youth vote, and you cannot win the youth vote without the youth agenda. If President Biden really wants to “finish the job,” this is the roadmap he must follow.”

Michelle Ming, Political Director of United We Dream Action, said:

“Young people across the country, including immigrant youth, have been unapologetically clear about the vision for our futures that we’re fighting for: a future that invests in our lives, our safety, and our well-being. Our Finish the Job Youth Agenda is a clear reiteration of the issues that matter most to young constituents and a roadmap for President Biden and his administration to follow if they want to earn our support. Immigrant youth have experienced firsthand the harmful policies being proposed and enacted in states ranging from my former home state of Texas, to my current home state in New York. We will not let our communities be used as political scapegoats. We’re fired up to change the conditions for our communities, from permanent protections for our loved ones, a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, an end to gun violence, to urgent action to address climate change now. With the Youth Agenda, we’re giving Biden our winning playbook.”

Michele Weindling, Sunrise Movement Political Director, said:

“In 2020, young people sent Biden to the White House. In 2024, how many young people turn out for Biden will determine if we stave off a second Trump presidency. Right now, young people are shouting for what we need from Biden to mobilize our generation this November. President Biden must do everything in his power to fight the climate crisis, to end gun violence, to not cater to the right at the cost of immigrants’ lives, and he must call for an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza.”

Elise Joshi, Executive Director of Gen-Z for Change, said:

“Gen-Z for Change launched a tool last week that enabled people across the country to send over 4 million emails to members of Congress urging for a ceasefire. On top of that, millions are marching, divesting, donating, learning, and amplifying. So to the Biden Administration and our representatives, youth are awake and unwavering. We know the interconnected was between the climate crisis, occupation, tenant protections, reproductive justice, policing, militarism. And we reject that this is how it ought to be…President Biden must embrace this to earn our trust.”