By Brian Copeland
In late 2010, Rock The Vote commissioned a hefty research project on political issues as they relate to young adults. Some of the findings surprised especially the political parties. For example, 36 percent say that it doesn’t matter to them which party is in control of Congress. A whopping 83 percent say that their generation has the power to change the country. They are also likely to support a candidate who supports investing in new technology to create jobs and reduce dependence on foreign oil.
When I look at these figures, they totally support what I heard in our recent YPN Advisory Subcommittee meeting, which was called to discuss The REALTOR® Party Political Survival Initiative (RPPSI). We came together as a group to discuss the proposed $40 dues increase (from $80 to $120 annually) and whether we as a group wanted to make a statement of support or not. Candidly, I was nervous. This topic has been dominating the real estate blog world for several weeks, and it’s clear that many people are furious about this.
In our meeting, I heard the concerns I had been hearing locally, but I interjected to remind them, “I want to hear what YOU and your YPN locally are saying and thinking about this.” Wholeheartedly, with zero dissent, many YPNers who have spoken out are behind the RPPSI. In fact, one member reported that they polled their YPN members locally and only one person out of 30 brought up an issue with RPPSI. The majority in her YPN said they felt they would be watering down the industry without the RPPSI initiative. Member after member spoke passionately about the need for this.
After I left the meeting, I had to digest. Was I really hearing what I thought I heard? That’s when I started searching out voter information on our demographic, and it hit me. Again, nationally, 36 percent of young voters say they don’t care about parties in Congress, and that statistic supports the notion that our YPNers are not falling into the mindset that RPAC is too partisan.
Young adults feel as if we have the power to affect change in our country. We also feel that way in our industry. We know that change comes about at a cost. We’re looking at our future in this industry. While some may stereotype a young professional as “go with the flow” or disconnected, the stereotype is simply false. The circle of YPNers I see are amazingly intelligent. Many, if not the vast majority, hold bachelor’s degrees and beyond. Most are investing today in their tomorrow and running their businesses like well-oiled machines. Our YPNers understand that RPPSI is an investment in our future, not a statement about partisanship or increasing monies in a tough time.
Many of you who may stumble across this post will disagree. That’s fine. All I can say is that our YPN “on the ground” information shows that we are in line with with other young professionals throughout the nation who aren’t even necessarily in real estate. We’re ready to invest in our future and move to positive dialog…the sooner, the better.