Alachua County voted for the winner. Florida voted for the sore loser.
To many of us, the results of the election were bittersweet. The country voted for change, but Florida missed the mark. Alachua County is a speck of blue in a massive ocean of red.
Young people will have to live with the results of this election. It is frustrating to see our voices overshadowed in a state where so much has been done to mobilize the youth vote. Although we won the war, the battles we lost are cause for concern. The U.S. proved it is ready to change the xenophobic rhetoric of the last four years. Yet our area voted for Kat Cammack, a local champion of the same ideas as the outgoing president.
North Central Florida was not aligned with the country’s overall plea for change.
But still, we will finally have a president who will acknowledge issues such as climate change and the ongoing pandemic.
It is our hope that Biden will engage with the international community and bring the U.S. back into the Paris Climate Agreement, eliminating the vision of our home state underwater within our lifetimes.
It is our hope that Biden will take the reins when it comes to stopping this pandemic. Listening to scientists and passing another COVID-19 relief bill will help struggling Americans, including those within our community. Thousands of Floridians, including many of our family members, have died due to the political mishandling of this pandemic.
It is our hope that Biden will address the $1.5 trillion student debt crisis. Little attention has been paid on that front over the last four years. Biden can ease the burden on millions of Americans that also rests on the backs of those who graduate from UF.
It is easy for a young person to feel frustrated with a system that only occasionally listens to their voice. However, the passage of Amendment 2, which will bring a $15 dollar minimum wage to Florida by 2026, serves as a silver lining: a reminder that the youth vote mattered.
Amendment 2 passed the 60% threshold by less than a percent, as of Saturday afternoon. In this case, about 85,000 votes made the difference. In Alachua County, 89,277 people out of 138,650 people voted for the amendment.
Given that young people overwhelmingly voted blue, one can easily see how Amendment 2 would not have passed without the votes of a group that was silenced by the Electoral College.
Our country elected a progressive president in large part thanks to young people. Our state got a progressive minimum wage, also in large part thanks to young people. But our state representatives don’t represent our values.
The arch of the moral universe bends ever so slowly back toward justice, but Florida’s still got work to do.
The Editorial Board is made up of the Editor-in-Chief, Digital Managing Editor, Engagement Managing Editor, News Managing Editor and Opinions Editor.