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Biden aims to bridge a canyon-sized generation gap




  • In Politics
  • 2021-09-23 11:30:53Z
  • By LA Times
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki introduces pop music star and Disney actress Olivia Rodrigo, who partnered with the White House to promote COVID-19 vaccination. (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki introduces pop music star and Disney actress Olivia Rodrigo, who partnered with the White House to promote COVID-19 vaccination. (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)  

How does the oldest president in American history connect with voters who are 40, 50 or even 60 years younger than him? That's the challenge facing President Biden, a 78-year-old politician who owes his election in part to a big spike in turnout among millennial and Gen Z voters.

His solution: Bring Gen Z celebrities into the White House. Include young people in advisory circles. Advocate policies to address millennials' needs.

"We've seen some great signs from the administration about how seriously they do take the needs of young people," said Sarah Audelo, executive director of the Alliance for Youth Action, a national network of grass-roots youth political groups.

But, she added, "there is still work to do."

Audelo is worried that Democrats' financial support for groups that helped mobilize young voters for Biden in 2020 is waning. Other youth advocates think Biden should be putting younger people in top White House ranks. They complain that he has not delivered on key campaign promises, including combating voter suppression and canceling student loan debt, and warn that it will be harder to keep young people engaged now that President Trump has receded from the scene.

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