When it comes to financially investing in training, organizing, and grooming young people for movement leadership, the Right is way ahead of the progressive movement—but it doesn’t have to stay that way.
On Thursday, Young People For (YP4) Director Christin “Cici” Battle and Policy and Civic Engagement Manager Andrea Sosa were interviewed on “The Leslie Marshall Show” to discuss a new report, titled “Building Tomorrow: The Need For Sustained Investment in America’s Progressive Youth,” from YP4 and Generation Progress detailing the economic disadvantages faced by progressive youth-serving organizations and outlining recommendations to address this funding gap.
“I think the bottom line that folks need to realize is that we can’t win without young people,” Battle said on the show. “One of the things that it pains me to say that conservatives have done right is to think about the long-term strategy.”
Sosa agreed, emphasizing that “investing in a long-term strategy means investing in young people, and figuring out ways that we can build an inclusive and progressive pipeline.”
Battle and Sosa discussed the harm to both progressive young people and to the health of the movement itself caused by the many-million dollar funding gap between youth organizations on the Left and Right.
“As a young progressive, we don’t necessarily always have the same opportunities or the financial means to sustain ourselves without having outside financial support,” Sosa said. “So what this looks like for a young progressive is you have an unpaid internship, or you’re couch-surfing…you don’t have the support, especially if you come from a low-income household.”
Battle noted that a conversation about funding priorities is really a conversation about values. “When I talk to people about this report, and folks are like, ‘Yeah, the gap has already been there, it’s kind of something we expect,’” she asks, “But what is the America you want?”