Youth unite to oust Republicans
Students say the fight isn’t over after helping swing Nevada
University student activists are happy with the 2018 Midterm election results in Nevada, which all but turned blue under Democratic victories — but they say the fight isn’t over.
The University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) students said they used their power in uniting the youth vote of Nevada to bring down a state senator who voted for a bill that would reduce their access to affordable healthcare.
Incumbent Senator Dean Heller, who was dispatched by Democrat Jacky Rosen, last year opposed his Republican Party’s effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, saying it would harm 210,000 Nevadans who received coverage under Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. But he later supported a bill that critics said would reduce Medicaid funding long-term.
Black Lives Matter UNLV president Micajah Daniels said Heller’s decision directly affected her and her 3-year-old son. “I told him how much it meant to me and my son. If my son gets an ear infection I’m going to end up in debt or he’s going to end up deaf, and I’m going to take the debt over my son losing his ability to hear.
“Our group actually lobbied with Dean Heller in his office in [Washington] DC and he looked us in our faces and said ‘I will not cut Medicaid’.”
Without health insurance Daniels cannot take her son to a regular GP. It would mean having to visit a hospital and the cost is several hundred dollars, plus the prescription.
Daniels said youth,
marginalised and minority voters recognised Heller’s change in tack and did not like it.
“He showed that he was not representing us so now he doesn’t represent us anymore. And that should go for every politician in our office who wants to run.
“We will hold them accountable. We will show up to their offices. They are not just going to get the youth vote — they are going to work for it.”
Daniels said youth were satisfied with the results, with Nevada voting into office a Democrat senator, governor, and three out of four seats in the House of Representatives.
Nevada has not had a Democrat senator since 1994 while a Midterms record of 649,000 voters turned out for the swing state.
“A lot of people are pleased with the results of last night’s election but the work is not over,” Daniels said.
“A lot of people are pumped for 2020. We’re ready to . . . keep this momentum up and we can’t falter for a second.”
Fellow student activist organiser Karl Catarata said youth had the power to mobilise like no other generation because of their use of social media.
In this Midterms the youth vote was at a record high turnout.
We will hold them accountable. We will show up to their offices. They are not just going to get the youth vote — they are going to work for it. Micajah Daniels