Last August on KQED Learn, the Above the Noise team asked hundreds of high school students from around the country what Election 2020 issues matter the most to them and why. We were deluged with submissions across a range of issues.
Below, we break down some of the policy debates at the heart of these big issues and provide resources for students to use as starting points for their research for the Let’s Talk About Election 2020 youth media challenge.
Young people are passionate about our environment and the many approaches to solutions, like the Green New Deal, wildfire prevention and fossil fuel regulations.
Gun legislation rose to the top as a critical topic among Gen Z. Some specific issues students could investigate include: strengthening background checks, banning assault-style weapons and Red Flag Gun Laws.
Immigration is an important issue for many teens right now. Some questions up for exploration are: Should people living in the US illegally have a pathway to citizenship? Should border crossing be decriminalized? What should happen with DACA?
Top of mind for lots of teens is college affordability. And that’s no surprise since the cost of college has jumped 25% over the past 10 years by some reports. Students could ask: Should colleges be free? Should there be loan debt forgiveness? Should schools provide technical career pathways for professions that don't need a college degree?
Abortion and Reproductive Legislation
Abortion and reproductive legislation continue to be hot-button issues this election for teens on both sides of the debate. Some topics that have come up are: parental consent for access to abortion services for minors, federal funding for Planned Parenthood and health insurance coverage for birth control.
Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world.
Climate Change, Gun Legislation, Immigration, Abortion and Reproductive Legislation