Young Detroit Reflects on Historic Election

Young Detroit Reflects on Historic Election (Photo: Gayatri Malhotra/Unsplash)

The 2020 election not only saw an increase in voter turnout, but a rise in certains cities such as Detroit where voter turnout was on the decline.

For the last 15 years, Detroit has had issues with getting residents out to vote for previous elections. However, this year was different and with not only more people getting involved with voting, but more so younger people as well taking action. 

Michigan ranked 7th by Tufts University among the top 10 states where young voters had a huge impact in the presidential race. In Detroit, 94% of the votes went to President-elect Joe Biden.

Three young Detroiters reflect on the monumental moment that also elected the first woman to the vice presidency. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris made history as the first Black woman, first person of Indian descent and first graduate of a historically Black college and university to become vice president of the United States.

Alondra Alvizo, 24, saw it as a sense of relief. 

“I am relieved, because I don’t think our country could survive another four years of divisive rhetoric and the empowerment of white supremacy. The real work is now. What organizers did this election was phenomenal and historic in terms of registering voters and getting citizens involved. However, we still have a long way to go. It’s time to hold Biden and Harris accountable for their promises. I think Biden was the better alternative but I don’t think he is an almighty political figure,” said Alvizo.

With Biden winning Michigan, with Detroit’s assist, you can’t ignore that it is a city that comes together, said 26-year-old Cyndia Robinson.

“You can’t say nothing bad about Detroit because when we show up and we show out. It felt absolutely amazing I wanted to do the Blade dance,” she exclaimed on seeing the results. “I wasn’t shocked that we flipped the vote because we’ve done it before. Since we are a swing state.”

Robinson said Millennials and Generation Z are the catalyst for helping all to come together. 

“I think like Millennials, and even Gen Z, feel Trump made a mistake by pushing horrible (white supremacy) rhetoric in a space where we can see everything and consume so much on a daily basis. We have so much available to clearly see what is wrong with this country pertaining to racism and classism, and just blatant disrespect for other people on a daily basis. It was easy for them to make that decision consistently seeing this on social media alone,” she said.

Nicholas Barnes was on the golf course when he heard the results.

“Prior to the election I felt nervous and optimistic. When it came in I felt good because I thought we did something, I just don’t want this to be a one time thing. The rallies to get out and vote, and other initiatives I saw helped inspire the community to vote. Showing people that their vote does directly affect them. Seeing the desired outcome hopefully shows that voting does work,” the 26-year-old said.

He said peer-to-peer conversations helped inspire voting.

“I wasn’t afraid to have those conversations with friends. Just tell them that they should vote, some feel that their vote doesn’t matter. It is easy to say go vote, but just having conversations of why to go vote is more impactful, as well sharing things on my social media and keeping it in people’s faces,” Barnes said.

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