By Anna Mervosh, Blue Future Spring for Progress and Change organizer
Around noon on Saturday, November 7, 2020, I joined my family, friends, and fellow organizers in celebrating a Biden-Harris victory fueled by the work of dedicated advocates for a brighter future. That afternoon brought a sense of joy, relief, and excitement after a year of devastating loss. It felt as though we, as a nation, were finally approaching the light at the end of the tunnel. Group chats lit up with confetti effects, CNN’s cameras swept across the crowds celebrating in Washington D.C., and tears streamed down my face as I thought about all of the possibilities that awaited us in a post-Trump era. It felt like a fresh beginning, a chance to finally achieve a vision of a more just, equitable, and prosperous future with the support of leaders in the White House, House, and, soon, Senate.
Beneath my feelings of excitement and relief, I felt overwhelmed by what lay ahead. We had worked so tirelessly to secure Democratic victories at the local, state, and federal levels that I had not considered what would come next if we were to be successful — after 2016, I did not dare to get my hopes up. Luckily, our fantastic leadership team at Blue Future had dared to think ahead and developed a spring program to take advantage of this critical opportunity to advance a progressive policy agenda. Blue Future’s Spring for Progress and Change program combined issue advocacy work with an initiative empowering organizers to develop youth advisory councils in their respective communities.
After interning in my own member of Congress's office, I know that there are not sufficient mechanisms through which young people can assert their policy priorities. Although our generation has grown up in an era rife with challenges, from rising healthcare costs, exorbitant student loan debt, and the impending doom of climate change, young people do not receive the funding, attention, or respect we need to insert our demands onto the political agenda.
Blue Future works to eliminate the barriers that confront youth organizers by giving us the tools to mobilize fellow students in our own communities. As a student at Wellesley College, I joined eight other organizers with connections to Massachusetts to found the Massachusetts Coalition of Youth Advisory Councils, affectionately known as MACYAC. In only 10 weeks, we connected with three Congressional offices and developed a strategic plan, mission and vision statements, social media accounts, and an application to be launched later this year. We envision a coalition of nine District Councils (united by a statewide Executive Council) that will meet regularly with each of Massachusetts’ nine Congressional representatives. These meetings will allow members to discuss policies that young people support and provide feedback on the members’ actions in Congress.
Politicians can feel intimidating and distant, but as Congressman Jim McGovern [MA-02] shared with us, the primary duty of a representative is to (yes) represent. It is our duty as young voters to share our concerns, our hopes, and our ideas with our representatives so that they can best advocate for us. MACYAC and Blue Future’s other affiliate youth advisory councils across the country amplify youth voices, facilitating communication between young people and our elected representatives.
On November 7, I asked myself “now what?” Blue Future has given me an answer — one that gives me the tools to continue my critical work as a youth organizer in my own community, far beyond Election Day.
About Anna: Anna Mervosh (she/her) is a junior at Wellesley College, majoring in political science and environmental studies. As an organizer with Blue Future since September 2020, she phone banked for progressive candidates across the country in the fall and engaged in youth advisory council development during the spring program. Anna is incredibly excited about equitable environmental policies advancing nature-based climate solutions, comprehensive democracy reform, and community-based social change work. In addition to her passion for progressive politics, Anna loves experimenting with new recipes, kayaking, and playing intense chess matches with fellow Blue Future organizers.