Good Things Come in Threes: The Future Is Brightening for Millennials in Ohio

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Good things come in threes. Cleveland now has three things headed its way that can help boost the economy and morale of the city: LeBron James, Johnny Manziel, and the GOP Convention. No doubt, young people in Ohio will be paying close attention to the first two , as these superstars are great for the Cavs and Browns.

But the third also deserves some attention from my generation.

James, in his Sports Illustrated exclusive, “I’m Coming Home,” acknowledged that the past four years have helped him grow into himself, allowing him to become both a better player and a better man. That same sentiment of growth and progress should be duly noted by the GOP. However, Republicans need to give young people a reason to vote for them. They, like LeBron, need to admit to mistakes they have made in the past and move forward “ready to accept the challenge.”

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When the GOP comes to Cleveland in 2016, let’s hope they’ve learned from their past, recognized what has worked and what hasn’t, and become a party that learns from its fans and its critics. They, like LeBron, need to admit to mistakes they have made in the past and move forward “ready to accept the challenge.” With all eyes on Cleveland, the time has never been better for Republicans to focus on issues important to Millennials in Ohio and the rest of the country and to give young people a reason to vote for them.

And young people are flocking to Ohio, specifically. The Millennial population in Columbus has grown by 21.9% since 2007, while Cleveland’s has risen by 2.9%. If Millennials are already moving to Ohio, LeBron’s return and Johnny Football’s arrival will certainly not deter them — if anything it will encourage movement toward Cleveland, leading to an economy on the upswing.

But Cleveland, like many other struggling urban areas in the United States, desperately needs to grow its economy, create jobs, and increase opportunities for young people.

[RELATED on OCR: “The State of Ohio’s Economic Problems, Part 1”]

The average student loan debt in Ohio is $29,037, and a whopping 69% of students in Ohio with college degrees owe student debt. This leaves the Buckeye State among the top 10 states with the highest student loan debt. Additionally 10.9% of young people aged 18-29 in Ohio are out of work and are struggling to find full-time jobs.

Because of the struggles that young people are currently up against, Republicans face many challenges on the road to winning over my generation: creating jobs, keeping the Internet out of the government’s hands, reforming higher education, and helping to free our future.

If the GOP has any shot at winning the presidency in 2016, it is by convincing Ohioans and all other Americans — especially young Americans — that the Party will act decisively toward these issues.

[RELATED on OCR: “Why the GOP Can’t Wait Until 2016 to Act, Part 1”]

LeBron said in his SI Exclusive that his relationship with Ohio is greater than basketball. Similarly, the GOP’s relationship with Ohio is greater than the 2016 Convention. We all know the importance of our beloved state in presidential campaigns. The last candidate to win the White House without Ohio was JFK; the last Republican to win the presidency without Ohio was Abraham Lincoln.

According to Sen. Rob Portman, Cleveland is in the midst of a rebirth and holding the Republican Convention in the city is a great way to demonstrate what the Republican Party is all about.

If Johnny and LeBron don’t deliver for their teams, they will lose their jobs. Likewise, if the GOP does not deliver and meet the needs of voters, then members should be held accountable for their jobs, too. When it comes to delivering wins, I’d put my money on LeBron, but let’s not count the GOP out just yet. Maybe they will learn from their mistakes and put my generation first.

Alex

Alex Goodman, 28, is the Ohio State Director for Generation Opportunity, a non-partisan youth advocacy organization. Read all articles by Alex Goodman here.

All opinions expressed belong solely to their authors and may not be construed as the opinions of other writers or of OCR staff.

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