|Screenshot of 2010 Zip Code map from ECY WA . 98229, a recent zipcode addition, is dubbed in black.|
This will be my last post with data from the 2012 Voter History Database. I will be analyzing the 2013 (almost through May) Voter Database soon. This analysis shows that Whatcom County's substantial recent increase in the voter registration is being driven by youth living in 98225, 98226 or 98229 zipcodes. Although many people have registered to vote in Whatcom County, youth 25 or under in Bellingham are clearly becoming the most significant voting block.
No candidate who wants victory in any county wide or council office here can afford to ignore this voting block. Anyone who is part of the voting population born in 1988 or later has come of age in the eras of the "War Against Terrorism", the massive build up of our military industrial complex, and the near collapse of our capitalism. The challenges this age group faces include limited employment opportunities, perpetual foreign wars, sky-rocketing energy prices, global climate change and nearly obscene political gridlock; all of these forces occurring in a society that clearly values decimal points in offshore accounts more than a functioning democracy or economic justice or anything at all that might be reminiscent of a "New Deal" or a "Fair Deal". To be frank, most of the voting age population between 18 and 25 are probably wondering quite simply: "WTF?"
Put yourself in their position. What type of candidate are you going to vote for? Someone mouthing platitudes designed to appeal to the problems of boomers? Of course not. If you are under 25 in America, you feel the malevolence of the storm coming your way and you know that your generation is the most likely to be left out in cold after the rest of the world has plundered or squandered budgets, resources, and any opportunity left for lasting world peace. You might even reason that no one gives a rat's a-- about what happens to you and your friends. So if you have enough hope and chutzpah to actually vote for a local candidate, what do you want to hear from them? This is what I would I be looking for if I were 25 (or 51 with two young kids..):
Someone that gives a sh*t about the future. Someone that can actually understand the complex numbers that will make a planet with 8 Billion people run efficiently in 2020. Someone who is not just another conservative tool of fat cats or some wussy, co-dependent liberal. Someone who gives you fact checked information that you can't debunk in five minutes on your smart phone or someone that gives you sound data analysis that you can't poke holes through on your tablet while you eat noodle soup for dinner. Someone who sounds like they can make real change happen. Someone who seems to authentically care about your future. Someone who sounds fearless and smart enough to make history change course.
Those are your character points, candidates. If you want the 30K plus college students in Bellingham (and many of the rest of us) to give you a vote, that's who you need to be. Data analysis follows after the break.