Every millennial who has ever watched a sports event is used to seeing two types of advertising: erectile dysfunction pills and the AARP.
The AARP has been around for decades and is arguably the single-most powerful force in American politics, using its pervasive influence to continually guarantee that a huge proportion of America's dollars go to supporting elderly Americans.
Lobbying is a $3 billion annual industry and it shows, with special interests dominating the content of bills, as well as the tone the government conveys to the American public. But, today, millennials are mostly missing from it.
Young Americans, particularly millennials, have been growing as a percentage of the American populace and electorate for decades but have never had a lobbying group of their own. Now, that is changing.
A new group, the Association for Young Americans, recently formed to lobby on behalf of young Americans and the issues they care about, most particularly student loans, the minimum wage, financial regulation, and the environment.
"The Association of Young Americans is a lobbying organization for Millennials--think of us as the AARP for Millennials, but bringing the idea of lobbying into the 21st Century. Imagine if a lobbyist live streamed their conversation with a congresswoman, and all her constituents could interact with them both in real time," said Founder Ben Brown.
Like most lobbying groups, the Association will charge modest annual dues to its members while providing them with perks from select partners, a revenue model AARP pioneered decades ago, and garner additional revenue from corporate sponsorships. You can join by clicking the link above.
Of course, those corporate sponsorships will be tailored to reflect the needs of younger Americans, so traditional AARP-type sponsors like Triple A may be out while millennial-focused companies, like Apple and Google, may find a major opportunity.
The new group has a long way to go, having just started in the past year. But there are 80 million American millennials looking for groups with a mandate to engage them in the political system. With a clear gap and millions of young people feeling increasingly disenfranchised and disconnected from their government, the time appears ripe for an association to emerge as the "AARP for young people."