BYP Memo: What Young People Think About the Affordable Care Act

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Next week, the first round of open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will close until October. Policymakers and pundits have speculated about how young people will respond to the ACA general, and the individual mandate in particular. The success of the ACA depends in part on the willingness of young people to either sign up for health coverage, or pay the penalty. We are one of the few organizations to collect data from a nationally representative sample of young people to investigate what young people really think about the ACA.

In this report, we discuss the findings from a national survey we conducted in January 2014 of 1,500 young people under the age of 30. We find the following:

  • More than 80 percent of Black youth approve of the ACA compared with 51.8  percent of Latino youth and 34.0 percent of white youth.
  • Black youth support the individual mandate at higher rates (41.4 percent) than either Latino youth (33.4 percent) or white youth (9.4 percent).
  • Black youth (9.5 percent) and Latino youth (7.7 percent) reported they signed up for coverage under the ACA at more than double the rate of white youth (3.5 percent).
  • Among the uninsured, 70 percent of Black youth reported they planned to sign up.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL REPORT


BYP Memo: Ukraine, Russia, and Support for Military Conflict Among America’s Youth

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War has been a nearly constant feature of American life since 9/11. The ongoing dispute between Russia and Ukraine over the Crimean region has once again raised questions about the U.S. role in the world.

Some critics of the Obama administration, such as Senator John McCain, argue that the U.S. needs to demonstrate its strength in foreign policy. On March 6, the United States sent six F-15 fighter pilots to patrol the Baltic region; next week, another 12 F-16 fighters and 300 U.S. troops will be dispatched to Poland, while a naval destroyer will be sent to the Black Sea.

President Obama and many other domestic and international leaders have said that Russia violated international law through its intervention in Ukraine. Does this justify the use of American military forces? Young people comprise the vast majority of America’s armed forces, and people of color make up a larger percentage of active duty personnel compared with the general population.

According to the latest BYP memo, attitudes toward military conflict among young people reveal that in general, they support military conflict at slightly lower levels than the population as a whole. young people of color are considerably less supportive of military conflict than white youth. Compared with white youth, young Blacks and Latinos are much less supportive of using military force for the purposes of upholding international law, but young people of all racial groups are strongly opposed to the use of military to spread democracy abroad.

CLICK HERE FOR THE REPORT


BYP Memo: Equal Protection? Race and Young People’s Attitudes Toward the Legal System

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The verdicts in the Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis cases have focused increased attention on racial disparities in the American justice system, and according to The BYP’s latest memo, nearly three-quarters of Black Youth believe the legal system does not treat all groups equally, a rate considerably higher than that for white and Latino youth.

Similarly, only about 60 percent of Black youth report feeling like full and equal citizens with all the same rights and protections as everyone else, compared with 64.1 percent of Latino youth and 72.9 percent of white youth.

The findings come from a survey of 1,500 young people ages 18 to 29 to gauge their attitudes toward the legal system and examine to what degree they feel fully protected under the law.

What do such feelings of distrust and political alienation mean for the functioning of our democracy? Please read the full report to find out.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL REPORT


BYP Memo: The Effects of North Carolina’s New Electoral Reforms on Young People of Color

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In August 2013, North Carolina enacted one of the nation’s most comprehensive reforms of the voting process. Under the new law, early voting will be reduced, Election Day-registration will be eliminated, and every voter will have to produce government-issued identification. These reforms are likely to have disproportionate effects on young people of color; shortening the early voting period is likely to significantly reduce turnout among Black youth, while the elimination of Election Day-registration is likely to have especially negative effects on turnout among young Latinos, and the photo ID requirement may significantly reduce turnout among all young of color.

Prior to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Shelby County v. Holder, such laws would have been subject to preclearance from the Department of Justice under the Voting Rights Act. The Justice Department is suing North Carolina in federal court to block implementation of the law; however, last week, it was announced that the lawsuit will not be heard until 2015, after the 2014 midterm elections.

In the latest BYP memo, researchers consider the possible effects of these new restrictions on voter turnout, focusing specifically on young people of color.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL REPORT


REPORT: Latino Youth Support Same-Sex Marriage At Much Higher Rates Than Black Youth

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According to the Black Youth Project’s latest memo, Latino youth support same-sex marriage at much higher rates than Black youth, while support among white youth falls in between.Our analysis examined public opinion on same-sex marriage in 2009 and 2012, focusing on youth between the ages of 18 and 29.

Though it is commonly believed that generational changes are responsible for increased public support for same-sex marriage, we find that attitudes toward same-sex marriage among young people vary considerably.

In both 2009 and 2012, Black youth supported same-sex marriage at much lower rates than either white or Latino youth, who were the most supportive of same-sex marriage. While support for same-sex marriage among young people increased significantly across all racial groups between 2009 and 2012, Black youth continue to support same-sex marriage at lower rates than both white and Latino youth.

Black, white, and Latino youth are more supportive of same-sex marriage than older adults. However, the differences by age group are much smaller among Blacks than they are for either whites or Latinos.

Since 2009, the gender gap in support of same-sex marriage has declined among white and Latino youth, but has increased slightly among Black youth.

This latest report is the 13th in a series of memos entitled “Black and Latino Youth: The Future of American Politics” released by the Black Youth Project.


REPORT: The Millenial Generation’s “Time Tax” Obstacle

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Americans aged 18 t o 29 are more racially diverse than the general population. With young people of color making up a pretty important share of the American electorate, their votes are critical in deciding the nation’s leaders. A new report released by the Advancement Project and OurTime.org called The Time Tax: America’s Newest Form of Voter Suppression for Millennials & How it Must Be Eliminated to Make Voting Accessible for the Next Generation, shows that the young population has a unique challenge when voting. The “time tax,” continues to cause an impact of voting in the country, particularly for young people of color.

The “time tax” is defined as, “disproportionately waiting in the nation’s longest lines to vote, time spent obtaining voter ID and the underlying documents required for ID, as well as other inconveniences.” The report also highlights a key fact: that young voters showed up to the polls in spite of such barriers.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL REPORT


REPORT: Alternative approaches to reducing gun violence show promise

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Research shows that mandatory minimum sentences do not reduce gun violence. In fact, restrictions of that nature are costly and counterproductive. According to a new report released by the Northwestern School of Law’s Bluhm Legal Clinic, evidence shows promising leads about alternative approaches to reducing gun violence.

In their landmark report,  Combating Gun Violence in Illinois: Evidence-Based Solutions, researchers found that targeting interventions such as focused policing are more effective in the reduction of gun violence. This includes community-based programs in high-risk areas, along with an increased police presence.

They site a 2013 report ordered by President Obama that called into question the effectiveness of mandatory sentences. The initiative strongly focused on eliminated firearms in high-risk communities through police intervention tactics and deterred gang presence, in part by offering alternatives to prosecution for gun possession. As a result, communities saw a 68% reduction in gun violence in one year.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL REPORT


Youth of Color Support Comprehensive Immigration Reform at Higher Rates than White Youth

According to the Black Youth Project’s latest memo, Youth of color support a comprehensive approach to immigration reform at higher rates than white youth, who are more supportive of punitive measures and increased enforcement of existing law.

Because major congressional proposals on immigration reform, including the DREAM Act and the Kids Act, focus on young people, our analysis examined public opinion on immigration among youth between the ages of 18 and 29.

In contrast to their white peers, Black youth expressed greater support for immigration proposals focused on a creating a path to citizenship and extending citizenship to undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children who earn a four-year college degree or serve in the U.S. military.

Black youth also support extending government services, including welfare, Medicaid, and food stamps, to undocumented immigrants before becoming citizens at much higher rates than white youth.

However, the report also indicates that attitudes toward immigrants may be a barrier to Black-Brown coalitions. Nearly sixty percent of both Black and white youth believe that immigrants take away jobs, health care, and housing from people born in the U.S. In addition, more than sixty percent of Black youth report that immigrants are treated better than most Black people born in this country, which represents an increase from 2009.

This latest report is the 12th in a series of memos entitled “Black and Latino Youth: The Future of American Politics” released by the Black Youth Project.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL REPORT


REPORT: Youth of Color Experience Higher Levels of Gun Violence; Report Greater Support for Increased Gun Restrictions

According to the Black Youth Project’s latest memo, “Gun Violence and Public Opinion on Gun Control among America’s Young People,” youth of color experience higher levels of gun violence and report greater support for increased gun restrictions compared with their white peers.

Because young people are the victims of gun violence at especially high rates, our analysis examined public opinion on gun control among youth between the ages of 18-29.

In general, young people support a variety of measures designed to reduce gun violence, including restricting access to guns and ammunition, improving mental health care, and implementing national criminal background checks. But in contrast to their white peers, Black and Latino youth expressed greater support for increased gun restrictions, and prioritize reducing access to guns over protecting the rights of gun owners.

Nearly half of white youth reported that either they or someone they know carried a gun in the last month, compared with 24.4 percent of Black youth and 22.2 percent of Latino youth. However, Black youth were much more likely than either Latino or white youth to report that either they or someone they know experienced gun violence in the last year or that gun violence is a serious problem in their neighborhood.

Gun Violence and Public Opinion on Gun Control among America’s Young People” is the 11th in a series of memos entitled: “Black and Latino Youth: The Future of American Politics” released by the Black Youth Project

Click Here for the Complete Memo


MEMO: Understanding the Latino Youth Vote in 2012

Today, the Black Youth Project releases its latest memo: “Understanding the Latino Vote in 2012.”

This analysis pays special attention to how Latino youth engaged in the 2012 presidential election.

The results show that Latino youth turnout increased for a third year in a row, and that they were very effectively mobilized.

Latino youth also had a a highly polarized view of the Democratic and Republican tickets, and showed overwhelming support for Barack Obama.

“Understanding the Latino Youth Vote in 2012″ is the 10th in a series of memos entitled Democracy Remixed: Black and Latino Youth: the Future of American Politics released by the Black Youth Project.

Click Here for the Complete Memo