F or many CU students, Nov. 6 will be their first opportunity to vote -- and for even more, it will be the first time they vote in a Presidential election.
As a CU Regent and recent CU alum, I hear from a lot of students who are interested, engaged and ready to make their voices heard loud and clear -- especially with President Obama on our campus.
That's because the stakes are so high on so many of the issues we care about -- and the choice ever more clear.
It's a choice between moving forward and investing in the things that support a strong middle class -- education, health care, clean energy -- or returning to policies that crashed our economy and weakened the middle-class security that our parents and grandparents built over a lifetime of hard work.
It's about continuing the progress we've made under President Obama -- making college more affordable, ending the War in Iraq and drawing down troops in Afghanistan, ensuring Americans can serve the country they love regardless of whom they love, or investing in clean and renewable energy.
He has made education a top national priority because he believes, as we believe, that the country that out-educates the rest of the world will out-compete and out-innovate the world, too.
That's why he's doubled our investment in Pell Grants and expanded them to 3 million more students, including many at CU. That's why families now get a tax credit to help send their son or daughter to college.
On issue after issue, President Obama has fought, day in and day out, to create a brighter future for young people and all Americans.
And that's what's at stake in this election -- our future.
The youth vote played a pivotal role in delivering the election for President Obama in 2008, and young Coloradans will play just as critical a role this time around.
This election could come down to just a few votes in a single state. And just one conversation could make the difference between moving forward and falling backward. Young people can make that difference.
And if that's not incentive enough, the Obama campaign here in Colorado has decided to make things a little more interesting.
The campaign just launched the GottaRegister Rocky Mountain Rumble. It's a competition to see which campus -- CU-Boulder or CSU-Fort Collins, Buffs or Rams -- can register the most voters.
I might be biased, but I think CU will pull it out. But it won't be easy. To win, we need to make sure each of us and all of our friends and families are registered to vote. We can't let anyone sit this one out.
Knock on doors, make a few phone calls. Go dorm to dorm, neighborhood to neighborhood and tell everyone you know that they have the power to decide which path we take as a country.
A lot of pundits are betting on the fact that students and young people are going to sit this election out. The other side is banking on it. They think we're apathetic, cynical, complacent -- you name it.
But that couldn't be farther from the truth. So it's time we prove them wrong. It's time to make our voices heard.
A lot of decisions are being made every day that affect young people all across the country -- on the economy, on energy, education, health care and more. Let's make sure those decisions aren't made without our input.
Let's make sure young people like us have a say.
-- Joseph Neguse is a University of Colorado Regent for the 2nd Congressional District, a CU-Boulder Alum and resident of Broomfield.