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Who's Lobbying for Millennial Interests? Meet the "AARP for Young People"

Yes Magazine

Lobbyists are often frowned upon for doing the bidding of major corporations. A list of the organizations that spend the most on lobbying, maintained by the, is full of corporations like Boeing, General Electric, and AT&T, as well as associations like the National Association of Realtors.

But lobbyists also represent retired people, unions, and graduate students. “Lobbying shouldn’t be a bad word,” says Mark Huelsman, senior policy analyst at Demos, a think tank that researches issues including democracy.

Huelsman says millennials are especially in need of political access because they face a unique set of economic pressures—from a changing job market where pensions are hard to come by to a lack of affordable housing. Take student debt: Universities and lenders have the resources and tools to lobby policymakers, while students, despite being the most affected, don’t have a voice in the matter.

“There has to be a big, wide, concerted effort to show state legislatures, Congress, even the White House that things really are different for this generation,” says Huelsman.