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In Texas, people ages 18-29 make up 22% percent of the voting-age population, but the group represents only 14% of voters, according to data from Tufts University. With a state election approaching, two young Texans are using their political platforms to motivate their peers to get involved.
After U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida body-shamed 19-year-old Houston activist Olivia Julianna on Twitter in July, she asked her 300,000 Twitter followers to donate to the Gen Z for Change abortion fund. She has since helped raise over $2 million for Gen Z for Change, which supports 50 abortion funds across the country.
South of Houston, Republican Joel Castro, 23, was elected to the Alvin City Council at age 18. Then the youngest Republican elected official in Texas, he served as council member while studying criminal justice in college and working part-time as a tutor at Alvin High School. He won a second term in 2019.
Both Julianna and Castro say that their generation has strong ideas about politics and that it is important to encourage young people to show up to vote in the November election.