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April 9, 2024

How Will Young People Shape the 2024 Election and the Election Shape Our Future?

A Salt and Light and Ignatian Solidarity Network Collaboration

Showing the How Will Young People Shape the 2024 Election and the Election Shape Our Future? Video

Young people, especially young people of faith, may be decisive in the November 2024 United States presidential election. Young voters, and all of us, face fundamental issues of life and death, war and peace, who moves ahead and who gets left behind. We face questions about leaders’ character, integrity, and capacity, as well as the protection of democracy itself. Many young people are both engaged and disillusioned, angry and fearful, involved and alienated. Who participates in the election and what we decide will shape our lives and nation for decades.

Much of politics seems dominated by attacks, lies, posturing, and stalemate. And yet Pope Francis calls for “a better kind of politics, one truly at the service of the common good.” How can young people help build “a better kind of politics”? Catholic social thought can shape and enrich our participation in public life. Catholic teachings emphasize the duty to participate and urge us to find a renewed sense of solidarity and responsibility. In these polarized times, we should ask whether our faith shapes our politics, or our politics shape our faith. As the country faces enormous challenges, this Salt and Light and Ignatian Solidarity Network gathering explored how young Catholics can make a difference by acting in light of their faith in this election year, addressing questions such as:

  • What is the history and impact of young voters in recent U.S. elections? How are participation and partisan affiliation connected? Have there been recent shifts and trends?
  • What role could young voters play in the 2024 elections?
  • What policies and issues do young voters of faith care about?
  • How can next-gen Catholic and other faith leaders help their communities engage in the upcoming election, strengthen democracy, and advance the common good?​
  • What can young people do on the local and national level to address the most pressing issues of 2024?
  • What are examples of young voters of faith making a difference?
  • How can principles of Catholic social thought create a path forward for young people to engage in U.S. politics and vote as faithful citizens?

This gathering had three parts:

6:00 - 7:00 p.m. | Welcoming Happy Hour 
Meet and network with other young leaders over food and drink

7:00 - 8:00 p.m. | Dialogue
A conversation on “How Will Young People Shape the Election and the Election Shape Our Future?” with three leaders

8:00 - 9:00 p.m. | Reception
Continue the conversation with other young leaders over food and drink

Anna Gordon, program director of the Initiative, moderated the conversation.

This Salt and Light Gathering was for Catholics under 40 years old in Washington to help them explore links between faith, Catholic social thought, and their lives and work and was co-sponsored by Ignatian Solidarity Network.


View a list of resources for this gathering.


Senator Flavio Bravo (D-26)

Senator Flavio Bravo (D-26)

Senator Flavio Bravo (D-26) is a senator in the Arizona State Legislature representing District 26 where he also serves on the senate elections, judiciary, and rules committees. He also serves on the board of directors for Central Arizona Shelter Services, Open Hearts Family Wellness in Phoenix, Arizona, and the Kino Border Initiative in southern Arizona.

Lindsay Hayes

Lindsay Hayes

Lindsay Hayes is the president and CEO of Free the Facts, a nonpartisan, non-profit organization that provides young Americans with resources to understand public policy issues and become effective voters, thought leaders, and officeholders. She has served as a writer and communications consultant in the White House and the U.S. Senate, for a Cabinet-level agency, and on the McCain and Romney presidential campaigns.

Colin Martinez Longmore

Colin Martinez Longmore

Colin Martinez Longmore is the communications coordinator for NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice. He has served as the advocacy committee chair for the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice and has taught classes at Georgetown University’s Capitol Applied Learning Lab. He is an advisory council member for the Salt and Light and Latino Leader programs at the Initiative, as well as the 2024 Catholic Partnership Summit.