Baby Boomers, ages 51 to 75, in part because of their wealth, feel like they are “in-charge” and that their more conservative views must be respected. Yet the younger folks reply, “look at the world you have created – wars and international disorder, racial and cultural prejudice, the wealth gap, selfish nativism, poverty, and pollution.” Even though they feel that the older folks don’t take them seriously, in part because of their relative youth, and their spirit of openness, are not wavering; they are sticking to their guns. To sum it up, Pedestrian Pete believes that:
- Youth will be praised and validated again. Boomers and Xers will have to listen. Millennials, including large numbers of Bernie Sanders supporters, will be given major credit for the election of Hillary Clinton.
- The demand for “walkable urbanism” and in-town living and working will increase.
- Boomers will join Millennials, trading a commuter home in the suburbs for exciting city in-town life.
- Inner-cities will become more compact, diverse, efficient and beautiful.
- Smaller urban housing types, including “live-work” unites close to work and play will become a norm, relying on cafes, restaurants and public places as the new “living rooms.”
- Levels of tolerance and acceptance of diversity will rise, as well as more resilient globalism.
An Open Letter to Millennials from Pedestrian Pete
Between now and November 8, you have the opportunity to assert your values, the kind of society you want to inherit, and actually help to unify our diverse and divided nation. It’s the simple act of voting! Many of you may think at this point that Secretary Hillary Clinton has it locked up, so why bother to vote? Polls show that a great many of you, still feeling “the Bern,” are ambivalent. But there is much more to it than that. Modern, hi-tech polling will tell us to what extent Millennials voted, and in what numbers, and how they influenced the outcome. The new President then will listen to what you stand for. This could be a “game-changer” over time for American society. Right now the outcome will be largely determined by older folks, ages 51 to 75, the “Boomers,” who hold values quite different than your much younger generation.
So assuming Secretary Clinton is elected, two good things would happen if Millennials get out to vote in large numbers. After all, you are almost 100 million strong! This existential political act, the collective courage to assert and be yourselves, will not only empower the progressive message of Senator Bernie Sanders, but it will push the policies of the new administration decidedly forward in your direction. Secondly, it will legitimize fundamental Millennial values – values of openness, tolerance, and diversity; of cosmopolitanism, of much needed idealism, and of respect for every single human being. If these values prevail, we will have a much kinder, safer, more civil, and moral hi-tech world, spreading growing optimism about the future among many peoples. Otherwise, this election could mean a slow drift into business as usual. So my young friends, please get out and vote, and inspire us all, individually and collectively, to be better human beings. After all, this is how each generation creates its own legacy.
Finally, if we want a more lovable and walkable city, here is a quote which sums it up: “The cafes and bistros in European culture have always been more than just a place to eat and drink. The café is where people from all walks of life, whether they are artists and writers, or business people or politicians, can come and interact freely. Cafes and bistros are social hubs, places for discussion, thought, relaxation and time with friends, or making new friends. People can laugh, share stories and ideas, and debate in a casual atmosphere that is comfortable and stress free. These places are bustling with activity, and there is a sense that everyone belongs. Great ideas and dialogue go hand in hand with great food and wine.
This is why why we need more streets with cafes and bistros!
— Pedestrian Pete