Posted December 5, 2008 by Kyla Bender-Baird In this year’s historic election, young voters played a decisive role in determining our new President. According to exit polls, 68% of voters between the ages of 18 and 29 voted for Obama compared to 45% of voters 65 and up. In California, it has been speculated that if only younger voters cast their ballots, Proposition 8—the initiative which stripped same-sex couples of their right to marry—would never have passed. And yet, this is a generation often accused of political apathy. What galvanized young voters this year to push past cynicism and turn out on voting day? For me, I’ve come of age—at least politically--in a post 9/11 era. I cast my first ballot in the 2004 election and was bitterly disappointed with the results. In that election, I felt my voice wasn’t heard, my vote didn’t count, and that my rights wouldn’t be protected by the administration. This time around, I was inspired by messages of hope, by new possibilities, and by all the women taking center stage—even if I didn’t always agree with their politics. Let’s face it, we’ve seen some pretty dynamic women this political season. From Hillary Clinton to Sarah Palin to Michelle Obama—they’ve sure kept the political pundits busy! As we move beyond the election, it will be interesting to see what happens to the world of politics and what changes we may see in women’s leadership. In that vein, today we turn to the young women leaders of today and ask them, “What are your thoughts on women, leadership, and politics?” As you’ll see from the posts on our blog today, young women have high hopes and big dreams. I invite you to read the inspirational words of the next generation of women leaders and invite readers of all generations to share their thoughts and comments.