Jillian McLaughlin "Unsexy Policy" Project Will Make You Very, Very Excited About Civic Democracy
It isn't often that politics comes with any kind of sex appeal. With the average age of a U.S. Senator at 62 and Congressman at 57, it's difficult for young voters to see much use, much less any sexiness, in a bunch of old dudes in suits. But Harvard University graduate student Jillian McLaughlin is attempting to inject the sex into sexagenarian with her "Unsexy Policy" project.
McLaughlin collaborated with photographer Peter Rausse for the project, and the pair asked 15 current and former students at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government to get their sexy on. The photos are coupled with digestible briefs on policy initiatives that McLaughlin and her classmates identified as overlooked by the media. Stuffy subjects like tax reform, voter ID laws, and telecommunication competition are incorporated into eye-catching photos to buoy important issues that affect millions of people that seemed pretty unsexy — until now. The pair made a 28-page calendar out of the photos, and proceeds from sales will be donated to an organization chosen by Unsexy Policy's Facebook fans.
The project is gaining traction just before the Nov. 4 midterm election. Millennials aren't expected to turnout, despite spikes in the voting demographic for the last two — and much more politically sexy — presidential elections. A study done by the Harvard University Institute for Politics in April showed that less than one-in-four people aged 18 to 29 will vote in the 2014 midterms, in which battleground states will decide if the Republicans take control of the Senate. Though the calendar isn't specifically aimed at younger voters, McLaughlin's unusual visual appeals and youth voting initiatives like Rock the Vote's #TURNOUTFORWHAT may be just what's needed to engage a group that represents nearly one-third of the population.
WHO'S EXCITED ABOUT CIVIC DEMOCRACY NOW?!
The National Conference of State Legislatures put together a database of midterm ballot measures in each state, and Real Clear Politics keeps track of key Senate races. Now that we've got you all caught up and excited about boring policy, you have no excuse not to take some time off of work next Tuesday (it is your right, after all), to participate in our government.
So get out and vote, you sexy bitches.
Images: Peter Rausse (7)