(LIN) — Tuesday night, President Barack Obama will deliver the first State of the Union address of his second term.
Already starting the year tackling major issues like the "fiscal cliff," new gun control initiatives and immigration reform, Obama will have quite a bit to say about what he's already done this year.
But that's not what we want to hear. Let's talk about what our leaders in Washington will deliver to young Americans in 2013, and that all starts by working together.
Obama has sung the same song over and over about bipartisan efforts. He's talked about how that's been a major roadblock in progress, and has painted a mental image of a scene from "Gladiator" in our minds with two sides always running towards each other, ready for battle.
And it's true. When most people think of Washington, they don't recall a group of strong leaders working together. Most of the time, it seems like we have a group of sidewalk evangelists, standing on soapboxes seeing who can scream the loudest.
Obama was first elected on the message of change, but nothing has changed in the way Congress bickers, pouts and argues over everything. It's the same old song. And maybe it won't ever change, since we know there are many different opinions and backgrounds on Capitol Hill, and we get that humans – by design – don't always get along.
But each member of Congress was elected by the people he or she represents. They are put there for a reason.
What young Americans would like to know is how our president plans to adjust his strategy or approach in dealing with the GOP to help pave the path to progress on the major issues facing our country.
There is plenty of unoccupied common ground in D.C., and with new members of Congress on both sides of the aisle, this is a chance to start fresh and foster a spirit of teamwork.
Obama's new message is "Forward." What Gen Y needs is a diligent president who will finish strong, putting aside appearances or party pride in the face of conflict and put together ways for all sides to work together on the issues that matter most.
Great leaders lead by example. Next week, our leader has a chance to set the tone for the next four years.
Let's hope it's one that fosters teamwork, something that can truly move our country forward.
Gen Y is a weekly opinion piece covering issues that matter most to young, influential Americans through their late 30s. Jessica O. Swink, a 20-something, is the digital political producer for LIN Media and contributing editor to onPolitix .
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