Dec 5, 2013
CWA's Jake Lake (second from the left) participates in the White House Youth Summit.
Jake Lake, a member of CWA Local 1111 and CWA Next Generation leader, joined activists from across the country at the White House Youth Summit on Wednesday.
The summit brought together 160 of the country's national and local leaders, ages 18-35, to discuss the issues important to their generation.
"It was motivating to be surrounded with young leaders from around the U.S.," said Lake. "The mentality of the millennial generation is one of being part of something bigger then themselves. This is encouraging for our work in changing the course of our country with 50 million people."
In breakout workshops and panels, Lake talked about how the Trans-Pacific Partnership would destroy workers' rights, jobs and wages.
President Obama also dropped by the summit to tell the young leaders why he needs their help, particularly with spreading the word about the Affordable Care Act and helping enroll people in their communities.
"I hope you haven't been discouraged by how hard it's been, because stuff that's worth it is always hard," he said. "The Civil Rights Movement was hard. Getting women the right to vote – that was hard. Making sure that workers had the right to organize – that was hard. It's never been easy for us to change how we do business in this country."
CWA Chief of Staff Ron Collins, who heads CWA's Next Generation program, said, "CWA's Next Generation work is critical to the future of CWA and our movement building work. We all have an obligation to make sure we identify and mentor the future leaders of CWA. The program is for all members, if you don't meet the requirements to be a next generation activist, you can help by becoming a mentor to a younger member."