There are many ways to improve community in this country, one of biggest is to invest in public transportation and walkable communities. America is disgustingly car dependent and building big highways only makes the problem worse. Many places in the country have started to transform into cities into ones that prioritize the person over the car. Replacing car lanes with designated bus lanes and protected bike lanes has many benefits; for the environment, for health, for safety and believe it or not, but even for the economy. The wasteland of parking lots and chain stores surrounded by lanes of traffic and cars is not the future anyone wants. It is the sad reality for almost any area in the country. Many people only have cars out of necessity due to the fact they cannot access food, or work, or any other need without it. Whether they know it yet or not, there are very few that want to have cars. This is the reason college towns are so popular and enjoyable to exist in. As why many say that cities are noisy when in fact, its the cars.
Another massive issue is the cost of education and healthcare. The necessity of a college degree paired with the insane cost of getting this degree leads to $1.7 trillion in student debt for americans. The cost isn't even for the education in itself, it is for a single piece of paper proving you spent the money to attend. You can watch lectures from Harvard for free on youtube, you can even sit in on a lesson at a college you don't even attend. But nothing counts unless you spent the thousands for the degree. As a junior in high school, I've begun to research and plan for college, in which I realized in some scenarios, it would be far cheaper to me to move out of the United States to attend college than some in-state schools.This goes hand in hand with healthcare. Medical Tourism is where a person travels to another country for medical care and it is insanely popular in the United States.This is due to the decreased cost in many other countries. There are ways of offsetting the cost of college or healthcare, but this is truly an issue for just americans.
The American battle for clean drinking water goes much deeper than Flint, Michigan. According to an article in the Time, in 2020, more than 60 million americans are exposed to unclean tap water every year, which is not even addressing that Navajo Nation Residents are 67 times more likely than other Americans to not have access to running water. There are roughly 550,000 homeless individuals in the United States and currently about 17 million vacant homes. Instead of allocating money to programs and resources in order to benefit the lives of homeless people, many would rather keep them out of sight, and out of mind. The use of hostile architecture as a method to prevent homeless individuals from finding a shred of comfort on the streets is dehumanizing and the architecture itself is ugly and uninviting for pedestrians. Food, water, shelter and education are all basic human rights in my eyes. Even in one of the "most developed Nations in the world", the government fails to meet the physiological needs of a majority of americans.
I could have written my American Creed about something fake and artificial that I don't truly believe in, how this is the best nation in the world. I could've even gone to the complete other extreme and describe my utmost beliefs like how landlords are lazy scum who profit off the desperation of the working class, or how single unit residential zoning, aka R-1 zoning such be banned or even down to the need for more government social services like the revival of universal child care, longer paid maternity leave, and insanely high taxes for the 1%. But I didn't write my essay about either of those extremes, as the latter would be a novel.
My faith in the country has been dwindling significantly over the years. While I would not consider myself an optimist, I really try to look on the bright side. Generation Z gives me hope. Its so corny to think your own generation is the exception and we will be the ones to "change the world", but from what I have seen, what I have experienced and what I believe, this is true. The good outweighs the bad. Growing up in a post 9/11 world with the 2008 recession and the COVID-19 pandemic, I feel these events have dramatically changed the perspective of Gen Z. People are growing tired and irritated by the systems in place and are looking for something better. The growth of interest in leftist content and beliefs from youtubers and creators online allows for more accessible learning for people to articulate their frustrations and learn to cause change. The problems in this country can feel so massive and overbearing that you just end up feeling helpless. Attempting to change everything all at once, you get burnt out and end up like a deer in headlights. Everyone has the power to enact change and I believe many young people are realizing their potential. The goal is to start local and find what you are truly passionate about changing, 100% of effort into one area of focus is much more effective than spreading yourself too thin. I would consider my main area of focus is issues effecting the LGBTQ community. Caring for your neighbor and supporting your community is extremely important in a society where the government fails to meet the citizens needs; it takes a village to raise a child. The government tries to separate the working class and pit us against each other but that shouldn't be the case, you deserve better, the working class deserves better, the government needs to do better in serving the American People - all of us.