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Find KUER's reporting on the races, candidates and more for Utah’s 2018 midterm elections. Click here for our graphics of the U.S. Senate race, 4 Congressional races and Utah ballot initiatives.

This Is 30: Stephanie Burdick, Salt Lake City

Renee Bright / KUER

Utah is the youngest state in the country with a median age of 30 years old. So what does the future look like through the eyes of Beehive State millennials? In a series we’re launching this week called "This is 30," KUER asked voters around the state how they’re feeling ahead of a critical election.

Name: Stephanie Burdick

Age: 30

Lives in: Salt Lake City

Occupation: Community advocate

Party Affiliation: Democrat

How do you describe yourself politically?

I would describe myself as fairly liberal but … I was a Republican for the first presidential election that I voted in. But I kind of I found myself no longer aligned with the Republican Party … as I saw the way that they approached various policy issues as well as the way that they kind of rumors they spread around President Obama and just things that really didn't sit well with me in my mid-20s.

Top concerns this election cycle?

Immigration and health care are where I really don't want the Republican Party to have power because I don't agree with the stance that they're taking. And so I feel like it's important for me to, you know, vote for people who are going to represent my values and represent the issues that I feel are important. And I think a lot of people in my generation are feeling like our values aren't being represented by the Republican-held Congress right now.

Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the country’s future?

I think the more involved you get civically, it is really hard to stay pessimistic or cynical. I almost get emotional when I think of all the people that I've met that are working together on a variety of issues just different organizations and groups that I've been able to work alongside the last few years. And I think about my nieces and my nephews and my friends’ children, and when I talk to them about anything from why they should recycle to how they should treat people on the playground, I think there is a lot of hope. I do think people are having conversations that maybe weren't being had in as many space as before.

Do you think this midterm election is important for people in your generation? Why or why not?

We still have a lot of years left on Earth and climate change is real and we need to do something about it. ... It's up to us to decide the place that we want to live and if you don't like what you see on the TV then like get get involved. ...Tweeting about Trump does not do anything if you don't vote, like voting is the most important thing that we can do to like have a voice in the way that we want to build a society and I think my generation really does want a better society.

Julia joined KUER in 2016 after a year reporting at the NPR member station in Reno, Nev. During her stint, she covered battleground politics, school overcrowding, and any story that would take her to the crystal blue shores of Lake Tahoe. Her work earned her two regional Edward R. Murrow awards. Originally from the mountains of Western North Carolina, Julia graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2008 with a degree in journalism. She’s worked as both a print and radio reporter in several states and several countries — from the 2008 Beijing Olympics to Dakar, Senegal. Her curiosity about the American West led her to take a spontaneous, one-way road trip to the Great Basin, where she intends to continue preaching the gospel of community journalism, public radio and podcasting. In her spare time, you’ll find her hanging with her beagle Bodhi, taking pictures of her food and watching Patrick Swayze movies.
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