Meet youth activist Gabe Fleisher, Editor-in-Chief of Wake Up to Politics, one of SGAP’s favorite DC-insider daily e-newsletters. The publication offers bite-size summaries plus in-depth features and insights on U.S. politics and government on Capitol Hill. Fleisher started publishing his content when he was only 7 years old.
“I got interested in politics during the 2008 elections,” Fleisher says. “I started writing a daily recap of what I was reading in the political news. That was 10 years ago. My subscriber base is more than 50,000 now.”
Fleisher is preparing for the start of his sophomore year at Georgetown University. Prior to moving to DC for college, Fleisher published his e-newsletter “from the bedroom” of his suburban neighborhood just outside of St. Louis, Missouri. For Wake Up to Politics, Fleisher has received press credentials to cover numerous political events, including presidential debates and addresses.
Fleisher says he strives to report the news in a nonpartisan way. “I try to be as objective as possible and just give people the facts,” he says. “I try to explain what’s going on simply without any beltway jargon. I also write from a different perspective because I’m young.”
As a member of Generation Z—those born between 1997 and 2015 (ages 6-24 in 2021)—Fleisher is a shining example of a Gen Z influencer in political journalism and civics activism.
“It’s been a stereotype for a long time that young people are apathetic or disengaged toward politics,” he says. “That is no longer the case. Young people are emerging as a force in politics. They are influencing the conversation and making their voices heard. Young people are shifting the conversation on a lot of different issues.”
According to Fleisher, some of the issues that are most important to Gen Z include climate change, gun control and racial justice.
“Climate change is an issue that will affect my generation more than older generations,” he says. “Many young people view climate change as a much more urgent issue compared to our parents and grandparents. Racial equity and civil rights are also very important to Gen Z, which is the most diverse generation in history.”
A Decade of DC News
Recently, Wake Up to Politics celebrated its 10th anniversary. “This year, I’ve been really excited to add several new contributors to the newsletter. It’s exciting to add other young journalists to the team and keep experimenting in different ways to bring in other young voices.”
As a model of youth civic participation, Fleisher believes young people should never underestimate the say and sway of their voices. “Over the last 10 years, I’ve learned about the power of persistence,” he says. “You might be surprised by the power you have as a young person and what you can achieve.”
Note: Visit Wake Up to Politics to subscribe to Fleisher’s e-newsletter.