A 23-year-old Georgetown University graduate student, Troiano co-founded and serves as the field director for the Can Kicks Back, a recently launched nonpartisan campaign aimed at getting millennials to lobby Congress to reduce the national debt.
What does the Can Kicks Back hope to do?
We are solving two problems, really: No one's talking to young people about why this issue matters to them in a relevant and compelling way, and no one's giving young people a way to be meaningfully involved. In order for there to be a deal, especially a deal that's fair to our generation, young people need to be at the table, and they aren't right now.
How are you getting millennials interested?
We're trying to communicate a serious message in a fun and interesting way. One example of that is the video released two weeks ago with one of our advisers, Sen. Alan Simpson, [R-Wyo.,] dancing "Gangnam Style" (see embedded video below) to promote our three-week recruitment challenge. We need to reach young people where they are and explain to them how this issue matters to things they care about.
How does this issue affect millennials differently than it does other groups of people?
It's certainly harder starting out in life without an established career and without established credit. Millennials have been disproportionately impacted by the 2008-2009 recession, and it's something we're going to be dealing with for the rest of our lives.
Do you see this campaign continuing in the long term?
Our goal is to put the debt on a downward path compared with the economy. But that won't necessarily mean the end of our campaign. At the end of the day, we're organizing a group of young people who want to see their leaders put the American people before their own political party, and there are a whole bunch of pressing issues that are being ignored.