Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of months, then I am sure that you are aware of the potential 2016 presidential candidates. 

No matter how hard we try to ignore the fact that President Obama and his beautiful brown family are leaving office in a few months, the fact of the matter is that he is, and we need to prepare ourselves for that.

Given the controversy that has been surrounding the potential candidates—OK really just one candidate that is not worth mentioning— it is very important that we exercise our right to vote to ensure that we elect the best individual to lead our country.  

Through discussions with my friends and family, and observing the comments made on social media about who should become the 45th president, I’ve realized that we have very limited knowledge of what the candidates propose to achieve if they are elected.

In this day and age, it is essential that we “stay woke,” so that we can ensure as a people that we are not being disenfranchised or taken advantage of. These are the issues that directly apply to our generation, and what the two Democratic nominees plan to do about them:

Hillary Clinton

Minimum Wage– She supports raising the minimum wage to $12/hr.

Gun Control– She supports background checks, and has supported legislation that would allow victims to sue manufacturers.

College Affordability: She plans to enact the “New College Compact,” which will make it so that students don’t have to take out a loan for tuition, and community colleges will be free.

Campus Sexual Assault– She plans to: 

-Provide comprehensive support to survivors. 

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-Create a disciplinary process that is fair and just to survivors. 

-Increase the amount of sexual-assault prevention programs in high schools and colleges.

Marijuana– She supports rescheduling the drug to a lower class so that research can be done on the medical benefits, but she does not support legalizing it.

Criminal justice– She plans to end mass incarceration, encourage the use of body cameras, and help formerly incarcerated individuals re-enter society.

Bernie Sanders

Minimum Wage– He supports raising the minimum wage to $15/hr.

Gun Control– He supports background checks, and has opposed legislation that would allow victims to sue manufacturers.

College Affordability– Plans to make public colleges tuition free and debt free.

Campus Sexual Assault– He plans to implement sexual assault programs in high schools and colleges.

Marijuana– He supports state rights to legalize the drug without government intervention.

Criminal Justice– Supports public records of police shootings while in police custody, and wants to redefine the “allowable use of force,” rule.

Malia Brown (@iammaliatyler) is an ESSENCE College Ambassador, writer and on-air personality. She attends the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and majors in Political Science and Journalism. She reports on beauty, pop culture and lifestyle news.