Representative Julie Fahey (D-14), Senator Dallas Heard (R-1), Representative Diego Hernandez (D-47), and Representative David Brock Smith (R-1) announced the creation of the bipartisan Oregon Future Caucus, a brand-new caucus comprised of state legislators under age 42. The announcement is part of a nation-wide movement in state houses across the country where young legislators are seeking to find common ground in an era of hyper partisanship. With the launch, Oregon becomes the 27th state to join Millennial Action Project’s State Future Caucus Network.
The caucus will focus on issues that millennials care about, including early childhood education, criminal justice reform and student loan debt. Oregon’s Future Caucus will be part of the Millennial Action Project’s national effort to support young elected officials as they work to break through partisan gridlock and reestablish political cooperation.
While there has been a great deal of attention directed at dysfunction and gridlock in government, there is a counter-movement underway–led by millennials–that seeks to disrupt the status quo in government. Millennial Action Project hopes that as additional younger state legislators course a path of bipartisanship and cooperation, they will be able to bring this perspective to Washington. Currently, 15 millennial members of Congress began their legislative careers in state houses.
“It has been inspiring to see the State Future Caucus Network continue to grow. We’re seeing that young legislators are hungry to work together to make real change and address critical issues through innovative policy change,” said Steven Olikara, Founder and President of Millennial Action Project. “Thank you to Reps. Fahey, Hernandez and Brock Smith and Sen. Heard for their leadership in this movement.”
“I am excited for Oregon to join this national movement of younger elected officials, who are working together across party lines to address the issues that matter most to younger Americans. The members of Oregon’s Future Caucus are focused on creating long-term solutions to the challenges that the next generation of Oregonians face,” said Rep. Fahey.
Sen. Heard noted, “I’m thankful to lead the Oregon Future Caucus and to be a part of this nationwide network working to facilitate political cooperation. It’s critical to the future of our state and our country to address the concerns of millennials and to re-engage them in the political process.”
“I’m honored to serve as a Co-Chair of the Oregon Future Caucus and with my colleagues, support the work of the Millennial Action Project as we work to find new and innovative ways to tackle political issues that are important to younger generations,” added Rep. Hernandez.
Rep. Brock Smith said, “I’m thrilled to lead the Oregon Future Caucus with Reps. Fahey and Hernandez and Sen. Heard to ensure that the concerns of millennials are a priority when the Oregon Legislature sets its agenda each session.”
“Reaching across the aisle is critical to the success of any legislature, and I look forward to working with the Oregon Future Caucus to support a political environment that fosters bipartisan cooperation,” said House Speaker Tina Kotek.
Source: Oregon Future Caucus