On February 20, MAP President and Founder Steven Olikara joined journalist Mike Gousha at Marquette University Law School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to discuss how millennials can restore political cooperation and put an end to polarization and gridlock.
Mike Gousha, a seasoned journalist, opened the conversation by sharing the background and mission of the Millennial Action Project, and introducing Olikara, a fellow Wisconsinite. Olikara shared his story of growing up in Wisconsin and how his passion for music led to founding an organization to give young elected officials a space to build bipartisan consensus on issues affecting America’s youth. Olikara said, “What I enjoy about music, particularly in Milwaukee—which is a politically and ethnically segregated area— is the ability for music to transcend boundaries in our community.”
Olikara, who spoke to an audience of students, said that despite seeming impossible, MAP’s network of lawmakers across the country has made real change across party line on politically-entrenched issues, like government accountability and climate change.
Addressing the sentiment felt by many Americans that nothing can be accomplished due to political gridlock, Olikara expressed hope, saying, “I’ve already seen red and blue come together. When you’re able to bring young people together and frame things not by party, but by future versus past, you can get interesting coalitions.