Representatives Holly Raschein (R-120) and Sean Shaw (D-61), along with Senators Lauren Book (D-32) and Anitere Flores (R-39), announced the creation of the bipartisan Florida State Caucus, a brand-new caucus comprised of state legislators under age 40. The announcement is part of a nation-wide movement in state houses across the country where millennial legislators are seeking to find common ground in an era of hyper partisanship. Future Caucuses have now been established in 17 states across the country, including the three most populous–Florida, Texas and California–building momentum for a more collaborative approach to government among the nation’s youngest leaders.
In Florida, Millennials make up more than 20 percent of the state’s electorate, outnumbering those over age 65. The caucus will focus on issues that these Millennials care about, including student debt and clean energy. Florida’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.
“While Florida is known more for its snowbirds than its millennials, the state is home to a vibrant and active millennial population. I’m glad that Reps. Raschein and Shaw and Sens. Book and Flores are working together to ensure that our voices are heard in the state capitol,” said Steven Olikara, Co-Founder and President of Millennial Action Project. “I look forward to seeing what they’ll accomplish by reaching across party lines and working together in the House and Senate.”
“I’m honored to serve as a Co-Chair of the Future Florida 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. Raschein.
Rep. Shaw noted, “I’m thrilled to lead the Florida Future Caucus with Rep. Raschein and Sens. Book and Flores to ensure that the concerns of millennials are a priority when the Florida House of Representatives sets its agenda each session.”
Sen. Book continued, “These concerns cross party lines. They are concerns of all Floridians, particularly those of a future generation who are preparing to face the challenges of today and tomorrow.”
“As young leaders, we need to restore the younger generation’s faith in the democratic process. I’m excited to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle on issues that positively impact the lives of young people in Florida,” said Sen. Flores.