MAP has reached a major milestone in its nearly five-year history. On Wednesday, April 18, MAP announced the launch of its 25th state Future Caucus in Arizona with House Speaker Pro Tempore T.J. Shope (R-8), Representative Mark Cardenas (D-19), and nearly twenty young elected officials at the Arizona State Capitol’s Rose Garden.
As the twenty-fifth caucus, the Arizona Future Caucus plans to build upon MAP’s national momentum of young legislators transcending party politics to coalesce around substantive solutions to issues facing young Arizonans. The caucus will first focus on clean energy and digital regulation, disrupting the status quo of gridlock in the current legislature.
MAP’s President Steven Olikara highlighted the importance of this landmark occasion, stating,“We’ve been building this movement all across the country, and after 25 states the bet that we’ve placed on this next generation has been reaffirmed and is already paying off.”
Speaker Pro Tempore Shope agreed, remarking, “If people want to bring up an issue and talk about it, we’re going to work through those things. This doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to agree on anything, but we can educate each other.”
“At the end of the day, we have to represent our constituents in the best way possible,” added Representative Cardenas. “Forget the divisiveness in DC, forget the divisiveness in the building in front of me, it’s about coming together to solve the issues such as digital taxation, Airbnb, and Uber.”
Millennial Arizona legislators across both sides of the aisle have already successfully negotiated regulating ride-sharing, and plan to continue that bipartisan work through the more formal structure of the caucus. “I’m not afraid to talk about anything,” Representative Shope said. “Our goal is to leave this place in a better spot than we found it, hopefully through collaboration.”