The average age in the House of Representatives is 58. There are 7.4% more members ages 70 and older than those who are 30-39. For the Senate, it’s even worse. The average age is 62 and there is only one senator under 40 years old.
In 2013, the nonpartisan Millennial Action Project (MAP) organized the Future Caucus to help rectify this problem. Comprised of about 25 members of Congress, the caucus’ mission is to go “across partisan lines to creatively and pragmatically forge nonpartisan common ground on issues facing America’s next generation.” The Congressional Future Caucus is chaired by Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii (34) and Republican Rep. Will Hurd of Texas (38). Gabbard is the “first female of Samoan ancestry to ever serve as a member of the U.S. Congress,” while Hurd “is the first African-American Republican from Texas to be elected to the U.S. Congress.”
MAP also has a State Future Caucus Network that “currently supports over 15 state-level caucuses.” As with the Congressional Future Caucus, the state caucuses are all bipartisan efforts. On a municipal level, MAP has the James Madison Fellowship, which “engages Millennial mayors, city council members, political commentators, and social entrepreneurs.”
With Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign and Donald Trump’s Electoral College victory, millennials are more engaged in the American political system than they have been since the Vietnam War. With organizations like Run for Something and MAP giving millennials clear roadmaps for civic participation, we will hopefully see an unprecedented demographic change in government in the next few years.
Jordan is a political writer, activist, cinephile, proud queer woman of color, and Mad Max: Fury Road fanatic. She’s cautiously optimistic about the future of humanity.