Vermont Business Magazine Vermont State Representatives Kesha Ram (D-Burlington), Corey Parent (R-St. Albans), and Diana Gonzalez (P/D-Winooski) announced on Monday the formation of the Vermont Future Caucus, becoming the ninth state to join the Millennial Action Project’s (MAP) State Future Caucus network. Through this partnership, Vermont will join a nationally recognized coalition of young elected officials determined to break through partisan gridlock in order to govern cooperatively and revitalize our democracy. Ram has announced she is running for lieutenant governor next year.
“There is too much at stake for the next generation to let partisanship trump progress,” said Ram. “Young people need real solutions to address the cost of higher education, the ability to afford having a family, and access to meaningful job opportunities. I am glad to have partners from all sides of the aisle recognize the importance and urgency of this work.”
“Among the many things that make Vermont a special place to live is our ability to come together as neighbors to address common problems,” noted Parent. “The issues Vermonters are facing today are the issues of millennials – and Vermonters expect us to solve these issues by working together. That is why I am excited to help lead an effort to address the challenges facing young Vermonters and their families in a nonpartisan manner. The Vermont Futures Caucus is the next generation of that ideal in the State Legislature and I am proud to be a part of this initiative.”
As this is a non-partisan effort, the Future Caucus boasts representation from each of the three House caucuses. “I am excited to join with Representatives Ram and Parent to prioritize the unique needs of younger Vermonters through the launch of the MAP,” said Gonzalez. “A cross-party caucus is a wonderful opportunity to build strong relationships for all legislative work.”
“Our coalition of State Future Caucuses have become a community for young policymakers, regardless of political party, to exchange ideas, best practices and support one another as they tackle issues affecting Millennials and future generations,” said MAP President, Steven Olikara. “I am proud to welcome Vermont and look forward to working with Co-Chairs Parent, Ram, and Gonzalez.”
The Vermont General Assembly has adjourned for the year, however, in the 2016 legislative session Co-Chairs Gonzalez, Parent, and Ram will seek out their peers to join the caucus and unveil a policy agenda.
The Millennial Action Project (MAP) is a national, nonpartisan organization dedicated to activating millennial policy makers to cooperatively govern our country. In 2013, MAP organized the nation’s first and only caucus for young members of Congress, the “Congressional Future Caucus,” to forge pragmatic cooperation on future-oriented challenges. MAP also scaled this model into state legislatures, each with a Future Caucus consisting of young, high-potential legislators. The national Advisory Board includes Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr., former Senator Olympia Snowe, Governor Jennifer Granholm, and former U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra. More information about MAP can be found at www.millennialaction.org.