GENERATION NEXT, June 2014
Millennials making waves in statehouses too
Everywhere we turn these days people are talking about “Millennials,” the 80 million or so children born between 1982 and 2000. Much like their parents in their own youth — primarily America’s last massive generational cohort, the Baby Boomers — Millennials are proving to be a major economic, political and social force to be reckoned with. But their influence extends far beyond their value as reliable consumers and a highly desired voting bloc. More and more 20-somethings are now finding their way into elected office in statehouses around the nation. And though they still lack critical mass, their impact is definitely being felt from California to Maine.
Their statehouse numbers vary greatly. In Washington, where the Legislature is quasi part-time, nine of its 147 legislators are Millennials. In California, that generational moniker applies to just three of the 120 full-time, professional lawmakers. Two, Democrats Sebastian Ridley-Thomas (26) and Ian Calderon (25) are under 30; the third, Matt Dababneh, also a Democrat, is 33. The part-time Maine Legislature, which has 186 current members, has 13 members under age 30. Those members — seven Democrats and 6 Republicans — have formed their own caucus, rightfully dubbed the Youth Caucus. (click to continue reading)