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EDITORIAL: Indiana Future Caucus encourages political engagement in young people



The Indiana Statehouse has taken initiative to encourage young people to get involved in politics.

On Wednesday, Indiana representatives Dan Forestal, D-100th District, and David Ober, R-82nd District, announced the creation of the Indiana Future Caucus, a bipartisan effort to focus on Millennial issues and encourage political participation. Indiana will be the 17th state to have a chapter of the Millennial Action Project’s Future Caucus network.

The Editorial Board agrees that a bipartisan effort to encourage Millennial participation in politics, delve into Millennial issues and combat hyper-partisanship is an initiative Indiana needs.

Indiana Future Caucus will also ensure that Millennial issues aren’t overlooked.

According to WHTR.com, the founding handful of Republicans and Democrats less than 40 years of age are emphasizing the integral role Millenials play in combating hyper-partisanship.

"We want more Millennials to be active in politics. Our democracy, quite frankly, depends on it," said Steven Olikara of the Millennial Action Project.

Paying attention to Millennial concerns is essential not only for the future of the United States, but to ensure younger people feel as though they have a say in politics. Through working with a bipartisan base, the Future Caucus could transform the way Millennials engage with political issues and raise awareness among older generations of Millennial concerns.

“We join in a common purpose and cause to ensure the concerns of Millennials are not lost when the Indiana General Assembly sets its agenda each session,” Rep. Forestal said Wednesday.

One of the reasons for disparate engagement is the overarching beliefs that politicians are dishonest and don’t work to protect the interests of anyone other than themselves.

In the book “Running from Office: Why Young Americans are Turned Off to Politics,” political scientists Jennifer Lawless and Richard Fox find that only one out of nine young people have ever taken the idea of running for office seriously. Additionally, there is strong distaste for politics that hits along all major demographics.

“Black or white, rich or poor, liberal or conservative, northeastern or southern, the next generation is turned off to politics,” write Fox and Lawless.

The caucus creators echoed these concerns.

“We need to be encouraging young Hoosiers to get involved in politics,“ Rep. Ober said. “To run for office. To make a difference for our younger generations, but also for the future of our state. That is why our caucus is being formed.”

Indiana Future Caucus could serve as a landmark initiative opening the younger generations’ eyes to the power of political action.

Millennials have the power to transform our current political landscape. As more states join MAP’s Future Caucus network, hopefully Millennials’ politics and concerns will be taken seriously. Perhaps some will even run for office.

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