Web Exclusive: 25-Year-Old Sets Her Eyes On Congress

June 07, 2016 at 10:36 am

They’re leaders in technological and political innovation, and are expected to play a significant role in determining who’s elected to the White House come November, but millennials have yet to break through the barriers preventing them from being elected to congress themselves and influencing policy making on issues that matter most to their generation. As things stand, not one member of the House of Representatives is under the age of thirty.

One New York University graduate is looking to put an end to that trend. 25-year-old Erin Schrode is a California native and she’s running in her home district which stretches from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Oregon Border. She’s facing an uphill climb in tomorrow’s primary election, going head-to-head with two term incumbent Jared Huffman.

“People say all the time, she doesn’t have the experience necessary,” Schrode said, speaking to MetroFocus anchor Rafael PiRoman. “Well, are decades in corporate boardrooms, law offices, or the halls of government more worthwhile than education, than activism, than boots-on-the-ground fighting for environmental and social justice issues … which is what I’ve been doing for the past eleven years?”

It’s been a quick learning curve for the activist turned politician who jumped into the race back in April. When asked whether the system is set up in a way to prevent twenty and thirty somethings from reaching office, she said, “I am not just a millennial, I am a Democrat taking on an establishment Democrat. So no party support. No elected official will meet with me on record. No organization will consider endorsing money. PACs, donors won’t even take a meeting with me.”

Despite those hurdles, Schrode’s campaign has been gathering traction through an innovative social media campaign and her boots on the ground campaign appears to be resonating with the younger voters. “We are architecting our future, we are the leaders who are harnessing that innovative spirit to revolutionize science and technology and media and communications and non-profits. We better understand what it is like to be going though and graduating from the education system, feeling the burdens of a crippling student loan and debt system. Entering a changing job landscape where industries are changing,” the former NYU student stated. “We are living this now and we must step up and answer that call to service to better serve our population and create a world that works for us and for the future.”

Schrode goes up against Representative Huffman and two other challengers in Tuesday’s California primary. The two top will then face each other in the November election. If she wins, Schrode will become the youngest women ever elected to Congress.

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MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.


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