WI group looks to get more millennials engaged in politics

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MADISON (WKOW) — It’s no surprise today’s political climate is tense, some don’t want any part it, but one organization is hoping to transform heated dialogue into action.

The Millennial Action Project (MAP) hosts “Red and Blue” session across Wisconsin and the nation to discuss the partisan divide facing the county by engaging the millennial generation. They debate issues like student loan debt and filling good paying jobs.

The President and Founder Steven Olikara said participation in democracy plays a big role in having civil and impactful conversations.

“Folks now get that this generation is a force to be reckoned with and the real challenge going forward is to articulate a vision for building and reforming in a country at a time where people are really losing faith,” said Olikara.

The University of Wisconsin chapter of the MAP hosted a debate Monday night to discuss bipartisan efforts on financing higher education.

After the 2018 elections, the average age of Congress dropped by 10 years according to PBS News Hour. In addition to swearing in younger lawmakers, Congress is now the most racially diverse than ever before.

Olikara’s organization is hoping to keep this trend going but also shift how political dialogue is discussed a perceived.

“How is the next generation going to govern our county will we just continue with gridlock and dysfunction or can we transcend some of the old partisan flat lines and focus on the future-oriented challenges that will inherit the future,” he said.

Topics on how social media plays a role in elections is also discussed at listening sessions. Olikara said it’s a huge challenge especially the impact fake news can have on a voter.

“This is a big area of reform and I think the social media companies have to change that.”

You can catch the full interview with Olikara on WKOW’s Capital City Sunday at 9 a.m.

Emilee Fannon

Emilee Fannon

Capital Bureau Chief

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