Future Caucus: Bridging Divides, Shaping the Future of American Politics
In late 2023, the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation board approved the strategy for our new Democracy giving area. Efforts focus on electoral reforms that make elections a fairer reflection of voters’ preferences, developing future leaders who prioritize nation over party and supporting groups that create the conditions for bipartisan connection and collaboration amongst elected officials. The foundation’s Democracy work is focused on Georgia and Montana, and grantmaking will be specific to the needs of each state.
In support of this strategy, the foundation recently granted $1.35 million to Future Caucus to promote bipartisan collaboration among state legislators. This funding will specifically aid in uniting young, elected leaders who strive to bridge the partisan divide to serve their constituents and transform American politics effectively.
Since 2013, Future Caucus, formerly known as the Millennial Action Project, has served more than 1,800 young lawmakers across the country, providing leadership development, strategic communications guidance, connections with policy experts and a diverse network of like-minded peers. Future Caucus envisions a diverse democracy where the political culture is grounded in empathy and leaders pursue innovative policy solutions.
Future Caucus works on both federal and state levels and analyzes the political behavior of Gen Z and Millennial candidates and elected leaders to identify trends, barriers and opportunities. As a national nonpartisan nonprofit, Future Caucus gives our nation’s young leaders the resources and support needed to understand the root causes of the polarization they must transcend, develop and pass innovative policy solutions, and forge productive partnerships on the issues impacting Americans.
While Millennials and Gen Z account for only 25% of the state legislature population across the country, 40% of all bipartisan legislation signed into law in 2023 was authored by these young leaders. Young elected officials are setting an example and proving to all Americans that laws can be passed and a positive impact can be made if people find common ground and work together.
“Young people are open to doing things differently by working across political divides and differences,” said Layla Zaidane, Future Caucus President and CEO. “If we want people to trust in our democracy, we must show them something worthy of their trust. And it starts with elevating people who are in positions to do something meaningful right now.”
With one out of every six candidates for Congress in the 2022 election cycle coming from the Gen Z and Millennial generations, a 57% increase compared to 2020, it’s clear that young Americans are stepping up as leaders to be part of a collaborative solution.
The challenges facing America’s democratic norms, practices and institutions present many opportunities for action. The foundation has set a bold and ambitious goal for the next decade to increase effective, constructive and responsible leadership in Montana and Georgia, and organizations like Future Caucus are leading the way.