As the primaries roll on to what’s sure to be a nasty general election, it’s easy to feel disillusioned by today’s toxic political climate. Just don’t tell that to Erin Schrode, the 25-year-old Californian who’s aiming to be the youngest person elected to Congress.
When she was just 13, Schrode took a keen interest in protecting the environment, and started the nonprofit Turning Green, which advocates for global sustainability. After being spurred on by friends, Schrode decided to run for Congress in California’s second district. For her campaign, the Democrat has embraced a millennial’s arsenal of tools: Instagram (she loves posting shots of her culinary escapades), Facebook, and Twitter all help with voter outreach.
But the key to Schrode’s campaign is her platform, which includes jobs, the environment, and education. Schrode is confident that she would be a powerful voice not only for young people, but for women as well. “I am not against big risks or taking chances—not crazy absurd ones, but logical ones,” she told Uproxx recently. “This makes sense that we should have young women represented in Congress.
While some have characterized the millennial generation of having a “me first” attitude, Schrode is trying to debunk that myth by running an issue-driven campaign. In a recent online post she wrote about the things that matter to her most. “Clean water is a human right. Women add value to society. Mental health is a veritable illness. Black lives matter. Affordable healthcare helps families. Education can be an economic engine,” she explained. “It’s time to deliver on the promise of my generation.”
Schrode will go up against 52-year-old Jared Huffman when California holds its primary June 7.
Learn more about women in politics with a copy of Women and Politics: The Pursuit of Equality, and let us know if you think age should be a factor when running for office.