Can we stop with the thinkpieces about millennials already? If you read popular accounts you’re left with the impression that all 20-somethings never contribute to society because they’re too busy hoverboarding with VR glasses on, their selfie-sticks in one hand, and vape pens in the other.
Enter Erin Schrode. She started the eco-platform and environmental non-profit Turning Green when she was just 13. Soon after, she began speaking and collaborating with other environmentalists around the country. After one of these speeches, fans urged Schrode to run for office.
“Maybe,” she replied, “when the time is right.”
To which her best friend later responded, “How about you run now, while you’re waiting for the right time?”
Schrode agreed and declared her candidacy for Congress in California’s second district when she was still just 24. Now a few weeks past her 25th birthday, Schrode’s campaign is in full swing. It’s very much a millennial campaign — she uses Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook in the savvy way that only a digital native could — but the platform itself is timeless. Schrode wants to reach across the aisle (she’s a registered Democrat) to fight for the environment, jobs, and education while increasing the engagement of young voters. These are issues that don’t feel left leaning or right leaning, they just feel American. Or at least they should.
In doing so, Schrode is smashing through stereotypes about young people not being involved or motivated or eager. Regardless of how the race evolves, that’s already a win for everyone.