This election cycle has brought with it a wave of young blood into the Democratic party. From Iowa to Maine to California to Pennsylvania, a group of young progressives are prime to crash the old white man’s party in D.C. Whether it is a 25-year-old Eagle scout raised by two gay women, a 30-year old bisexual or a 29-year-old daughter of a welder, it is the youth movement that has taken over the 2018 primary season.
Zach Wahl was on the floor of the Iowa state House before he could walk into a bar. He gave an account of what it was like to be brought up in a same-sex household. “In classroom discussions, the question always comes to, well, can gays even raise kids and the conversation gets quiet for a moment because most people don’t have an answer. And then I raise my hand and say I was raised by a gay couple and I’m doing pretty well.”
The then 19-year-old said “If I was your son Mr. Chairman I believe I’d make you very proud.” He later spoke at the California Democratic National Convention and is now running for a seat in the lower chamber of Congress.
Abby Finkenauer was raised by a working-class blue-collar dad. Money was scarce in the Finkenauer household, as Finkenauer recalled wearing her father’s old ripped sweatshirt to bed with tiny holes across the arms, according to the Des Moines Register. “He was literally burning his skin to make enough to feed our family and to ensure that we had what we needed,” Finkenauer said. “For me, it’s a reminder of where I’ve come from, and, now, the hard-working people who I represent.”
She still carries the shirt around, the Register reported, and is hoping to take it to Washington D.C. with her.
Finkenauer is running for House Representative trying to build on her two-term stint as state legislator. If she wins, Finkenauer would be the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.
Katie Hill was just 18 years old when she found out she was pregnant, and now, she hopes that by sharing her story, she can win a seat in Congress to help protect other women’s right to choose. Not only was she about to have an abortion before she miscarried but she identifies as bisexual.
“I’ve identified as bisexual since I was a teenager, and if we want to achieve equality for all in our policies, we need more voices from the LGBTQ community in Congress,” Hill stated on her campaign website. “The federal government has no business in restricting basic human rights based on sexual orientation, and I am ready to protect equality at every turn in Congress.” She takes on well-established Republican Steven Knight for a seat in the House.
This is what the future looks like for the Democratic party. A future of promise led by this country’s rising stars … the young millennials.