Beyond the BubbleNational

Future Caucus Goes to Hollywood

March 26, 2024

Future Caucus legislators joined Halle Berry and First Lady Jill Biden at A Day of Unreasonable Conversations.

Ever heard of Olivia Pope? Yesterday, Kerry Washington, who brought the character Olivia Pope to life in ABC’s hit show “Scandal,” hosted A Day of Unreasonable Conversations. It’s billed as Hollywood’s annual gathering to equip creators of television for the year ahead by “connecting creators of popular culture with leading changemakers to engage in critical discourse on the most urgent issues of our time.” The purpose was to connect people who create pop culture for a living to people who create social change for a living. The speaker lineup this year included Halle Berry, First Lady Jill Biden, Paris Hilton, TikTok’s Charli D’Amelio, Kesha, Jane Fonda, U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock, a dozen other celebrities and… Future Caucus.

Journalist Rachel Janfaza interviewed Future Caucus members Florida State Senator Alexis Calatyud and North Dakota Representative Dawson Holle about life as a young lawmaker. Both Republican legislators, they spoke to the crowd of artists, directors, producers, and media executives about their vision for the future of their party. And they shared why collaboration across the aisle is critical to their success as policymakers and the new generation of Gen Z elected leaders.

“When I was drafting my first piece of legislation, I actually didn’t get support from my Republican colleagues. So I said ‘I’m going to shake things up.’ I got support from all of my Democratic colleagues, and then my own party noticed me. Bipartisan solutions definitely work in an ultra-Republican state. I will continue to work in a bipartisan way,” said Rep. Dawson Holle, who was elected last year at the age of 19. 

“I joined Future Caucus because I want to know what the other side thinks of climate change, healthcare, and the newest and greatest trends to help North Dakota. And I think that’s one of the great things Future Caucus has started.” 

Sen. Alexis Calatayud helped the entertainment industry leaders in the room understand the narrative this new generation of public officials engaged in our work hope to advance. “Future Caucus represents so many of our shared values. That’s a phrase that is not commonly spoken in the political vernacular and, maybe especially, by young people who are trying to make a name for themselves and cut their teeth in politics. I am looking for ways to share good ideas because good ideas don’t have a party.”

“One of the pieces of legislation I’m proudest of from this year’s legislative session in Florida that passed was a bill filed by a Democrat the year before. It expands access to HIV medication post-exposure. It wasn’t passed when it was simply a Democratic sponsor. But with a Democrat and Republican sponsor, we passed it, and it’s awaiting the governor’s signature. This will provide access statewide for one of the states most racked by the HIV epidemic. Policy like that can happen when people can come together under the tent of good ideas. Future Caucus broadens the tent and invites particularly young people who sometimes could be seduced by the idea of being the most compelling, the most progressive, the most conservative and encourages them to find instead how to be the most effective.” 

The power of television and pop culture to shape our discourse and politics cannot be overstated. 

Future Caucus leaders like Rep. Holle and Sen. Calatayud are creating a culture of pluralism and collaboration in their states to combat polarization. Yesterday, the creative and business leaders in Hollywood got to see this narrative on full display. In an election year where headlines focus on growing divisions, Future Caucus was able to showcase the leaders offering a better path. We’re excited to see how these media leaders weave this narrative into the conversation.

Grammy-winning artist Kesha spoke before Future Caucus’ panel at A Day of Unreasonable Conversation.
Rep. Sara Jacobs


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