Georgia’s Future Caucus, made up of state’s youngest lawmakers, lays out priorities for 2024 session
January 24, 2024
By Doug Reardon
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) – Georgia’s youngest lawmakers spelled out their vision for the immediate future on Wednesday.
The Future Caucus — made up of millennial and Generation Z legislators under 45 — held a press conference after their first meeting together this week, noting that artificial intelligence, housing and criminal justice reform are all points of focus for them.
About 21% of Georgia’s General Assembly are millennials or Gen Z. Georgia is one of 33 states that has a Future Caucus in its legislature.
“We believe that the next generation of leaders can build a better future can build a more healthy democracy and can build a culture of pluralism,” said Layla Zaidane, the national Future Caucus president and CEO. “Young lawmakers that are a part of the Georgia Future Caucus and are a part of the Future Caucus network will one day be the chairs of powerful committees, they will be speaker of the house, governor, you name it.”
“The younger legislators across the country are really driving this bipartisanship,” said Rep. Jasmine Clark (D-Lilburn), the caucus’ Democrat chair. “We will not agree on everything but, the Georgia Future Caucus will work together, both sides of the isle, hand-in-hand.”
The presence of bipartisanship, the caucus co-chairs said, is especially important in what is sure to be a contentious election year. Already, the caucus has thrown its support behind a bill regulating artificial intelligence in Georgia elections and another regulating its use in state agencies.
With the session still young, they also want to put their fingerprints on bills that would foster workforce development and housing, school safety and criminal justice reform.
“Younger Georgians need an inspiring place to work, they need workforce solutions, they need safe communities and safe schools that they can take their young children to,” said Rep. Steven Sainz (R-Saint Mary’s), the caucus’ Republican chair.
Since its inception, Future Caucus, a 501(c) nonprofit, has worked with around 1,800 legislators. Georgia’s chapter has been active since 2017 with around 50 currently eligible members.
“I am not one of those people that is going to pretend like it is not an election year, and that there will not be things that we will not agree on,” said Clark. “But I do think there are definitely places where lawmakers can get together, sit in a room, and talk about and work on policy that we can all get behind.”
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