Why these 3 House progressives are excited to speak at this Gen Z summit
More than 250 young voters will hear from current and former members of Congress and other political leaders at the Leaders of Tomorrow summit starting today.
Youth voter turnout is expected to determine the balance of power in Congress next year and whether President Joe Biden is elected to a second term to, as he often says, “finish the job.”
Gen Z advocacy group Voters of Tomorrow is conscious of this dynamic. Earlier this year, they persuaded over 35 House Democrats to sign a pledge commuting to meaningful Gen Z outreach during their 2024 campaign.
And starting today, the group will convene over 250 young leaders and allies for its second Leaders of Tomorrow summit at the historic Watergate Hotel to organize its movement before election season kicks into high gear.
Supercreator Daily caught up with three leading House progressives who will participate in the summit to get the tea on why they’re excited to attend.
⟿ Rep. Maxwell Frost (D-Fla.): For the first Gen Z member of Congress, the summit is a no-brainer.
“The thing the organization is trying to do is bring together a coalition of Gen Z around this broader progressive agenda that really aligned with the Democratic Party and so I’m really excited to be there,” he said. “I was saying to my staff: Don’t plan anything after because all my friends from the youth movement will be there so I’m going to want to stick around after I speak.
⟿ Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.): Before this progressive rising star was elected to Congress, he was an educator and principal, which gave him a front-row seat to the promise of future generations.
Bowman said young people believe they can change the world tomorrow and that Congress should govern with that same sense of urgency.
“I’m going to point them to 2024 and to not only think about the presidency, but we gotta take back the House and I believe we can grow seats in the Senate. As for what he’s bringing to the summit? “Good energy and good excitement!”
⟿ Rep. Robert Garcia (D-Calif.): Amid the relentless onslaught of conservative anti-equality, anti-environmental, and anti-worker attacks the country is under, Garcia views the summit as an opportunity to ground young people in the possibility of the current moment.
“Young voters are going to be instrumental in deciding the future, particularly these big issues like LGBTQ+ rights, climate or labor rights,” he said. “Young people are at the right place on all of those issues.”
Additional speakers: In addition to Frost, Bowman, and Garcia, Rep. Summer Lee (D-Pa.), and former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) are among the other current members of Congress slated to speak at the event.
Former Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) and former Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.), who is running for re-election in his old district will make appearances too.
Remember Justin Jones, the Tennessee state representative who was expelled in April for leading a gun violence protest inside the state House chamber? He’ll be there as well as congressional candidate and Maryland State Delegate Joe Vogel, who would follow in Frost’s footsteps as the next Gen Z House member if elected next year.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre will also headline the event. Your Supercreator Daily author is told she is expected to speak about the impact of President Biden’s agenda on young people.
The off-year factor: Frost added that the fact Voters of Tomorrow attracted almost twice as many young people to the summit during an off-year as it did last year is proof of the momentum of the youth movement.
Jack Lobel, national press secretary for Voters of Tomorrow, told Supercreator Daily that the work of addressing the disconnect between Gen Z and the political process is an around-the-clock pursuit.
“We need to be working in the off year just as much as we are during [get out the vote] to engage our generation to the political process,” the 19-year-old said. “And also, the work doesn’t stop after election day. We have to make sure that elected officials are not only asking for our voices at the ballot box but also listening to our voices when it comes to legislation.”
Gen Z unity: The summit is also an opportunity to deepen the unity around the progressive Gen Z agenda.
“The reason we need this is because young people are united in their opposition to far-right policies,” Lobel said. “We are united in our determination to make sure we are the last generation that has to worry about school shootings, climate change, inequity in the education system, and affordability when it comes to health care and housing.”
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You’ve probably seen it by now: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) froze up while speaking at the podium moments into his weekly press availability and was escorted away by colleagues. He returned minutes later to take questions from the press and later told reporters he felt fine and that President Biden called to check on him. It will be interesting to see if the episode will place McConnell’s health under the same scrutiny as Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)’s has been since her shingles diagnosis.
RELATED: McConnell reportedly tripped and fell leaving an airplane in a DC airport earlier this month. The Kentucky Republican has also recently been using a wheelchair to navigate crowded airports.
Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) went off script during a House Judiciary Committee hearing to call out Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas for the agency’s alleged history of targeting progressive activists and protestors against police violence. The two-term congresswoman also similarly criticized FBI Director Chris Wray when he testified before Congress a few weeks ago.
Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) called Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s recent flirtation with an impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden “theater” and a distraction from the chaotic government funding process. “Right now, he has got to convince the public that he is credible, and that Republicans have a duty to follow him,” Buck, a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said to Dana Bash of CNN’s Inside Politics. “The party itself is not in agreement, and we're going to have some real trouble passing appropriations bills.”
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The Federal Reserve raised interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point in its ongoing campaign to lower inflation. The move puts rates in the 5.25 percent to 5.50 percent range, a 22-year high. Congressional Democrats have called on Chairman Jerome Powell to chill with the rate hikes, but he left the possibility of another bump in September.
Seven major global automakers announced they will create a new joint venture to install 30,000 electric vehicle charging stations and expand access to EV charging infrastructure across the country. The move is designed to support long-distance travel and will complement federal investments to create a coast-to-coast network of charging infrastructure available to all EV customers.
Maxwell Frost introduced a bill that would eliminate junk fees to make it easier for working people to rent affordable housing. The legislation, which also calls for an end to credit screening from the rental process, comes from personal experience: When Frost was elected to Congress, the 26-year-old was denied a DC apartment due to poor credit.
Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Judy Chu (D-Calif.), Bobby Scott, and Alma Adams introduced a bill that would require the federal government to establish a national standard to protect workers against extreme heat. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) introduced a companion bill in the Senate. Rep. Greg Casar (D-Texas) led an eight-hour thirst strike this week to raise awareness on the issue.
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Reps. Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D-Calif.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), and Deborah Ross (D-N.C.) introduced two bills to repeal the fossil fuel leasing requirements in the Inflation Reduction Act and promote clean energy development on US public lands and waters. The lawmakers say the tie between clean energy and fossil fuel development puts the climate at risk, despite the $369 investment for climate and clean energy in the IRA.
Sens. Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) called on Attorney General Merrick Garland to dedicate additional resources to prosecutions for cases of sex abuse content generated by artificial intelligence. “Given the proliferation of AI-generated [child sex abuse material], the absence of charges or successful prosecutions raises concerns about the effectiveness of our current legal framework in combating this heinous crime,” the senators wrote in their inquiry.
Reps. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) introduced a resolution commemorating the 33rd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) introduced a companion resolution in the Senate.
ON THE FLOOR
The Senate is in at 10 a.m. and will pick up its work on the annual defense policy bill.
The House will meet at 10 a.m. with first votes expected at 1:20 p.m. and last votes expected at 2:50 p.m. Members are expected to vote on final passage of the military construction and veterans funding bill, plus two disapproval resolutions related to the lesser prairie chicken and long-eared bat.
9:30 a.m. Senate Majority Leader Schumer and other senior Senate Democrats will hold a press conference on the health provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act.
10 a.m. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) will lead the reintroduction of the Protecting Our Democracy Act. Texas House Republicans will hold a press conference on immigration.
10:15 a.m. Schumer, McConnell, and senators will meet with Prime Minister Giorgio Meloni of Italy.
11:30 a.m Congressional Black Caucus Chair Steven Horsford and members will hold a press conference on the state of race and democracy in America.
Reps. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), and Chu will mark the 70th anniversary of the Korean Armistice.
12:35 p.m. House Democrats will announce new school safety legislation.
1 p.m. Sen. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) will hold a press conference to introduce the Agricultural Worker Justice Act and the Fairness for Small-Scale Farmers & Ranchers Act.
3 p.m. Reps. Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.) and Donald Norcross (D-N.J.) will announce the Tax Fairness for Workers Act.
9 a.m. President Biden will receive his daily intelligence briefing.
11:45 a.m. The president will speak about new actions on extreme heat.
3 p.m. President Biden will meet with Prime Minister Meloni.
7:05 p.m. The president will travel to the National Archives building, arriving at 7:10 p.m.
7:30 p.m. President Biden will speak at the Truman Human Rights Symposium.
8:15 p.m. The president will return to the White House, arriving at 8:20 p.m.
Vice President Harris is in Washington, DC, and has no public events on her schedule.
All times Eastern
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