OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma is now the 30th state in the nation to form a “Future Caucus” to find bipartisan solutions to issues that impact younger generations. The Future Caucus is a bipartisan, bicameral group of members age 45 and younger and will be co-chaired by Sen. Carri Hicks, D-Oklahoma City, John Michael Montgomery, R-Lawton, Rep. Ajay Pittman, D-Oklahoma City, and Rep. Judd Strom, R-Copan. The Future Caucus was announced at a press conference on the south steps of the Capitol on Tuesday.
The State Future Caucus Network is under the umbrella of the Millennial Action Project (MAP), a national, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to activating young policymakers to bridge the partisan divide and lead a new era of collaborative governance.
Hicks said each of the four Future Caucus co-chairs would oversee specific policy areas. Her area will be how to stem brain-drain by finding ways to make sure Oklahoma’s best and brightest are able to continue to make this state their home.
“Economic opportunities, great paying jobs, these are issues that I think we all can agree on as we find ways to support tomorrow’s workforce and upcoming leaders” Hicks said. “I think we all share the belief that there is more that unites than divides us, and when we focus on finding that common ground, our entire state benefits. The Future Caucus will facilitate those policy efforts.”
Montgomery will focus on financial literacy and wellness, issues that can impact a person’s economic security throughout their life.
“The Future Caucus in Oklahoma is oriented toward forward looking policy making, both in the way we legislate and the policy we enact,” Montgomery said. “Our work is intended to provide much needed long term solutions and to promote shared ideals and encourage the success of all Oklahomans. We stand on the shoulders of those who fought for future generations and the duty falls to us to do so now.”
Pittman will work within the Future Caucus on health care issues.
“This caucus is a new platform for millennial legislators to offer innovative solutions to issues for future generations,” Pittman said. “I firmly believe that we will add value to all the communities we serve through collaboration. We are young elected officials who have proven that we can and will work across the aisles to reach the goals and objectives that we establish for progress as we move forward in our attempts to become a Top Ten state. I am honored to be selected by my colleagues to serve in a leadership capacity that is relevant to both urban and rural issues. I believe that sharing best practices will benefit both parties as well as all Oklahomans.”
Strom will work with fellow Future Caucus members on connectivity, an issue that has become increasingly important to the Oklahomans.
“With so much of the time and effort of the Legislature being devoted to the shortterm maintenance of the state, I appreciate the opportunity to come together with my counterparts across the aisle and across the rotunda to discuss the long-term needs of our flourishing state,” Strom said. “The Future Caucus gives each of us a platform from which to ask, what we can do today that will benefit Oklahomans 10, 50, and 100 years down the road? I’ve said that while the legislative maintenance of the state – the trimming of the grass, if you will – is of the utmost importance, my hope for the Future Caucus is that it will become a welcoming receptacle of ideas regarding where to plant trees, the shade of which may be enjoyed for generations of Oklahomans to come.”