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Millennial Action Project

The Millennial Action Project (MAP) is the largest nonpartisan organization of millennial policymakers in the United States We develop the next generation to overcome partisanship on future-focused challenges and democracy reforms. MAP is connecting young lawmakers across state and party lines to find innovative solutions to democracy reform that make government more accountable, participatory, and representative for all.

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Big Picture
Courtesy Millennial Action Project

MAP founder Steven Olikara (left) stepped down from the top job earlier this year. Layla Zaidane has been named the new CEO.

Millennial Action Project and its founder begin new chapters

Growing up in Milwaukee, Steven Olikara felt that playing music was the only way to bring people of all backgrounds and ideologies together — until he was inspired to launch the Millennial Action Project.

Believing the trend toward polarization had put American democracy on perilous footing, Olikara decided to translate his musical performances into political involvement on a national scale. In 2013, he officially launched MAP with the hopes that the next generation could bridge the political divide and put America on the right path forward.

Now, after nearly a decade at the helm, Olikara has stepped down as both he and the organization enter new chapters. On Wednesday, the organization announced as his successor Layla Zaidane, who previously served as MAP's executive director and COO. As for Olikara's next steps, the 31-year-old has his sights set on a potential Senate run next year when Republican Ron Johnson's seat is up for election.

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2020 Rising Star Awards

Organizer: Millennial Action Project

This award recognizes bipartisan legislators from our State Future Caucus Network who have embodied MAP's mission to transcend political tribalism. This year's nominees went above and beyond to build relationships with their colleagues across the aisle, as they had to do it virtually and in a polarized environment. For that, we applaud them. Even if you don't tune in for the whole thing, the livestream will be a chance for you to unite with legislators and thought leaders under a shared vision: a diverse democracy where the political culture is grounded in empathy and leaders pursue innovative policy solutions.

Location: Livestream

Alex Wong/Getty Images

"Electoral legitimacy is the essential linchpin of our entire political culture," said Dan Coats, who was President Trump's first director of national intelligence.

Bipartisan panel of elders launches $20 million election integrity effort

Presidential contests may be the ultimate exhibition of polarized partisanship, but efforts are bubbling up in several places to put a bit of smoothing bipartisan spin on this election and its potentially messy aftermath. Two new ones, one bold and one narrow, were unveiled Wednesday.

A group of more than 40 formerly prominent Republicans and Democrats declared themselves the National Council on Election Integrity. The group then announced a $20 million advertising campaign to reassure the country the election will be safe and secure despite the coronavirus pandemic — and hammer at the message that all votes should be tabulated before a winner is declared.

And young members of the Wisconsin Legislature unveiled a modest campaign of their own — underscoring that Republican and Democratic politicians are unified in the view that as many people as possible should vote early in that battleground state.

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Congress
MHJ/Getty Images

Younger House members a bit more bipartisan, research decides

Younger House members are more likely to work across the aisle than their older colleagues, a new study shows.

Bipartisanship is extraordinarily hard to come by on Capitol Hill, one of the main reasons why the legislative branch has devolved into near-total dysfunction and further hobbled the regular operations of democracy. The report provides a glimmer of hope the next generation of lawmaker leaders may be willing to change that.

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