Seven years ago Steven Olikara founded the Millennial Action Project to incubate a younger generation of diverse, technologically savvy and pragmatic leaders committed to bipartisan collaboration. The spark was a meeting two years earlier of college students awarded Truman Scholarships for public service — including Olikara, then at the University of Wisconsin. Before MAP, Olikara did a stint at the World Bank and advised the philanthropies of musicians Usher and Akon. He was on the 2017 Forbes list of the 30 most important policy and legal figures younger than 30. His answers have been lightly edited for length and clarity.
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The largest nonpartisan organization activating young lawmakers to bridge the political divide and strengthen U.S. democracy.
Three legislators with records of bipartisanship and collaboration were given the second round of Rising Star awards on Tuesday night by the Millennial Action Project, a nonpartisan group that aims to boost those two characteristics among younger people in public life.
The organization started the prize program last year, marking MAP's fifth anniversary, to recognize lawmakers who have taken the lead in organizing chapters of its Future Caucus Network in 30 state legislatures. MAP says its is the largest nonpartisan organization of millennial elected officials in the nation.
Organizer: Millennial Action Project
The Millennial Action Project will host the second annual Rising Star Awards at the Darlington House in Washington, DC. During this event we will hear from a special keynote speaker, and we will be announcing the winners of this year's Rising Star Award.
Each year, MAP selects outstanding young legislator(s) in recognition of their exceptional work done to promote bipartisanship in their legislatures. We will celebrate their accomplishments transcending political tribalism and revitalizing our nation's politics.
Location: Darlington House1610 20th Street NW, Washington, DC
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.