By Hannah Cluroe, Blue Future Spring for Progress and Change organizer
Following the successful elections of the past year, in which Democrats gained back both the White House and the Senate, I — for the first time in a long time — felt a sense of excitement for the future. Knowing that our government finally has the chance to take meaningful action on existential issues, I was enthusiastic about what the next few years will bring. Unfortunately, I know that without the faithful work of organizers, progressive policies may be overlooked in both this administration and legislative session. Despite the fact that youth contributed immensely to the election of the members of these bodies, the beliefs and opinions of youth are very often ignored. Only through the continuation of advocacy and coordination — on the part of Gen Z — will our views and objectives be prioritized. This is why, in January, I decided to become involved with Blue Future as a member of their Spring for Progress and Change Program.
The experience, knowledge, and skills that I have gained just two months into this program demonstrate just how transformative it truly is. Through my involvement, I have built relationships with fellow youth organizers from across the country that I am confident will last beyond the program’s end. I have had the chance to listen to exclusive speeches from committed elected officials from across the country — from the first transgender state senator, Sarah McBride, to Jamie Raskin, the Congressman who led the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump earlier this year. At our weekly training sessions, I’ve learned about the nuances and intersectionality of key issues affecting our society, including abortion, environmentalism, and immigration — just to name a few. The knowledge I gained from Blue Future’s political messaging training in specific has now become integrated into my daily activity, even affecting aspects of my life unrelated to politics.
One of the most integral aspects of Blue Future’s program is the establishment of Youth Advisory Councils for government officials from across the nation. These councils are important because they allow young people to connect directly with those who oversee both the creation and implementation of legislation that directly affects us. The proliferation of these councils will noticeably benefit young people. At the start of this program, I can truly say that the prospect of being a founder of one of these councils seemed completely improbable to me. Being one of the only cohort members from Arizona, meaning that I would most likely be working on the project alone (which I now am), I felt as though it was highly unlikely that I would ever be able to achieve such an ambitious goal. However, with the guidance of Blue Future’s amazing directors and a fellow organizer from a nearby state, I have made significant progress towards establishing a plan for an Arizona-wide youth council that will work with almost all of the state’s Democratic members of Congress. I have met with staffers from each of these offices, presented my strategic plan to their office, and have received many positive receptions from each. As I plan to initiate its first membership cohort by this fall, the council is still in its preliminary stages. Thus far, the process of its establishment has been both very enriching and insightful. I am very excited about the future of this council, as I envision that it will ultimately serve as highly valuable to youth in my home state of Arizona.
I am genuinely grateful for the opportunity presented to me by Blue Future to be a member of this amazing cohort. The lessons I’ve learned from this issue advocacy program will continue to guide my future advocacy efforts for years to come, and I am looking forward to continuing my work on the youth council Blue Future guided me in creating. Now, I feel that I have the ability to make an impact both at the legislative level, through my developing advisory council, as well as the social level, with the innovative organizing skills I have gained from this program. This program has reinvigorated my excitement for our country’s political future and instilled in me confidence in my ability to advance the progressive policies I adamantly believe in.
About Hannah: Hannah Cluroe (she/her) is a high school junior from Arizona hoping to pursue an education in political science, public policy, and international affairs. As a part-Asian female, she is dedicated to advancing policies and electing officials that uplift minorities and aid in improving society for all. She became involved in Blue Future because she admires the organization’s dedication to progressivism and its recognition of the value of youth advocacy and organizing.