Two progressive activists announced plans to launch a super PAC with the aim of electing young Americans who want to advance progressive policies.
David Hogg, a gun control advocate who gained national attention after the Parkland shooting, has teamed up with Kevin Lata, a former Democratic campaign manager, for the new endeavor – known as Leaders We Deserve. The organization will back candidates under the age of 35 who campaign for federal office and under the age of 30 who are seeking state office.
“The far-right is threatening everything we care about, & young people are leading the fight back,” wrote Leaders We Deserve in a social media post. “But far too often, the path to public office is closed to young leaders. That’s why we’re launching Leaders We Deserve – to elect young, fearless progressives across the country.”
Hogg, who attended Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, co-founded March for Our Lives to demand a policy that institutes stricter gun regulations. The group is known for organizing larger demonstrations and school walkouts.
“I have realized that we must do more than simply point out what is wrong with the system,” said Hogg in an Aug. 9 post on Medium. “We must act to change it.”
Hogg said that “18–29 year olds no longer just vote half for one party and half for the other, effectively splitting their vote was … the case in 2000.”
“Instead, they are very clearly voting for Democrats by a massive percentage; this was a significant reason why Democrats won the House in 2018, the Presidency and Senate in 2020, and made the red ‘wave’ into a ripple in 2022,” Hogg wrote.
“The empowered youth, who grew up leading impactful movements such as March For Our Lives and School Strike for Climate, are now graduating high school and college,” said Hogg. “They can now vote, they can now run for elected positions, and they can now be the better leaders we need. We can help them do that.”
Lata told NBC News that the group will help young people interested in holding public office fundraise for their campaigns and introduce them to political connections.
“We will work to try to help get them, get connected with reporters to write stories about their races … just like work really closely to help them build out the mechanics of the campaign,” said Lata.
After hiring an initial staff, Hogg and Lata plan to select 15 to 30 candidates seeking a state-level legislative office to support.
“The group does not plan to aid campaigns that will challenge incumbent Democrats in primaries, but it hopes to back candidates running in open, safely Democratic seats in states like Texas, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina,” notes NBC.
Hogg told NBC that President Joe Biden is “a pretty big inspiration for this.”
“He started when he was 29 years old,” Hogg said during the interview, “doing things right and that enabled him to form the network and experience that he needed to be able to be one of the most successful presidents of our lifetimes.”
Several high-profile politicians and public figures have joined the Leaders We Deserve board, including Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy, Florida Congressman Maxwell Frost – whose campaign was managed by Lata, Maryland Congressman Jamie Raskin, Illinois Congresswoman Lauren Underwood, California Congressman Eric Swalwell, and Illinois Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky. They are joined by actress Alyssa Milano, Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn, Tennessee State Representative Justin Jones, Ban Assault Weapons Now Chair Gail Schwartz, and National Education Association President Becky Pringle.