By Bureau County Republican Editorial Board
Jan. 29, 2016
Illinois, saddled with massive debt and deficits, unfunded pension obligations, and a budget-less state government, needs all the help it can get.
That’s why we welcome last week’s news about the establishment of the Illinois Future Caucus.
State Rep. Tom Demmer, a Dixon Republican, and state Rep. Will Guzzardi, a Chicago Democrat, are co-chairmen of the group, which is associated with the national Millennial Action Project.
They and their new caucus hope to bring to government new ways of thinking based on their experiences as millennials -- those in their 20s and 30s.
Increased political cooperation is one goal they hope to achieve.
Guzzardi said they hope “to transcend the partisanship that has caused such hardship in this state, and to build solutions for the problems that are coming down the road for Illinois.”
Demmer said today’s issues and decisions will impact millennials for the rest of their lives, so it’s important that their perspective helps to shape the future in which they’ll live.
The Illinois Future Caucus intends to focus on such issues as technology, education and criminal justice reforms and regulations.
Millennials are not the first generation of young people to feel frustrated by the world in which they find themselves.
Not so long ago, a generation of young people set out to change the world.
“If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem,” they said.
“Don’t trust anyone over 30,” they said.
They protested war, racial injustice, social injustice, poverty, pollution, environmental degradation and “the Establishment.”
They joined movements. They joined the Peace Corps.
And then, the years passed, they grew older, and they gradually became the new Establishment — some seduced by power, others by privilege, still more by money and creature comforts.
And the imperfect world they set out to change? It still needs help — a lot of it.
Transcending political partisanship is easier said than done, particularly in Illinois where partisanship is so ingrained. But that doesn’t mean the attempt should not be made.
And if the Illinois Future Caucus can encourage more like-minded young men and women to run for public office, their chances of success will improve.
Good luck to Reps. Demmer and Guzzardi in their quest to impart idealistic sanity to the crazy, frustrating problems all around us.
More power to them.