Why We Need To Launch Campaigns, Not Nonprofits, In The Trump Era

What we actually need are younger, more diverse politicians

IT’S TIME to get off the bench. But if you have the verve, time, and money to devote to new causes, resist the urge to launch your own nonprofit. The philanthropic sector is already oversaturated, and nonprofit organizations suffer from short lifespans, according to several studies. In the face of a Trump presidency and a Republican-controlled Congress, federal funding for the social causes we care about may be slashed. Those funding cuts will mean fewer dollars and greater competition among worthy organizations serving vulnerable clients.

Instead, run for your local office. Our nation needs a political system that reflects the diversity and progressive ideals of a new generation: Only 5 percent of legislators are members of the millennial generation, though millennials make up 20 percent of the U.S. population. While people of color comprise 40 percent of the population, they only account for 14 percent of our state legislators. These are the reps getting it done:


Michigan’s youngest Democratic State Representative-elect, 11th District

The 21-year-old political wünderkind trounced Republican Robert Pope to become the youngest member of the Michigan House of Representatives. This budding visionary’s overarching goals include renewing union support in his district and integrating an influx of Syrian refugees into the community.

Ritchie torres

New York’s openly LGBTQ Democratic councilman, 15th District

Toxic mold spread throughout the Bronx homes where Ritchie Torres grew up. Now, the young, Latino council - man is fighting to fix the housing system he left. Torres snips at the heels of the city’s political elite while slowly becoming one himself. “I have a deep suspicion of power,” says Torres. Even his own.



District Salman identifies as a half-Arab, part-Mexican atheist, which means she embodies the patchwork future of American politics. Her fight for reproductive rights and stronger Latino political engagement will be especially grueling under a Trump administration.


Mayor of Los Angeles

With regards to whether Los Angeles will be falling in line on Trump’s immigration plans, Garcetti told press that Los Angeles “will continue to be a place of refuge, a place that immigrants can come to... and feel safe.” This uncompromising stance sets Garcetti up as a future Democratic presidential candidate.


Democratic Ohio Senator

Trump’s campaign promises to overhaul trade policy resonated in Ohio, the country’s fourth largest manufacturing sector, which turned red this election. Brown—who already had a contentious relationship with the President-elect, calling him “greedy” for “dodging taxes”—promised constituents he would hold Trump to that pledge.