Members of the Democratic party have realized that there is a lot they can learn from the millennials in their ranks.
The House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee is hosting a session Thursday morning with Ocasio-Cortez of New York (@AOC – 2.42 million followers) and Rep. Jim Himes of Connecticut (@jahimes – 76,500 followers) “on the most effective ways to engage constituents on Twitter and the importance of digital storytelling.”
“The older generation of members and senators is pretty clueless on the social media platforms. It’s pretty clear that a lot of members have 25-year-olds in their offices,” running their social media, Himes said.
“For younger members, they think of social media as every bit of an established form of communication as print or television or radio,” said Josh Hawley, who, at 39, is the youngest U.S. senator.
At 29, Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest member of Congress and has become something of a sensation with both sides of the aisle for her progressive views and use of social media to share opinions and policy positions. She’s attracted millions of followers, far more than the average lawmaker. Ocasio-Cortez’s office declined to comment for this story, but late Wednesday she retweeted a USA TODAY reporter and confirmed she would be teaching the class. She said it was one of the “perks of being in the Democratic Caucus.”
But what the members need to realize that it is not just the medium, the message is also important. Ocasio-Cortez has a large following because she is saying things that resonate with a lot of people and also knows how to say it.
Here she is delivering her first speech on the floor of the House and she pulled no punches, where she slams Donald Trump for causing the shutdown, saying, ”It is not normal to hold 800,000 workers’ paychecks hostage. It is not normal to shut down the government when we don’t get what we want.“