Female millennial Democratic nominees want to change party from within

These three millennial women have one thing in common: They’re gunning for Democratic State House seats in the 2018 midterm elections in Pennsylvania.

The political landscape under the Trump administration might have become more partisan than most can remember, even within the Democratic Party. But in times of polarization, Elizabeth Fiedler, 38, Sara Innamorato, 32, and Summer Lee, 30, say they can elevate one another by working side-by-side.

First things first, like any millennials would, they started a group chat. On “The Van Jones Show,” they talked to CNN’s Van Jones about why they’re running, the biggest issues facing the country today, and the changes they want to see in the Democratic Party.

Elizabeth Fiedler, District 184

On what she wants the Democratic Party to be:

“We need a Democratic Party that is in touch with people. And when I say people, I mean real people. The folks whose doors we knocked on, but also all of the people who are turning out in elections.”

On the current Democratic leadership:

“I think we need more elected officials who are not backed by big money, who aren’t counting on big corporate money to stay in office.”

On why she’s running:

“If I’m gonna sit here, and stay at my job … who am I counting on to create the kind of world that I want my children to grow up in?”

Sara Innamorato, District 21

On changing the current Democratic leadership:

“I’m a state representative. I don’t get to make a decision on who is leading the Democratic Party, but what I can do is push the agenda and make sure we’re talking about things that actually impact real people’s lives.”

On why she’s running against a Democratic incumbent:

“I wanted to talk about issues that really mattered to the community, and not vilify people or throw them away because of a choice that they made during the presidential year.”

On why she’s helping her fellow nominees:

“If we’re willing to share, we can actually move an agenda, and we can actually bring more people to the table … If it’s a whole movement, then people start to believe that another world is possible.”

Summer Lee, District 34

On why she’s running:

“I’m not (running because of President Donald Trump). My community had the same issues whether it was Trump or Barack Obama … These issues are timeless. It doesn’t matter who is at the top; we’re worried at who is at the bottom.”

On changing the current Democratic Party:

“We need a more representative party, we need a more representative Congress … we need younger, we need more color.”

On representation in her state and party:

“We need a more representative party … leadership should also reflect that. I’m the first black woman to come out of western Pennsylvania. We exist, and we should be represented wherever we go.