She would barely be old enough to serve in Congress, but 25-year-old political newcomer Erin Schrode is ready to make history.
The Marin County, California, Democrat is running for election in the state's 2nd Congressional District, facing off against an incumbent more than twice her age. If elected, Schrode would be the youngest woman ever elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
“I'm a challenger. I am ruffling a lot of feathers,” she said proudly to TODAY.
After starting her own environmental nonprofit organization, consulting for heavyweights including Apple and the U.S. State Department, Schrode said she grew tired of being ignored on issues that matter to her.
So Schrode decided to run for office, announcing her candidacy online in a video that has received more than 6 million views.
Going viral is a critical part of the strategy being used by Schrode's campaign and its shoestring budget. In addition to YouTube, she relies on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and other social media platforms to update supporters about her campaign efforts.
“It has enabled us to take this very local action,” she said.
But Schrode also relies on old-fashioned stumping efforts, like lots of door knocking. But even that strategy relies on technology: She uses an app, Polis, that helps her decide in which homes she has the best chance of securing a vote.
“This is boots on the ground. We are pounding the pavement,” she said.
Schrode said she’s in the community every day, hoping not only to connect with fellow millennials but with their parents.
“I am out here talking about policy, talking about the issues, instead of sitting in a room and dialing for dollars because for me, this matter more,” she said.
The California primary will be held June 7.