Denise Diaz, the Vice-Mayor of South Gate, California, and Tyler Vorpagel, a member of Wisconsin State Assembly, were guests on N1’s Newsroom programme on Friday, where they spoke about the American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL) initiative, but also about the current political climate in the United States.
The American Council of Young Political Leaders is an international exchange programme which enables young politicians to travel worldwide, learning about the political systems of their host countries. The bipartisan initiative was founded in 1966, with notable alumni including incumbent Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, as well as the House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn.
Diaz, a Democrat, and Vorpagel, who is a Republican, arrived in Zagreb three days ago, and will head off to Hungary, another stop in their programme, tomorrow.
“The programme is absolutely great. Our first excursion was through Invisible Zagreb, which was through the eyes of someone who was once a homeless person… We’ve been to the presidential home, we were at the US Embassy,” said Diaz.
“I’ve had a great experience through this ACYPL programme to learn from my colleagues from the other side of the aisle and talk in a more relaxed setting and trying to understand where they come from,” Vorpagel added.
Commenting on the political climate in the United States as the country moves towards the 2020 presidential election, Diaz said she sees a lot of division in the country.
“A lot is at stake for us,” she added.
“One of the things that would surprise a lot of people is I think there is a lot more that we can agree on than what people can see,” said Vorpagel.
Watch the full interview below: