Gus Portela

Age

26

Location

Grand Valley State University, Business Administration

Occupation

Executive Director, College Republican National Committee

Twitter

@gusportela

BIO

Gus Portela is the National Executive Director for the College Republican National Committee. Born in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, Portela has been active in Michigan politics since his sophomore year in high school. Portella is an experienced political operative having worked on multiple campaigns in Michigan and most recently on Rick Santorum’s Presidential campaign in 2012. Prior to coming on board, worked for the Michigan-based firm Strategic National. As a proud Hispanic Republican, Portela’s biggest passion is to bridge the gap between Hispanic voters and the Republican Party.

Why is it important that at this particular point in time, right-of-center youth become involved publicly, whether in politics, media, their communities, or in other capacities?

Our generation has decided the last 2 presidential elections. Now, more than ever, we are provided with an opportunity to change the course of our country for the better. It’s our turn to decide what’s next, so we must ask ourselves the following: Do we want new, fresh ideas that are bottom-up and provide for strong economic growth or do we want to continue down the path of old ideas that are top-down, driven by artificial growth? The importance of right-of-center youth becoming involved at this time is crucial.

What must elected officials and others in positions of leadership do to make a right-of-center message resonate with the Millennial generation?

Research has shown–and continues to show–that young people care and want to see leaders that are responsible, hard working, and trying to do their best. If we continue to make an effort to reach out with our message, we can truly make any message resonate with the Millennial generation.

Where would you like to see the conservative movement in 10 years — and how can it get there?

I would like to see us as a movement continue to make inroads in areas that have not previously heard our message. I strongly believe that as a party and movement we continue to do this, our message will win over theirs. Making inroads with inner city voters is the future of our movement, and I believe making these connections will make our candidates more competitive in the future. I would like to see us as a movement winning in inner cities.

Thirty Under Thirty 2015

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