Chlöe Swarbrick is a 26-year-old politician born in Auckland, New Zealand. Her progressive politics and engaging style have quickly gained her an impressive local and global profile. 

Uninspired by the candidates she interviewed during the 2016 Auckland Mayoral race, the then student radio host and Law/Arts graduate decided to run for Mayor herself, aged 22. Throughout her trailblazing grassroots campaign, she championed arts, cultural and community-based initiatives, as well as affordable housing and sustainability. Her mature, passionate and articulate conduct gained the respect and admiration of many following the race, both young and old. From entering the race being relatively unknown, Swarbrick ultimately placed third, out of 19 candidates. Following the Mayoral election, she went on to join New Zealand’s Green Party, which prioritises environmentalism and egalitarianism. A year later, aged 23, she entered Parliament as the youngest politician in New Zealand history since Dame Marilyn Waring in 1975. 

In May 2019, Swarbrick called for the New Zealand Government to declare a climate emergency — this was vetoed by the conservative National Party. As well as this, she is a spokesperson for the Misuse of Drugs Amendment Bill, advocating for drug reform on medicinal and recreational cannabis. Throughout her political career so far, Swarbrick has always drawn upon her contemporary experience. She has never been afraid of challenging others on their beliefs – including those much older and more established. An iconic and well-publicised example of this is during her speech on the urgency of climate action in late 2019. As she was addressing New Zealand’s Zero Carbon Bill, Swarbrick was heckled by National Party MP Todd Mueller. She immediately replied “OK boomer”, and continued with her speech unfazed. The popular, succinct meme catchphrase is used as a weary dismissal of less progressive beliefs stereotypically held by the baby boomer generation. Swarbrick represents a progressive youth voice, which is growing ever more prevalent, assertive and influential in today’s global political environment. 

-Frances Belt
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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