March 04, 2014
The Young Democrats of America marked the start of Women’s History Month by recommitting itself to the fight against income inequality.
“Today, as it has been for decades, income inequality is one of America’s most pressing issues. Women still make seventy-seven cents for every dollar made by their male counterparts, and fifty-five percent of minimum wage earners are women,” said Atima Omara, President of the Young Democrats of America. “As Americans, we need to address economic inequality in our country with meaningful change. As the Young Democrats of America, we are committed to that being part of the conversation and changing the status quo.”
Omara is the fifth woman to serve as President of YDA and Omara and the Honorable Erin Carlstrom serve as the organization’s first female executive team in YDA’s 82 year history.
“The fact that income inequality disproportionately affects women is not simply a gender issue – it’s an American issue, affecting daily kitchen table economics,” said Carlstrom. “When women as wives, mothers, partners or as heads of household bring home a smaller paycheck than their male counterparts, that decreases the income and economic freedom of the household, family, community and our country.”
Last weekend, the Young Democrats of America met in Charleston, SC in order to develop its two-year strategic plan for addressing income inequality and youth poverty.
March 03, 2014
By Christina Elmore
U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn on Saturday implored a group of politically minded youth to look to the past for guidance in their efforts to counter what he described as a national shift to the right. The congressman addressed the spirited crowd of party faithful in Charleston as part of the Young Democrats of America’s weekend-long Winter National Conference.
Saturday’s proceedings took place at the Marriott hotel on Lockwood Boulevard. About 175 people from across the country attended the event, which set out to outline the organization’s 2014 agenda.
According to Clyburn, battles similar to those faced by today’s Democrats were fought and won in the past.
“I thought it was important to remind the Young Democrats of who and what they are,” Clyburn said, referencing the group’s North Carolina origins and the young people who helped steer the party back to moderation during the early days of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts.
“Anything that’s happened before can happen again. Whether it’s positive or negative, good or bad, if it’s happened before, it can happen again. In this instance, the Young Democrats of America has a great history. We ought to call upon that history this year as we go out to move this country back to moderation.”
The Young Democrats’ president, Atima Omara, 32, of Virginia, said income inequality topped a list of issues in need of tackling in coming months. The cause, she said, is something many young people can rally behind given their wide-reaching struggles with student loans and difficulties finding work in a less-than-booming economy.
Read the rest of the article here.
February 26, 2014
We’re proud to announce that the Young Democrats of America are now accepting applications for our 5th Annual High School Leadership Academy, and our inaugural College Leadership Academy, to be held this July in Washington, D.C.
Are you looking for a great opportunity to learn more about politics, how to build a campaign, and meet the leaders of the Democratic Party? Then click here to apply for the High School Leadership Academy, or here to apply for the College Leadership Academy!
If you’re a little too old to be a member of the High School or College Caucuses, we ask that you forward this e-mail to any high school or college progressive leaders that you know.
The High School Leadership Academy will take place July 6-10, 2014 in Washington DC, and is open to currently enrolled high school students in the graduating classes of 2014-2017. The College Leadership Academy will take place July 13-17, 2014 in Washington DC, and is open to currently enrolled college students in the graduating classes of 2014-2017. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, April 22nd.
These events will be filled with top-level trainings, opportunities to network with progressive activists, and meetings with Democrats championing our causes in Congress. You definitely don’t want to miss them!
February 21, 2014
Washington Weekly, an online news program for millennials, interviews President Atima Omara on 2016 presidential candidates (5:00 mark) and Issue Advocacy Director, James Lewis, on President Obama’s “Year of Action” and use of Executive Orders while Congress does nothing (8:00 mark).
February 15, 2014
By Atima Omara & James Lewis
After months of repeal and replace rhetoric from Republicans on the Affordable Care Act with no replacement option, three Senators have finally broken the ice and shown America what Republicans would replace the plan with: more taxes.
Senators Burr (NC), Coburn (OK) and Hatch (UT) have authored the Patient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility and Empowerment (Patient CARE) Act — or GOPCare — claiming it is a better option.
This is the first time Republicans have offered a solution to the addressing America’s health that has been under repair since passage of the Affordable Care Act.
During her response to the president’s State of the Union, Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers agreed that the pre-Affordable Care Act days were a bad place to be: “No, we shouldn’t go back to the way things were.”
Instead, GOPCare offers a situation that is worse by raising the taxes of working Americans.
Read the full OpEd here.
Omara is the president of the Young Democrats of America. Lewis is the Young Democrats of America’s Issue Advocacy Director.
February 03, 2014
The Young Democrats of America marked the start of Black History Month by remembering the victories of the civil rights movement and the forward march to a “more perfect union.”
“As we begin African American history month, we pause to remember that we stand on the shoulders of giants as we pursue an America that lives up to its promise of delivering life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all,” said Atima Omara, President of the Young Democrats of America.
Omara is the organization’s first African American president and Montica Talmadge serves as the organization’s first African American woman to serve as YDA’s Democratic National Committewoman, one of the organization’s three official representatives to the DNC.
“While Atima and I have made organizational history, we remain committed to ensuring that everyone involved in the youth progressive movement can advance to our level, regardless of race,” noted Talmadge.
“The Young Democrats of America remain committed to protecting the right achieved by the civil rights movement, especially voting rights,” added Omara. “Currently, we are working to raise awareness and promote co-sponsorship of the Leahy/Sensenbrenner fix to the Voting Rights Act section ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court last year.”
The Young Democrats of America currently have an active petition advocating co-sponsorship that has reached more than 160 Members of Congress. The petition is active here.
January 30, 2014
By Michael Bronstein, Deputy Issue Advocacy Director
After a six month review, the Presidential Commission on Election Administration, co-chaired by President Obama’s election lawyer, Robert F. Bauer, and 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s election lawyer, Benjamin L. Ginsberg, has returned with recommendations to help improve the experience of voters.
Key recommendations include: continued expansion of online voter registration, improving access to the polls through the expansion of early in-person voting and the adoption of widely available technologies to help replace soon-to-be antiquated voting machines.
Young Democrats of America believes that these recommendations are a good start and intends to introduce additional reforms to encourage expanded voter access. At the Young Democrats of America Winter Meeting in Charleston, South Carolina, attendees will be asked to endorse the expansion of:
Early in-person voting
Vote by mail
“No excuse” absentee voting
Online voter registration
Legislation to study the feasibility of online voting
“Voting accessibility is fundamental to our democracy. By making voting as accessible as possible we encourage engagement,” said Atima Omara, President of the Young Democrats of America. “The future of voting is clearly about expanding access to the ballot box and prevent attempts to limit the voice of the American people.”
January 29, 2014
President Atima Omara joins The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann to preview the key points in the State of the Union including obstructionism in Congress, income inequality, comprehensive immigration reform and trade deals.
January 20, 2014
The Young Democrats of America, the nation’s largest youth political organization, remember Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the non-violent movement his legacy represented that enshrined greater legal equality in America.
“Today, we pause to remember the life, work and legacy of one of America’s greatest men and the millions of Americans that joined the movement he represented fighting for greater equality in America,” said Atima Omara, president of the Young Democrats of America. “However, we also pause to remember that Dr. King’s legacy and fight is not yet won and the remaining work is left to us to ensure that America’s promise is real to every American regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion, immigration or socio-economic status.”
As the Young Democrats of America mark Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, it has recommitted itself to pursuing the fight for greater equality in America by announcing its support of the Leahy/Sensenbrenner fix to the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Sign our letter telling your Senators and Congressperson to support Leahy/Sensenbrenner.
“Last year, the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act and several jurisdictions rushed to created unfair voting laws,” said Omara. “The Justice Department has led a strong effort to prevent these laws from limiting the vote of America’s more vulnerable communities but this problem needs a legislative fix.”
The Young Democrats of America also remain committed to advancing civil rights and equality.
January 20, 2014
President Atima Omara joined The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann to discuss new polling showing the young Americans are becoming more liberal and finding a home in the Democratic Party.