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  • One Week Left to Apply for HSLA/CLA

    April 14, 2014

    YDA will host it’s 5th Annual High School Leadership Academy and inaugural College Leadership Academy this summer in Washington DC, and your chance to apply to be a part of these exciting events ends one week from today. Please click here to apply for the HSLA or click here to apply for the CLA before it’s too late!

  • 77

    April 08, 2014

    Today, President Obama took a big step by signing two Executive Orders to help make fair pay for women a fact.

    However, the GOP in Congress is hellbent on maintaining the status quo – which is a woman making 77 cents for every dollar that a man makes for doing the same job.  The pay gap is even greater for women of color.

    We know this is wrong and you know it too. Take action now!

    Pay inequality doesn’t just affect wIt’s kitchen table economics;omen alone; it affects families. It’s kitchen table economics; Women are primary or sole breadwinners in 4 in 10 American households with children under the age of 18. $0.77 cents or less for every dollar that a man makes equals $430,000 or more in lost compensation for a woman,  her family, and our economy!

    Will you join us in telling our elected leaders that you want fair pay and you want it now?

    However, on an issue like this one – we simply can’t just email our elected leaders and ask them to act. We need to act now and create a space where thoughtful leaders can start working together to develop real solutions.

    Join our social campaign and share one (or all) of these tweets?

    • I’m standing with other @youngdems for #equalpay because when women earn more, families earn more.
    • A fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work is an American value. Help me support #equalpay.
    • It’s time to stop making excuses and make #equalpay a reality. Join me and sign this petition:
    • I like the show #MadMen but women can’t afford pay like that in reality. I support #EqualPay – do you?

    Having men in involved in this campaign is vital so here are a few sample tweets for the thoughtful gentlemen that think women deserve the same paycheck as them for the same job:

    • I’m a man and I support #equalpay because a fair work’s day should mean a fair day’s pay.
    • My female co-workers work as hard as I do & they deserve equal pay. Add your voice to mine & let’s make it a reality.

    Together, we can make pay inequality a distant memory.

    Atima Omara, President of the Young Democrats of America & Constantina Meis, Women’s Caucus Chair

    PS – Together, we can collect thousands of signatures on this petition and use it to pressure elected leaders at all levels of government. Please sign it then tweet it. -Constantina

  • April 1 Heralds New Age of Bipartisanship

    April 01, 2014
    This morning, Speaker of the House John112th Congress Convenes On Capitol Hill Boehner (R-OH) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in a stunning breakthrough announced a new commitment to bipartisanship and were reportedly seen running through a field of flowers together that were planted on the National Mall.

    A spokesman from the newly created Front Office Of Legislative Synergy (FOOLS) said, “With today’s step the gridlock that has been a Congressional hallmark since the 2010 GOP take over is a thing of the past. Inspired by President Obama’s Year-of-Act, Speaker Boehner has decided to jettison Tea Party insanity and embrace common sense solutions.”

    Sources close to the new FOOLS office have said that the House will now consider and advance bipartisan legislation that has languished on the House docket since Senate passage including Comprehensive Immigration Reform, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and several important jobs bills.

    “It is great to see bipartisanship returning to the House after four years of the chamber serving as the universal ‘heck no’ caucus,” said Atima Omara, President of the Young Democrats of America. “Now, Congress can do the work of the people instead of spending every waking hour hunting for the next Politico headline.”

    Administration sources have told reporters that all stores within a six block radius of the Executive Offices are currently out of champagne. Chief of Staff, Josh Lyman, confirmed these reports saying, “we are all kind of celebrating and asking WTF.”

    The Young Republican National Federation (YRNF) did not return our calls for comment.  The voice mail at YRNF headquarters was replaced with a sobbing voice asking callers to “leave a message or whatever.”
    Some Members of Congress have expressed annoyance with Speaker Boehner’s decision. “Speaker Boehner has abandoned the fundamental principle of the modern Republican Party – gridlock,” said Rep. Marcus Alexander (R-LA-07).  “We can’t gerrymander our way out of the future now. What are these people trying to do – working together?  That’s not the Republican version of America.”

    Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-VA) office could not be reached for comment, however, editorial assistants heard laughing in the background and swore that they could smell cigar smoke through the phone.

    Frank Underwood (D-SC) was also unavailable for comment.

  • The Shriver Report: Change the Players, Change The Game. Encourage Younger Women To Run for Office

    March 31, 2014

    By President Atima Omara

    20 years after the first “year of the woman” 2012 was its reprisal year, producing the largest class of new women in Congress—close to 100—the most ever. So this means the future for more women in political leadership is bright right? Not really, which also doesn’t bode well for public policies that benefit women and families in the US.

    In recent study published by the American University’s Women & Institute Politics, entitled Girls Just Wanna Not Run, “young women are less likely than young men ever to have considered running for office, to express interest in a candidacy at some point in the future, or to consider elective office a desirable profession”.

    This research is surprising given that Millenial woman are beneficiaries of the women’s rights movements of the past and their views reflect it, a study conducted by showed that younger women under 30 identify as feminists by at least 42%, higher than any other generation! Certainly as a generation, Millenial women like myself have a strong sense of our rights and capabilities, so shouldn’t that translate to running for public office? One would think. But according to Girls Just Wanna Run, regardless of education or profession younger women today are rather reluctant to step up for public office in comparison to men.

    Regardless of all the advances women have made in US society, the gender gap is real and according to Girls Just Wanna Not Run report can be attributed greatly to socialization. Younger women are not encouraged to think of careers in politics while young. Younger women are not as surrounded by situations that would encourage political interest such as school, friends, and media habits.

    And even if they could work up the interest in public office, young women don’t think they are qualified. In comparison younger men receive encouragement to have a career in politics and are through their associations encouraged towards political discussion and exposed toward political information. And if men are interested in running for public office they instantly think they are qualified as opposed to women.

    Read the full column.

  • YDA Announces Spring National Conference in Denver, CO, May 30-June 1

    March 30, 2014

    The Young Democrats of America Spring 2014 National Conference will take place in the clean, crisp air of Denver, CO, from May 30th thru June 1st.

    Denver is no stranger to major Democratic events, having hosted the historic 1908 and 2008 Democratic National Conventions.

    Additionally, Colorado is home to two of the most competitive 2014 elections: the re-elections of U.S. Senator Mark Udall and Governor John Hickenlooper. With control of the Senate hanging in the balance and the regular attacks on our issues from Republican Governors, these are two pivotal races for young people and our Party.

    When you aren’t enjoying the meeting, you can also take in Denver’s cultural and historic landmarks, craft breweries, outdoor adventures and eco-friendly biking. For more ideas, check out:

    The conference early-bird registration fee is $45, and is available until April 18th. After that, advance registration for $65 will be available until May 16th. Click here to register.

    The meeting will be held at the Sheraton Denver Downtown located at 1550 Court Place, Denver, CO 80202. You can make your reservation online or you can call the hotel at (303) 893-3333. The hotel room rate is $139.

  • Closing the Internet

    March 19, 2014

    I am not joking, the Internet is about to be gutted and we need to stop to it.

    Boring as it sounds, this is all about the Federal Communications Commission. Recently, a federal judge told them to start regulating the Internet. Now making rules is a free-for-all between those who want an open Internet and huge corporations that want to cement their monopolies. Do you truly love your TimeWarner/Comcast/Verizon service and want them in charge of the Internet too?

    Will you join me in telling the FCC to keep the Internet free and fair?

    Does that sound bad? It’s actually worse. Today, it is completely legal for Comcast or Verizon FiOS to censor sites they don’t like or charge you more money to visit them – as much as they want. It starts small but could result in Hulu being free and Netflix costing $25 a month to access. Imagine what they could do to access to or

    In Iran and China they turn the Internet off. In America, they just want to charge you more.

    Tell lawmakers we need a #NetFreeFCC!

    These Internet service providers are already monopolies that rake in HUGE profits, while customers have few options.  This new world would allow them to charge consumers more to access content and charge websites more to communicate with the public.  They are trying to make more and more money by playing the middle man.

    As the Internet generation, we need to ensure the Internet remains free and open for new ideas, new political candidates and new businesses.


    Ben Yee,
    Vice President, Young Democrats of America

    PS – This OpEd adds the stark political dimension to the influence of telecom companies. Two of the top companies donated more than $750,000 to presidential candidates in 2012.

    PPS – I understand the Internet is great, especially since you’re reading this in an email. But folks in Washington need letters so be sure to sign!

  • YDA Marks Women’s History Month

    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.

  • Clyburn Encourages Young Democrats to Resist Pull to the Right

    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.

  • Training America’s Young Leaders: Leadership Academy Applications Are Now Open!

    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!

  • Washington Weekly Interviews President Omara & Jim Lewis

    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).

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