January 02, 2013
Other sponsors included the Monmouth County Democratic Organization, Monmouth County Republican Committee, and the New Leaders Council New Jersey. The event, held at legendary Asbury Park venue Stone Pony, drew over 1000 local residents and politicians from both sides of the aisle, with all proceeds benefitting the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund.
Full story available here: http://www.nj.com/monmouth/index.ssf/2012/12/monmouth_dems_gop_raise_more_than_100k_for_sandy_relief_at_stone_pony.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter
December 10, 2012
The Washington Post reports on the Howard County and Montgomery County Young Democrats’ service challenge here. After last night’s game, it looks like the Howard County YDs will be headed to the District to fulfill their end of the deal!
Full story available at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/md-politics/young-democrats-use-redskins-ravens-game-to-raise-money-for-sandy-relief/2012/12/09/ef01a2f8-421b-11e2-9648-a2c323a991d6_story.html
December 07, 2012
The bipartisan relief benefit is scheduled to take place Sunday, 30 December from 1:00 PM – 7:00 PM at Stone Pony in Asbury Park. Additional information about the concert available is here.
December 06, 2012
Young People For is now accepting nominations for both its yearlong fellowship and campaign leadership development academy. Both programs seek to train and develop the next generation of young progressive leaders and activists. To submit a nomination and/or application, visit the YP4 Fellowship nomination form, or the YP4 Front Line Leaders Academy nomination form.
*Self nominations are appropriate and encouraged.
November 28, 2012
For our latest profile of new members of the 113th Congress, YDA would like to introduce political-hotshot Patrick Murphy. At just 29, Patrick was the victor in one of the most closely-contested Congressional races this fall, unseating Tea Party Republican Allen West for the right to represent Florida’s 18th District. Patrick cites West’s inflammatory rhetoric as the impetus for his Congressional campaign, and given West’s history of insulting President Obama as an “abject failure” and the craziest person to ever set foot on the House floor, it is not hard to see why. YDA applauds Patrick on winning a well-deserved seat in Congress. He will be a welcome addition to the progressive coalition in the House of Representatives.
Born and raised in Florida, Patrick has a strong background in business and a proven track record of protecting both his community and the environment. Patrick studied accounting and finance at the University of Miami. Following his graduation, he joined the respected firm Deloitte and Touche as a CPA. He also served as co-chair of Coastal Cares, the committee in charge of directing the group’s philanthropic work. Patrick currently serves as the Vice President of Coastal Cares, an organization dedicated to disaster relief and environmental clean-up. In 2010, he spearheaded the organization’s efforts to remove Oil from the Gulf Coast.
Patrick ran for Congress on a strong, progressive platform. He supports women’s right to make their own healthcare decisions, is a proponent of LGBT rights, and is in favor of increasing the marginal tax rates for millionaires. When Patrick joins Congress in January, he will a strong voice for progressive values and fiscal responsibility. YDA is pleased to welcome Patrick to our nation’s capital and is excited to see his promising political career unfold.
November 27, 2012
Next in our series of profiles on the new, progressive stars of Congress, YDA would like to introduce our members to Arizona congresswoman-elect Kyrsten Sinema. Having defeated Republican Vernon Parker in a closely-contested race to represent Arizona’s 9th District, Kyrsten is poised to become a fierce champion for the middle class in Congress.
Kyrsten is a community activist, lawyer, and political advocate who understands the importance of hard work. Born in Tucson in 1976, Kyrsten learned to overcome challenges early in life. Her family often struggled to make ends meet, at one point living in a converted gas station with no water or electricity. But Kyrsten overcame her family’s economic setbacks and bettered her position thanks to a sterling academic record. Kyrsten’s academic credentials earned her a full scholarship to Brigham Young University. She has gone on to receive a Masters in social work, a J.D., and a Ph.D. in justice studies from Arizona State University. Since 2003, she has served as an adjunct instructor at ASU’s School of Social Work.
Kyrsten has a history of active participation in her community, making sure to fight for the rights of those who are less privileged. As a social worker, Kyrsten bettered her community by improving educational opportunities and advocating for underrepresented constituencies. Kyrsten has also improved Arizona as a member of many community boards, such as Community Outreach and Advocacy for Refugees. After receiving her JD, Kyrsten began a career as a criminal defense attorney.
In 2004, Kyrsten began her impressive involvement in politics as a representative for Arizona’s 15th Assembly District. While in office, she advocated for immigration reform, increased funding for veterans’ programs, and job growth. She fought to prevent cuts to children’s health care and funding for schools and seniors. Following her tenure as a representative, Kyrsten continued to serve the people of Arizona as a State Senator. Many groups, ranging from the Sierra Club to the Center for Inquiry, have presented Kyrsten with awards for her impressive legislative record.
Kyrsten understands the importance of the American Dream. She overcame challenging obstacles in her childhood through hardwork and access to education. As a member of the 113th Congress, she will fight to extend those opportunities to all Americans. Kyrsten is committed to ensuring that everyone plays by the same rules. She promises to not accept a pay raise until the federal government has agreed on a plan to reduce the deficit. YDA believes that Kyrsten will be a strong voice for the middle class as a member of Congress, and would like to extend her a warm welcome to Washington DC.
November 26, 2012
Next in our lineup of young elected officials is Chris Murphy. Despite the aggressive and high-dollar campaign of Republican opponent Linda McMahon, Murphy and his team won the Connecticut seat formerly occupied by Senator Joe Lieberman in a decisive victory. At age 39, Murphy will swear in as the youngest Senator in the 113th Congress.
Born and raised in Wethersfield, Connecticut, Chris Murphy comes from a long line of Connecticut natives. He received his undergraduate education at New England neighbor Williams College, before heading back to his home state to attend UConn for law school. After law school, Murphy began his political career early, working in the office of retired US Senator Chris Dodd before winning election (at age 25!) to the Connecticut state legislature, where he spent two terms each in both the House and Senate.
Murphy’s experience in Washington began in 2006, when he unseated Republican incumbent Nancy Johnson to become Connecticut’s fifth district Congressional representative. During his time in office, Murphy has served on the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and the Congressional Land Conservation Caucus.
For his leadership in the House, Murphy receives consistently positive scores from various progressive and union groups. He has worked tirelessly for healthcare and education reform, and as an advocate for LGBT and women’s rights, supporting the 2010 repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
Having proven his commitment to both his constituents and to a strong set of Democratic ideals during his time in the House, Murphy earned the highly-visible endorsement of President Obama in his campaign for re-election. We wish Chris the best in representative the people of Connecticut in his first term as US Senator, and look forward to his success in the years to come. Welcome (back) to Washington!
November 19, 2012
For our next profile of the new, progressive members of the 113th Congress, YDA would like to introduce Grace Meng. Grace has proven herself to be a compassionate leader in her roles as New York asswemblywoman, public interest attorney, and community activist. Having defeated Dan Halloran for New York’s sixth congressional seat, YDA looks forward to Grace’s leadership in Congress on issues ranging from national security, to job growth.
Born and raised in Queens, Grace learned the importance of hard work from her father, Jimmy Meng, who put in seven-day weeks as a restaurant worker. In 2004, Jimmy became the first Asian-American to hold New York state office. Grace proved to be a hard-working student, earning admission to the prestigious Stuyvesant High School as a teen. She continued her studies at Michigan University before receiving a J.D. from Yeshiva Law School.
Following her graduation, Grace launched a career in public interest law dedicated to the defense of the needy. She earned a partnership at Yoon and Kim, LLP in addition to providing pro bono services for Sanctuary for Families, a New York non-profit serving the survivors of domestic violence. Grace has also taken an active role in the Queens community by founding FOCUS Community Access Center, a local volunteer organization. She has sat on the boards of several local organizations, as well.
In 2008, Grace was elected to the New York State Assembly by her community. As an assemblywoman, she worked to extend unemployment benefits, increase school funding, and ensure fair taxation for seniors. Looking ahead to her time as a member of Congress, Grace plans on championing a host of progressive issues. Grace supports legislation that is important to all Young Democrats, such as introducing a cap on student loan interest rates and bolstering job creation. Grace is poised to become a strong leader on progressive issues in Congress, and YDA could not be more pleased to welcome her to Washington DC.
November 18, 2012
This past election was one of our nation’s most important. Among many things, it showed a renewed American resolve for progress and recovery. Through the efforts of thousands of volunteers, staffers, field organizers, and interns across the nation, Democratic candidates were able to win crucial elections and hold the White House. However, these victories reach far beyond party lines and into the roots of being an American. It is our firm belief that this year’s election has signified a clear shift towards compromise and moving our nation forward.
Across the nation, members of YDA helped in local and national elections in any way they could–phone banking, canvassing, GOTV-ing, and field organizing. The YDA High School Caucus was no exception to this.
Over the course of the past 3 months, we have left an incredible mark on races nationwide. Through two main initiatives, we were able to contact thousands of voters and help candidates in the most crucial stretch of their campaigns. Together, we made an impact whose results were felt on Election Night across the country. From Indiana to Connecticut, High School Democrats stepped up to the plate and did the work needed to win elections. I am incredibly proud of our caucus and the work we put in this election cycle to make sure our country stayed on the right path.
This year’s strategy was comprised of two main campaigns: the National Day of Action and WinOhio. Through the National Day of Action, we empowered over one thousand high school students from across the country to pitch in and lend a hand to a local campaign. Some of our members held phone banks, while others met with lawmakers to discuss youth issues. From the shores of California to the fields of North Carolina, high school students took a proactive role in this election cycle through one of the largest coordinated events for our demographic ever. WinOhio was a specialized, last-minute effort coordinated with Obama for America campaign to target Ohio. Through WinOhio, we made over 500 calls in the final days leading up to Election Day, contributing to the President’s victory in one of the most important swing states.
This infographic explains our efforts this election cycle and some of the races we affected most:
In addition to these two initiatives, high school students across the nation volunteered an innumerable amount of hours to various campaigns as interns, volunteers, and even staffers. This election, high school students finally took a stake in our politics and the future we inherit.
Exit polling and data from CIRCLE have shown that the youth vote provided the President with the necessary votes for his reelection. It is with great pride that I say we had a role in helping win that voting demographic for the President, and for candidates in various states.
Going forward, we will begin to focus on legislative issues that matter most to the high school students of our nation. Education, the economy, and energy policy will be among the most important issues we discuss with lawmakers. Through the summer and fall, we have constantly networked with lawmakers at the state and federal levels and have successfully made inroads for us to have our voices heard. Furthermore, we are in the process of evaluating January’s incoming Congress to see which members we can target for youth issue advocacy. The YDA High School Caucus will not stop in November. Instead, we are creating a long term plan that carries us into the summer, past the leadership academy, and into the national convention to ensure that our opinions and values play a role in the national debate.
Hassan Haider, Chairman
YDA High School Caucus
November 16, 2012
Next on our roster of political all-stars primed to make waves in D.C. is Tulsi Gabbard. Winning her seat in the House in a landslide against GOP candidate Kawika Crowley, Tulsi will represent Hawaii’s second district come January. With a long list of political and military achievements to her name, YDA is confident that Tulsi’s leadership will make a strong impact on the national political scene.
Tulsi is the fourth of five children. She was born in 1981 to Mike and Carol Gabbard before her family moved to Hawai’i. Growing up, Tulsi helped her family with the functioning of two small businesses. When she was just 19, she co-founded the Healthy Hawai’i Coalition, a foundation dedicated to protecting the environment and increasing awareness of health issues in Hawai’i. Tulsi went on to study International Business at Hawai’i Pacific University.
Following her graduation, Tulsi became the youngest woman in the United States to ever be elected to state office when she was selected to represent Hawaii’s District 42. Tulsi proved herself to be a strong and capable leader while serving on the Education, Higher Education, Tourism, and Economic Development committees. In 2003, Tulsi enlisted in the Hawai’i National Guard, earning multiple awards during her combat training. The following year, she put her promising political career on hold in order to volunteer for a twelve-month tour in Iraq.
Tulsi resumed her political career following her military service. In 2006, Senator Daniel K. Akaka selected Tulsi to be his Legislative Aide. Tulsi advised Senator Akaka on a range of issues including energy independence, homeland security, the environment, and veterans’ affairs. During this time, Tulsi attended the Accelerated Officer Candidate School at the Alabama Military Academy. She completed her studies as a Distinguished Honor Graduate.
Tulsi volunteered for second tour in Iraq from 2009-2010. While in the Middle East, she was awarded for her efforts to train the Kuwait National Guard. Returning to Hawai’i following her second tour, the residents of Honolulu elected Tulsi to the Honolulu City Council. Tulsi tackled issues such as medical waste, Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, and dengue fever, in addition to hosting Honolulu’s first ever Sister City Summit.
Tulsi’s civilian, political, and military experiences have instilled in her a wisdom far beyond her 31 years. YDA expects that Tulsi will be a leader on a host of issues facing our country, ranging from economic growth, to national security and veterans’ affairs. YDA would like to warmly welcome Tulsi to our nation’s capital. We are confident that she will prove to be an exemplary public servant.