On Saturday, June 16 more Young Democrats (under 36) joined the North Carolina Delegation to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, bringing the final total up to 32 Youth Delegates and 4 Youth Alternates. 2 of the 32 delegates are so-called "superdelegates." The total goes above and beyond the affirmative action goal of 19 Youth Delegates set by the North Carolina Democratic Party and is the largest number of youth delegates sent to a Democratic Convention from North Carolina.
Young Democrats will be a bigger part of the Democratic National Convention than ever before," said Sam Spencer. "Young people across the state have done the hard work to get Barack Obama elected, and their energy and were rewarded during the delegate selection process. This is the first time we've sent anywhere close to this number of young delegates to a Democratic Convention.
The Democratic Party is the party of the future, and it shows through our commitment to young people. While Pat McCrory is campaigning on a voter suppression bill that will make it harder for youth and students to vote, the Democratic Party is giving its youth the chance to participate at its highest levels.
College Democrats of North Carolina President (and DNC Delegate) Elena Botella said:
"Barack Obama's win in 2008 could not have occurred without the hard work of Young Democrats, and the work of Young Democrats continues to exceed everyone's expectations, especially in the 2011 municipal elections and in the fight against Amendment One. The large number of Young, College and Teen Democrats elected to be delegates to the 2012 Democratic National Convention was the North Carolina Democratic Party's way of recognizing the passion, dedication, and talent of our state's many young leaders."
The North Carolina delegation includes 5 delegates and 1 alternate who will be attending college during the convention. These Delegates "manage to balance being excellent students with long records of community service, while at the same time organizing tirelessly to help make sure that their friends, classmates and neighbors elect public officials who will fight for the middle class, protect our clean air and water, and make important investments for the future," said Botella. "Some, like Uriah Ward from Eastern Carolina University, have already managed their first campaigns—he was the campaign manger for Greenville City Councilman Calvin Mercer. Corey Duvall from Western Carolina University has done extensive work reporting how cuts made by the Republican General Assembly have impacted the day-to-day academic life of college students. Others, like Keylin Rivera from UNC-Greensboro, represent North Carolina college students on a national stage—she's the Hispanic Caucus Vice-Chair for College Democrats of America."
In total, 9 young Delegates and 4 young alternates were elected at the NCDP State Convention in Raleigh this past Saturday. They join 21 youth delegates elected at district conventions on May 19, and two youth members of the DNC who represent NC.
The complete list of youth delegates elected and their city of residence are as follows:
Statewide Youth Delegates Elected:
Montica Talmadge (Raleigh)
Hon. Andy Ball (Boone)
Zack Hawkins (Durham)
Elena Botella (Charlotte/Durham)
Jake Gellar-Goad (Chapel Hill)
Chris Sgro (Greensboro)
Youth Alternates Elected:
Gabriel Seth Koch (Wilmington/Cornelius)
Corey Duvall (Franklin)
Kevin Smith (Raleigh)
Sidney Logan Echevarria (Belmont)
Youth Delegates Elected at the District Level:
Congressional District 1: Akilah Ensley (Greenville)
CD 2: Janie Dickens (Sanford)
CD 3: Monica Gibbs (Bayboro), Uriah Ward (Greenville)
CD 4: Matt Hughes (Hillsborough), Donald Hughes (Durham), Danielle Adams (Durham)
CD 8: Joy Ellison (Laurinburg)
CD 10: Nick Carpenter(Shelby), Chaz Beasley (Conover)
CD 11: Justin Conley (Franklin), Parker Sloan (Asheville), Sarah Zambon (Fletcher),Valerie Barnes (Asheville)
CD 12: Sam Spencer (Davidson),Vibhav Kollu (Concord), Vani Hari (Charlotte), Joy Cook (Greensboro), Ryan Eller (Winston-Salem), Ralph Rodland (High Point), Herve Mesa (Greensboro)
CD 13: Ryan Butler (Greensboro),Keylin Rivera(Greensboro), Rachyl Smith Woodward(Greensboro)
Founded in 1928, the Young Democrats of North Carolina (YDNC) is an organization for all registered Democrats under 36. YDNC is one of the oldest political organizations in our state, and is the founding chapter of the Young Democrats of America. YDNC is the official youth auxiliary of the North Carolina Democratic Party. Its mascot is the Honey Badger.