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YDA High School Caucus Chairman Hassan Haider Reflects on Work of 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