College Democrats/Young Democrats Open Thread

Use this thread to discuss your youth organizing efforts. Or feel free to bitch about the damn kids these days. Bah.

UPDATE: Where's the bitching about the damn kids? It's all organizing! Grrr.

Tags: Open Thread (all tags)

Comments

42 Comments

Re: College Democrats/Young Democrats Open Thread

I founded a High School Young Democrats Chapter at my High School, which on last check had a good 26 members. We did some work on local mayoral campaigns, and also did phone banking for Angelides and Debra Bowen. Sadly, we took a hit this year when our school made a double lunch schedule which split the school into two lunches, thus dividing our members and making it impossible to have meetings. At this point the club is essentially in limbo, but we are trying to find a way to make it work (after school is impossible because we all have jobs and/or way too much homework to do this).

by JewishJake 2007-02-05 08:05PM | 0 recs
good luck

On the campaign I worked on last season, the high school kids were the most helpful volunteers. One of the high schools had a community service requirement which they got a school period for; so they came to the office during fourth period, stayed through lunch, and got credit for school.

Keep trying. Maybe you could start a blog and have your meetings online.

by msnook 2007-02-05 09:09PM | 0 recs
Re: College Democrats/Young Democrats Open Thread

Hey man, I was in your shoes a few years ago when getting people to volunteer for the Villaraigosa campaign. What you might want to do in addition to trying to get the club started, is when campaign season rolls around just ask people in your classes if they want to come and volunteer. Don't know how Democratic your neighborhood is so you may not have the same type of success we had. Also you may want to talk to CSF, other clubs that require community service , or if it is a req for graduation and the campaigns inyour area aren't doing it, ask them to come in and give presentations to government classrooms.

by carnow 2007-02-05 09:26PM | 0 recs
Re: College Democrats/Young Democrats Open Thread

Well, let's just put it like this: The 26 kids in my club, WERE the Democratic community of our city, and in fact some of them were actually just conservatives who didn't really know the difference between the parties. Thus, I would not be able to get more people than them to do work, and even they were rather apathetic.

by JewishJake 2007-02-05 09:36PM | 0 recs
Matt, Employee Free Choice

Matt, you've had good coverage of SEIU. How about writing about Employee Free Choice Act?

by lsa 2007-02-05 08:11PM | 0 recs
Re: College Democrats/Young Democrats Open Thread

We did two things at Vassar that had a significant impact. The first was a major progressive film fest leading up to the 2004 elections (we drew lots of people by putting faculty on panels after the movies and holding the events on top of the dining center during dinner--we just sheperded people upstairs with their food) -- movies included the corporation, outfoxed, control room, supersize me, uncovered, etc. (12 in all).

The second was starting a progressive radio show on the college station. Ive tried pushing this idea but it never catches on--but i think it would be great if someone had the time to orchestrate a national takeover of college radio stations by progressives/democratic groups on campus. As things are most stations are dominated by crappy indy music noone wants to hear (i mean crappy, horrendus, terrible). Their is definitely a market for this--we got tons of calls from random locals all the time. About 90% of listeners are off campus locals, half the people on campus diddnt even know there was a station.

by sonandar 2007-02-05 08:23PM | 0 recs
Re: College Democrats/Young Democrats Open Thread

I like the progressive film fest idea.  We hosted a screening of An Inconvenient Truth this past fall and it was incredibly successful.  Maybe a weekend, or even a week of festivities, would help us generate some more interest/momentum.  

Another thought, and one that I think is important not to overlook, is that progressive student movements owe a great deal of their success to marketing themselves as "fun."  Our most successful events are those that combine something amusing or entertaining with something of more gravitas  It might be that wedding "the fun" to "the significant" is easier to the college-aged crowd.  At the same time, I wonder if this strategy has broader applications, as a means of stimulating nationwide participation and activism.  

by middkid 2007-02-05 09:04PM | 0 recs
Re: College Democrats/Young Democrats Open Thread

That sounds like a really good idea to put progressive talk on college radio stations.  Perhaps it would be worthwhile for BlogPac to sponsor someone to orchestrate such a campaign?

by Fran for Dean 2007-02-05 09:29PM | 0 recs
Re: College Democrats/Young Democrats Open Thread

Hey man, I went to Vassar and I knew about the station, not that I listened to it.  It is a great idea to do some progressive talk formatting.  The townies definitely listen to the station.

I missed the opening of that space about ACDC, great opportunity to get people to come since they just have to go upstairs.

Class of '03 btw.  I was never involved in the Dem club while I was there.  And there were no Democratic politicians to intern for, so I ended up doing field work one semester for Assemblyman Joel Miller, who was/is a pretty progressive Jewish dentist Republican.

Did you guys end up doing any work for Brian Keeler this fall?  I told him to hit you guys up for volunteers.

by juls 2007-02-06 07:38AM | 0 recs
Re: College Democrats/Young Democrats Open Thread

The best media event of the election so far?  Obama's Students for Obama rally.  Looked like fun.  Splashed in WaPo and NYT with nice spin.  Let the good times roll.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-02-05 08:24PM | 0 recs
Re: College Democrats/Young Democrats Open Thread

When I was a kid we had to walk through 30 feet of snow, uphill both ways, just to vote. And if you didn't vote for who the party bosses wanted, they'd gag you and sell you for slave labor.

And that was just the primaries!

by zt155 2007-02-05 08:54PM | 0 recs
Re: College Democrats/Young Democrats Open Thread
...And if you didn't vote for who the party bosses wanted, they'd gag you and sell you for slave labor...

As it should be. All was right with the world...
by Michael Bersin 2007-02-06 08:30AM | 0 recs
Re: College Democrats/Young Democrats Open Thread

Here at Emmanuel, we totally revitalized our campus' Democrats organization this past semester, and are well on our way to one-upping ourselves this Spring.

Did the usual jazz - voter registration, debates with campus Republicans, a guest speaker in The Duke. The whole nine yards. Blitzed the campus with Dems events throughout the midterms. Campaigning itself, though, was a helluva rush.

I never really got involved with the Kerry/Edwards campaign, nor did our campus. Did a little footwork near the end, but 2004 was a pretty politically apathetic year for me. Campaigning for Governor Patrick, though, was the experience of a lifetime. We mustered a respectable campaigning force out of our minute Boston campus, that bore an oddly energized fevor. It was, essentially, everyone's first real campaign. None of the membership ever got truly involved with Kerry.

You've always got those few bodies that are more than willing to get out there and hold signs; come to every meeting; plaster debaters with questions. Getting Average Joe Liberal College Student to get involved, though, is like trying to roll a 500lbs boulder up Beacon Hill. It was satisfying, really, seeing Deval Patrick get folks going that normally wouldn't have anything to do with campaigns. His presense helped revive our CDA chapter, and gave me, for one, a look at everything I like about politics.

by Matt Wallace 2007-02-05 09:01PM | 0 recs
Re: College Democrats/Young Democrats Open Thread

Hey Matt,

I met a bunch of Emmanual Democrats when I was in Boston last October, rowing in the Head of the Charles.  I spent a great afternoon holding signs outside one of the hall's they were having a Patrick/Healey debate in!  I wonder if you remember me, or hearing about me?

I've still got the "Together we can" sign on my room in college, as well as a "Kerry Healey gives parties and perks to murderers and pedophiles" one.  Good times!

by Illustrious 2007-02-06 03:33AM | 0 recs
Re: College Democrats/Young Democrats Open Thread

Heyo!

Small world! The British gentleman down on the corner of Faneuil Hall with us, holding a part of the intersection? Got singled out by a naysaying Healey supporter near the beginning with questions about Deval?

Did some phonebanking and fundraisers up to that point, but that was our first event as a larger group. Everything was a little disorganized at first, but folks starting pulling together after an hour or so.

Such a blast.. seeing the labor unions' mob march down the stairs still gives me a grin whenever I think about it.

by Matt Wallace 2007-02-06 04:39AM | 0 recs
Re: College Democrats/Young Democrats Open Thread

Yes!  I still kick myself for not being able to come up with something clever to say to her.  I was really stoked when I saw CNN call the election for Patrick.

That story is now one of my best holiday anecdotes!  Meeting a load of attractive college Democrat girls and campaigning for a Democrat at the same time was pretty awesome.

I remember seeing those union guys come down the big stairway.  It was literally like an army, or something!

by Illustrious 2007-02-06 07:16AM | 0 recs
Re: College Democrats/Young Democrats Open Thread

We here at the University of Texas keep our eyes focused locally.

We picked up 6 state house seats and await eagerly to obtain another seven to have a majority and finally some leverage in the State.  We're also eagerly awaiting the Senate race in '08 and who will be our new Democratic Governor in '10.

My comments can't compete with BurntOrangeReport, however ( hey whats goin on KT how's the north treatin ya?)-- but you know, I try.  

I guess in the end, we in the University Democrats at UT try to create an environment of progressivism, not just working for candidates, but for causes and concerns of those around us.  In the end, isn't that what the Democratic Party is all about?

- John

by HomegrownDem 2007-02-05 09:04PM | 0 recs
Re: College Democrats/Young Democrats Open Thread

I am a "communications director" for my campus Democratic party. We're a pretty small group. Some questions to others;

1. What is the best way to attract more students to meetings? This is a fairly small state school not known for political involvement per se.

2. What are some suggestions for activities the party can get involved in on campus? Right now, all we do is sit around and talk about the news for 30 minutes a week. During campaign season I tried to get the President to haranging the group into coming down to volunteer at County Party Headquarters but he was pretty much opposed to any activity off of campus.

This is a sad, moribund group here & they/we need a good kick in the ass. Any help would be appreciated.

by DRR7979 2007-02-05 09:13PM | 0 recs
Re: College Democrats/Young Democrats Open Thread

Look for issues that your students care about.  I go to school in rural Vermont to a college that is very environmentally progressive.  Some students, independent of any political organization, had gotten together earlier in the year and petitioned the trustees to create a plan to become carbon neutral sometime in the near future.  The idea stirred up considerable debate on campus, both among the traditional "environmental kids" and amongst everyone else.

The College Dems saw this and tailored a good chunk of their PR approach around environmental issues (screening movies, hosting speakers, etc.).  We even got the state's Democratic Congressional candidate to come to one of the screenings.  

I guess I am just suggesting that you take advantage of whatever is already happening on campus.  There has to be something that everyone is buzzing about.  It might be a little bit of a stretch, but go ahead and try to use it.

by middkid 2007-02-05 09:22PM | 0 recs
Re: College Democrats/Young Democrats Open Thread

1. It sounds moderately pathetic, but Facebook events work well. Worked better when you could invite anyone, and not just the sponsor group and friends, but it still serves it's purpose. We'd plaster the campus with fliers, send out half a dozen conference e-mails, and get maybe two new faces for our efforts - and be lucky if we kept them. Facebooking our general meetings each week is a friendly little reminder to folks a few times a day, though, that they can't avoid. It's frightening how addicted some people are to that thing...

Also, never underestimate the power of 'fun,' as another commenter put it. Show a movie during a meeting. Have the next speaker you invite come to your meeting instead of as an independant event, to lure people to the meeting. Have a raffle, and pull names at your next gathering. Heck, we're putting up a George W. Bush pinata next week, since the agenda's light. Make it an attractive, unique event every so often, instead of just another meeting.

2. Campaigning is a beautiful thing... but when folks are opposed, it's hard to budge 'em. It can be moderately intimidating. I think I was more terrified of my first phone bank than my first Stats test. What kind of events are you looking for? If you're thinking of things to get your name out oncampus, or to further your image, debates are simple and straight forward; take another club head on. Throw a party for Election Days, the SotU, etc. etc. Do something as simple as meeting up for the Daily Show/Colbert Report weekly.

If you've got some good contacts with professors, you could try a variation on 'Send Your Boss To Jail.' We're doing a program for a Civil Rights series where we 'deny' our professors their right to speech and so forth by arresting them near the end of classes for a donated fee, and setting bail for them. Good way to raise money, and a fun event, if you've got a popular faculty.

by Matt Wallace 2007-02-05 09:28PM | 0 recs
Re: College Democrats/Young Democrats Open Thread

1.  We usually send out emails to our list, sometimes have pizza at the meetings (and advertise as such, of course), and often have speakers like our State Rep and State Senator.  In addition to our weekly organizational meetings and monthly general meetings (and more as elections get closer), we have a weekly happy hour at one of the bars on campus and anyone can go and just hang out and have a beer or burger (this might take the place of your 'sit around and talk about the news for 30 minutes a week' thing).  Having two different sets of meetings is a pretty good set up - you can get actual work done at the organizational and general meetings, and you can socialize and such at the happy hours.

2.  Voter registration!!  This is the single easiest, and also most effective campaigning that you can do.  I don't know what your campus is like, but mine is (I think) relatively conservative for a college campus, and we have about 65-70% of the campus vote going to Democrats.  Most college campuses are pretty liberal, so unless you're at Bob Jones University, it's likely that simply registering as many students as you can will help out Democrats a great deal.  Voter reg is also incredibly easy.  You barely need 2 minutes of training to do it, and the materials are pretty much free - a stack of voter reg forms from your County Clerk or whoever it is that does the elections, and a pen.
Another easy thing to do for campaign season is mailers.  Campaigns always need to stuff envelopes, put stamps on postcards, etc.  This is all very tedious work, and it's also the type of thing that's really easy to do and can be done by a group of college students while watching An Inconvenient Truth or Iraq for Sale.  Ask one of the local campaigns, or the County Party, if they have any such mailers that your group can take care of at an upcoming meeting.  Of course, if you have your group do work for a local campaign, it would be a good thing for that candidate to come in and speak to your group at some point.  It shows appreciation on behalf of the candidate towards the group's effort, and gives people something to look forward to in a meeting.

Overall, make people feel like they are useful and appreciated, and that you recognize that their time is valuable.  If you have people walk across campus in 5-degree weather to go to the meeting only for them to sit around and not do anything for half an hour, they won't be likely to want to come back.  On the other hand, if you give them something to do, make them feel like the local campaign depends on their help in order to succeed, and encourage them to contribute, they're going to feel like you respect them and want their help.  Also, if you can create opportunities for people to "move up the ranks," they'll want to get more involved.  This would require giving people responsibility and authority (maybe have a voter registration committee who's responsible for organizing the voter reg drive).  Of course, that's a lot easier said than done, and we've failed at it a number of times ourselves.  All of this is especially hard when there's no big election around to care about.

This is all I can think of off the top of my head right now.  I've actually posted a few comments related to this stuff the past couple days, so maybe check out some of my previous comments for some more suggestions or insight into what we've done.  Best of luck to you and your group!

by Fran for Dean 2007-02-05 09:53PM | 0 recs
Re: College Democrats/Young Democrats Open Thread

As Matt alluded to previously, the most recent Michigan Young Democrats election left something to be desired in terms of adherence to Democratic principles.

by whogotthegravy 2007-02-05 09:15PM | 0 recs
Re: College Democrats/Young Democrats Open Thread

Everyone should check out Students for a New American Politics. They're doing really innovative organizing and made a huge difference in 2006.

by CT student 2007-02-05 09:21PM | 0 recs
Re: College Democrats/Young Democrats Open Thread
I am not young but, loved seeing the postings of what the young are up to in politics.
Don't get discouraged.  Keep plugging away.  So many young fell away from politics in the 80s and we got the rule of conservatives forever.  
You guys are the future.  don't screw it up like us, older people have.  and don't let the conservatives gain the control of everything including your lives.
by vwcat 2007-02-05 09:30PM | 0 recs
Youth Delegates

Recently YDA did a really big push to force the DNC to enforce DNC charter language which mandated a youth requirement in convention delegate selection.

We got a lot of push back, a bs "compromise" amendment that didn't actually fix the problem, and are now doing stuff state to state since national wasn't much help (though in the Rules and Bylaws Committee Mark Brewer of the ASDC and Harold Ickes were vocally confused by the dnc staffs interpretation of the charter).

To check out what we've been up to go to http://www.yda.org/actions/118/conventio n-delegates

There is enough documentation there to show how this is a major issue - and the "kids" to royally screwed this weekend when it wasn't resolved.

by Mister T in AZ 2007-02-05 09:34PM | 0 recs
Nebraska

I think if there's one place where you could really see the impact of a largely new youth movement, it was in Nebraska. NYD built up over the last 3 years from a core group of dedicated individuals to a large grassroots organization with several chapters and a large membership across the state.

Then, of course, two YDs ran for Congress: Scott Kleeb and Jim Esch. I want to speak to Esch's campaign because it's the one I spent the most time on. The staff was Jim's family, a few YDs, and campaign manager Jim Rogers. The volunteer army was unheard of for this state - as impressive as any grassroots campaign you've ever seen. And Jim Esch, outspent 3:1, taking no special interest money, completely ignored by the state party, running a campaign of honest issues - came within 9% of beating Lee Terry - a four term incumbent.

That was only the beginning.

by Dave Sund 2007-02-05 09:38PM | 0 recs
Re: College Democrats/Young Democrats Open Thread

i'm in the democratic club at UC Berkeley. we registered voters before the special election in 2005 and turned out voters to defeat ahnold's measures, and registered voters again for the election of 2006. some of us helped out with the mcnerney campaign in CA-11 (the seat ex-rep. richard pombo held).

we also like to throw lots of parties. we just had a party called "the party party" where you dressed as someone from any political party in history.

by eddersen 2007-02-05 10:07PM | 0 recs
Re: College Democrats/Young Democrats Open Thread

What was your strategy to turn out voters? I'm a freshman at USC, and our Democratic Club here relied on CalPIRG to do voter registration and turnout which I don't think is enough. I'm a delegate to the state convention so ideally by April of this year I'd like to figure out what the best practices are for mobilizing campuses, and see if we can push the Presidential candidates in 2008 in the primary to invest in college campuses to push students toward their candidate. If we do that successfully- that infrastructure could be used to push good ballot iniatitves, and in 2010 a Democratic governor.

by carnow 2007-02-05 10:13PM | 0 recs
Young WOMEN Dems

I just wanted to mention that I was at the DNC Winter Meeting and attended the Women's Caucus meeting.

1. It was standing room only and the room was filled with both high profile women leaders and the young college and yd crowd.

2. Both the CDA women's caucus chair and YDA of GA caucus chair spoke and were recieved with open arms.

3. If there is any place where bridging the gap is occuring it is in the women's caucus. If you look at the successes  of women candidates in recent years- it is because women have embraced the pipeline and are training and empowering younger women to tackle tough issues and play with the big boys.

Hats off to Mame Reiley, the women's caucus chair and Ellen Malcom of EMILY's List. You all are part of the  reason that Hilary is a serious candidate and we can say crazy things like "Speaker Pelosi."

by courageousorange 2007-02-06 04:32AM | 0 recs
Re: College Democrats/Young Democrats Open Thread

I was the Student Outreach Coordinator for the Webb campaign in Charlottesville, VA - the youth and student groups in and around the city here are absolutely incredible.  Between the Young Liberals (mostly high schoolers), the UDems (the undergraduate group), the Law Dems (at UVA Law), and Left of Center (aimed at 20- and 30-somethings in the area), we had over 200 energized and articulate students on call for phonebanking, letter writing, canvassing, rallies, tabling, and whatever else the campaign needed.  We had dozens of people at the UVA football games, handing out stickers and yard signs;  a lot of the student groups set up one evening a week where 20 people from their organization came into phonebank; whenever the news crews came to town for whatever reason, the Webb supporters always outnumbered the Allen supporters at least 4 to 1.  Dozens of these students were always ready, willing, and able to come down to the office and help out with whatever was needed, despite taking a full load of courses and being involved in tons of extracirricular activities.  Largely as a result of the hard work of these groups, Charlottesville's percentage of the vote that went to Webb was the second highest of any of the 134 localities in Virginia.  In an election that came down to 9,000 votes (and less than that to ensure Allen didn't call for a recount), I can't help but feel that we ultimately made a huge difference in the outcome of this race and control of the U.S. Senate.

by CrellMoset 2007-02-06 04:34AM | 0 recs
Re: College Democrats/Young Democrats Open Thread

As a young person, recently out of college, I find myself a bit in the wilderness when it comes to local/state activism in MD.  Perhaps the years and years of solid Democratic victories in Maryland have created a more professional class of activists.  It sure feels that way.  

by andy k 2007-02-06 05:06AM | 0 recs
American University

Here at the "most politically active campus" in DC, our college dems were recently suspended by student activities for failing to disclose finances properly.  wonderful.

by Max Friedman 2007-02-06 05:10AM | 0 recs
Harvard Dems

1) A question, since it's one we're struggling with currently: what kind of anti-war actions are other College Dems chapters planning or doing? We had some members go down to the D.C. rally and get riled up, but it's yet to be brought back to campus in a significant way.

2) Not to gloat, but us Harvard Dems have been making waves recently, and not just on our blog. Our YouTube video, When Republicans Attack, got covered (and made fun of) by IvyGate.

And the theatrics at our last meeting got live-blogged by Cambridge Common.

Hmm...there's no such thing as bad publicity, right?

by Flax 2007-02-06 05:56AM | 0 recs
Re: College Democrats/Young Democrats Open Thread

This is a shameless self promotion, as well as an example of how to get some credibility with your state's party.

We're hosting a fundraiser after our state party's quarterly meeting on Saturday. We're asking for $10 from Young Dems and $20 from dems who are "young at heart." Our guests of honor are five YDs who were elected state reps this cycle.

Our statewide executive director included this in our inivitations:

"Ten years ago, nobody heard of a newly elected young state legislator from the midwest - and now he is poised for a fight to hold the highest office in our country.  So don't forget your camara, you never know if you are meeting the next Barack Obama."

In my limited experience, the best way to generate intrest (and by extension, funding) from our more senior peers in the party is to focus on the future of the party, stressing that supporting young democrat expansion is the best way to build and secure the party.

Now back to the shameless plug: if you're in PA and interested in joining us, please come to the Camp Hill Radisson at 2:00PM and support your fellow young democrats.

by dannybauder 2007-02-06 06:06AM | 0 recs
Democrats Work

May I humbly suggest that doing community service as Democrats is a way to mobilize, energize, and promote your work as Democrats when it isn't election time? I'm with Democrats Work, which works with Democratic organizations, including College Dems and Young Dems chapters, across the country (well, in a handful of states, at least) to mobilize their members (and others) for service projects.

The goal is to use this service-based approach to show the folks in our communities and campuses that Democrats get things done year round (not just at election time), making tangible contributions that people can point to and say: "The Democrats did that for this community." For example, two weekends ago, Dem groups in Arkansas (including folks from Hendrix College, UCA, UALR) came out to the Arkansas Foodbank to sort and distribute food that goes to 70,000 hungry Arkansans per month. (You can see some of the local news coverage here.)

If you are in Georgia, I hope you can come out for a community cleanup event in Atlanta on February 17th. The details are here. (Also, for those of you in the Bay Area, we've got an event on February 24th, cleaning up playgrounds in the Bayview area of San Francisco . . . details here.)

I've blogged about Democrats Work a little bit, including here and here.

If you want to know more, check out our website or shoot me an email: tbates@democratswork.org. We want to help local groups build a politics of service.

by Thomas Bates 2007-02-06 06:18AM | 0 recs
Re: College Democrats/Young Democrats

The College Dems in my neck of the woods are a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Party Stooge Apparatus.  It's made up of a bunch of hacks who buy-in to Joe Klein-style politics more than Howard Dean-style politics.  They see College Dems as a way to essentially get themselves a job with the state party apparatus, where they are controlled by a couple of people.  The College Dems, without knowing what they were doing, but instead just following orders so as not to ruffle any feathers (and minimize their chances of getting a job with the party stooges when they graduate), were even turned out to organizational meetings of other non-student groups (like the local chapter of DFA) to thwart the work of progressives.  In the latest affront to democracy, the College Dems here changed their rules on who can vote for endorsements in municipal races (there's a city council district that is almost entirely made up of student neighborhoods, and city council politics matter here in Madison), two days before the vote, which was done to disenfranchise black students who were backing a black candidate, and to elevate the CD leadership's friend who was the other candidate.  

Here, the College Dems have largely been a source of frustration to party reformers and activists for the past couple of years since the Party Stooge Apparatus staged a takeover.  Hopefully the CD chapters in other places are doing a better job organizing and engaging young Democrats.

by Peter from WI 2007-02-06 07:28AM | 0 recs
Re: College Democrats/Young Democrats

There's plenty of young people who can be engaged to be the reformers. Get those people involved, and they can help move the CDs and YDs in a new direction.

by Dave Sund 2007-02-06 11:45AM | 0 recs
Re: College Democrats/Young Democrats Open Thread
The College Democrats of America (CDA) has made tremendous strides over the last few years, and in all likelihood, the CDA will become paradigmatic for youth organizing in the very near future. Here are a few reasons why:

Strong Initiative at the State Level:

The state branches of the CDA, otherwise known as "State Federations," have demonstrated the positive effect a concerted effort by college students can have on the electoral process. During the 2006 election cycle, numerous State Federations constructed and implemented their own field plans designed to galvanize college support for local, state, and national Democratic candidates. State Federations such as Montana and New Hampshire played an indispensable role in helping Democratic candidates get elected.

Formidable Campus Chapters:

The CDA is a grassroots organization, and its campus chapters are predominantly responsible for the organization's success. Throughout the country, dedicated college students are forming and operating CDA chapters on their respective campuses in order to spread the Democratic message to fellow students. CDA chapters have signfigantly contributed to the rising collegiate affinity for the Democratic Party.

Technology and New Media:

The CDA has also utilized cutting-edge technology to convey the Democratic message to young people. If you visit the College Dems website, you can view commercials produced by the CDA New Media Team and listen to CDA podcasts. These communicative vehicles will only become more and more important to the political process, and the CDA has staked out an advantageous position by capitalizing on the potential of these mediums at an early stage.

by CT Progressive 2007-02-06 07:51AM | 0 recs
Western Kentucky U

Here at WKU we have a very strong organization and following.  In the fall we worked from many local and regional canidates.  In 2005, many of us traveled to help Tim Kaine in Va. We have more members than any other College Democrat chapter in the Commonwealth (WKU is the 3rd largest university in Ky).  Also in 2005, We had 2 members (including myself)who were elected to the state board.  

We're going to try and make contact with schools including Middle Tenn, Vandy and other out of state schools to help us this year with our state wide races.

by bgky 2007-02-06 10:36AM | 0 recs
San Francisco Young Dems
While I was on the board of the San Francisco Young Democrats I organized two Primary Endorsement Forums for all of the 2006 Democratic primary candidates. I had them fill out a progressive youth oriented questionnaire you can find them here. I also found a local audio expert to donate his time and equipment so that I could record the speeches and make them available as mp3's for i-pods ect. This event was well attended by most SF Democratic activists, in fact no other club did anything like it. We had about 80 - 100 people attend. It was a good event not only because it gave the candidates an opportunity to talk about issues that matter to youth, but also because it was quite a lucrative fund raiser since everyone wanted to be able to vote for their candidates endorsement so they had to pay the nominal membership fee.
by nicthebrick 2007-02-06 11:42AM | 0 recs
Sorry, Matt

No griping about the kidz from me.

I look at what you all are doing, and I'm inspired and motivated.

Thanks to you all for your efforts.  Not a single one of them is wasted. Even the ones that frustrate you the most.

Keep at it. Don't let anyone shut you up or tear you down.

by boadicea 2007-02-06 01:30PM | 0 recs
My experience with the Young Dems

Judging from my chapter, they're all appearance, no substance.

"We have to raise oodles of money so we can look like big shots to the other clubs!"

"It'll look good if we get behind X politician!"

"Let's get all of our friends to sign up so it looks like we have lots of new members drawn from the community!"

What's missing?  Genuine attempts to appeal to the average young person without political ties.  Genuine discussions about philosophy and policy.  Genuine attempts to get people involved beyond their privileged inner circle.

If I wanted to spend so much time amongst a bunch of elitist fuckwads, I'd have become a Young Republican.

by wilder 2007-02-06 04:39PM | 0 recs

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