Blogging the YDA
by Woodhouse, Thu Aug 04, 2005 at 01:24:48 PM EDT
It would be interesting to learn how many visitors to this site know that the Young Democrats of America is having its national convention in San Francisco this week. It would be even more interesting to learn how many give a shit. I've attached a poll to this diary to get an amusing, if totally unscientific, reading on those numbers.
Now let me tell you why I'm in the camp of readers that does give a shit that the YDA is meeting here in San Francisco this week, and what I'm planning to do about it.
The YDA suffers from more than an image problem. It suffers from an action problem. Simply put, the YDA is not an organization of activists.
I've said it; now I'll hasten to disclaim it. First, the YDA took a big step toward improving its field game by joining the Young Voter Alliance in the 2004 election. Second, a lot of legitimate criticisms of the YDA could just as easily be said about the Democratic Party as a whole. Third - and this really goes without saying - the YDA varies dramatically from locality to locality, and includes chapters that are more or less innocent of this charge.
All of that said, the fact remains that the YDA is not what young people or anybody else thinks of when they think progressive political action. The League of Pissed Off Voters is having its national convention in Pittsburgh over the same four-day period that the YDA is having its convention in San Francisco. Which city do you think the street-level activists are going to be in this weekend?
The Action Caucus of the YDA is introducing a resolution to the convention to commit the Young Democrats to mobilize its membership to activate around the races of 1,000 progressive candidates by the end of the year 2007. Our hope is that the resolution will not only pass, but will pass with a unanimous vote. Then the hard work begins: mobilizing the resources to invest in local chapters of the YDA to help to enable them to deliver on our objective.
I'll be blogging here on these pages from the YDA convention over the next few days, as will Charlie Eaton and Lilia Tamm, two more organizers in the Action Caucus. Stay tuned to hear the word from the floor.
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