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Young Democrats of America 2013 National Convention Delegate Handbook


Letter from the President Dear Maryland Delegates, In just a few short days Young Democrats from across America will converge on San Antonio, Texas for four days of trainings, workshops, panel discussions and more. However one of the most important things we will do as a group, is decide who will lead our organization for the next two years. This is a very personal decision, one I urge you to make on your own. Over the last four years YDA has experienced a lot of challenges. Despite those challenges, what continues to give me hope is the leadership of talented individuals like President Rod Snyder, his Chief of Staff Heather Brown and more. We are also fortunate to have two teams of compassionate and dedicated individuals vying to pick up the mantle Rod and Heather are putting down. 13 years ago I attended by first YDA national convention. I remember not really knowing too many people and feeling lost a lot of the time. This Delegate Guide Handbook will hopefully help support you this year. I am honored to have you join our delegation and look forward to our time together in Texas. Sincerely;

Rev. joseph Lynn Kitchen Jr. President – Young Democrats of Maryland

Getting to San Antonio Flights By now if you have not booked your flight, it is a good time to make that happen. We expect delegates and alternates to be in San Antonio on Thursday by 3PM and expect to stay through Sunday the 11 th until at least 5PM. Ground Transportation The hotel does not provide a shuttle to or from the airport, however the following are options: The City Shuttle – Booking online before your flight the fare is $19 or $34 roundtrip. If you just pick it up from the airport the prices can range from $20 through $25 one way. Taxies – Range from $22 and $24 depending on the hour you arrive. Parking – Deciding to rent a car? The Convention hotel provides parking at a $25 per day fee. Hotel The convention hotel is the Marriott Rivercenter. If you have not reserved your room yet, the YDA room block has closed. That being said I did search on and found rooms at the same hotel for only $122 a night, CHEAPER than the YDA block. Remember it is your responsibility to reserve your own room. YDM will reimburse you for the cost of one night of the room (up to $180.00). If you room with three other people from Maryland that means we will cover the entire room through reimbursements. Food Delegates and alternates are responsible for their own food during the convention. The suggested budget is about $40 - $50 per day.

Your Responsibilities All members of the Maryland delegation are expected to meet the following obligations as a condition of their appointment: Attend all General Plenary Sessions held daily Attend at least two blocks of scheduled programming (trainings, workshops, caucus meetings, committee meetings, ect.) a day Attend and be present on the floor of the convention Sunday, August 11 th for the duration of national officer elections. One of the most important things all voting delegates will do during this convention is elect the leadership of YDA for the next two years. Below is voters guide for all candidates who have declared for these offices. Delegates will be asked to vote for a President, Executive Vice President, three (3) Vice Presidents, a Secretary and a Treasurer. While all of the candidates running so far have announced as part of a slate (YDA Progress and One YDA), delegates are free to vote for candidates from an entire slate or a mixture of slates. It is my hope that you will use the guide below to familiarize yourself with the leaders on both teams, their platforms and backgrounds. Contact information for all of the candidates are also included so feel free to reach out to them as well. Position President Executive Vice President Vice President Vice President Vice President Treasurer Secretary

YDA Progress Candidate Atima Omara Alwala Hon. Erin Carlstrom Ben Cohen Louis Elrod Ben Yee Hugo Velastegui Shayna Daitch

One YDA Candidate Colmon Elridge Cassie Peters Elaine Almquist Pat Burns Jessica Stram Jonathan Padilla * Christopher Algera * = Incumbent

We will explain more about how the exact process for voting happens in San Antonio.

Candidate for President – Colmon Elridge III Executive Vice President, Young Democrats of Current YDA Office(s) the Candidate Holds: Executive Vice President Length of Years in YDA: National LevelVice President (6 months) Executive Vice President (3 years) State Level-Kentucky Young Democrats (10 years*) National Committeeman (2 yrs) Sixth District Coordinator (2 years) Local Level (10 years*)President, Fayette County Young Democrats (3 years) Founding Vice President, Madison Co. Young Dems (1 yr) Founding President, Eastern Kentucky University Dems (2yrs) Treasurer, Fayette County Young Democrats (1 year) College Democrats President, College Democrats of Kentucky (1.5 years) Vice President, College Democrats of Kentucky (6 months) Minority Caucus Chair, College Democrats of America (1 year) * Years Includes General Dues Paying Membership Dear Maryland Friends, Three years ago when I unexpectedly became Executive Vice President of YDA, my guiding principle then, as it is now, was to bring people together to solve problems. We have paid down our debt and more, we have re-established goodwill throughout the progressive movement and the Democratic party. But our work is not over yet. My experience governing in Kentucky over the last six years, during the worst economic recession since the Great Depression, has taught me the importance of rebuilding on a solid foundation. A principled foundation is strongest when it can contrast in weaker economic times, expand in bullish ones, and regardless of our purse-strings, not lose its rightness of mission or integrity. Our Advocacy, Campaigns, Trainings, and Service (A.C.T.S.) Agenda does just that. By engaging members in Advocacy and political Campaigns at the local, state, and national level, we have the opportunity to be the voice for our generation at the ballot box and in the halls of governance. By creating and providing Training Toolkits to state and local chapters, as well as continuing to partner with allied organization for training opportunities at our national meetings, YDA has both the opportunity and responsibility to empower

our members and chapters with skills-sets needed for leadership and employment opportunities both inside and outside of politics. And as poverty affects every city, state, and constituency caucus in our organization, I will commit YDA to a two year Service campaign to not only bring attention to this issue, but also offer real policy solutions and in doing so emerge as the leaders our communities need for us to be. Finally, we will rebuild our finances, not on the economy of personality or by being owned by particular interests or causes, but rather, by developing a sustainable and recurring stream of revenue. Though this is the harder road, developing a product based revenue stream for YDA is not only responsible, but after this historic recession, the most logical path forward. We will, of course, continue to solicit donors at every level, but we must run the business of YDA as a business. I am a leader with the head of a CEO and the heartbeat of an activist. I will make Maryland the same promise I make to all states, including my own. For the next two years I will work with you, together, to create an organization with a solid foundation and the mission to Engage, Empower, and Emerge leaders regardless of where they come from. We will be the training ground, the bench, and the voice for a generation who believes in the transformational power of the American dream and of our responsibility to ensure its continuance. Thank you for the opportunity to share my vision with you and I look forward to continuing this dialogue and work with you throughout this campaign and over the next two years. @colmonelridge

Candidate for President- Atima Omara Alwala


office (held): YDA Vice President, former YDA Women’s Caucus Chair, former YDA Mid-Atlantic Regional Director Facebook Page: Twitter: @atima_omara & @ydaprogress Website: Years Served in YDA: 9 years Over the last nine years, I’ve had the privilege of serving in YDA at nearly every level from an officer in a local chapter, at the state level, three years as YDA’s National Women’s Caucus chair, two years as YDA’s Mid-Atlantic Region Director, and now as one of your Vice Presidents.

After a rough few years but we’ve slowly turned the bend. I’m running because in order to claim the mantle of most powerful voice for young progressives, YDA must reclaim our strength and build upon our past successes. Our membership is our strength. No other youth organization has what we have across the country at the state and local level. We must invest and empower our membership to elect Democrats, to be advocates for our issues, to encourage young people to run for office and run campaigns; and to be better community leaders and activists To Do This We Must: A) Training the next generation of leaders. Want to run for office? Let’s funnel our Young Democrats into top tiered trainings like with Emily’s List or Progressive Majority where they can get crucial support. Let’s also organize our Young Democrats who’ve done it to help mentor other fellow Young Democrats through the process. Want to work on a campaign? Let’s team up with organizations that do effective campaign trainings like the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee or Democratic GAIN. B) Growing our Fundraising Base: YDA can’t do anything without being financially solvent. We can’t be a political player or serve our members if we have no money. From the start, we’ll develop a finance plan based on identifying and courting institutional donors who give to Democratic organizations and progressive youth organizations like YDA to build a real base for the long term. C) Expand Our Issue Advocacy Capacity. Most people of our age, end up in politics because of the issues they care about. Nationally, we need to continue our work with allied organizations. We need to find out how we can continue to partner on issue campaigns and legislative actions

throughout the year. We also should work to support states like Maryland where possible when they are in the midst of legislative battles important to Young Democrats. As someone who comes from the Mid-Atlantic Region and has served as MidAtlantic Director, I will continue to be an advocate for the region, whether it’s for those who want to get more involved nationally or for resources to execute programming in your state and local chapter. I look forward to speaking with each one of you further and earning your vote in August.

Candidate for Executive Vice President – Hon. Erin Carlstrom

YDA office (held): National Committeewoman for California Young Democrats Facebook Page: Twitter: @ErinCarlstrom & @ydaprogress Website: Years Served in YDA: 4 years I

have served as the Vice Mayor of Santa Rosa, CA since November 2012 and National Committeewoman for the California Young Democrats since November 2009. In Santa Rosa, I am a business attorney and the past-president of the Redwood Business Alliance, a group of local business people working together to develop a stronger business climate in Sonoma County, CA. After graduating from Yale University with a B.A. in Political Science I obtained a law degree from Pepperdine University. Prior to law school I was an NCAA Academic All-American athlete in swimming. I live in Downtown Santa Rosa with my husband Nick, our soon to be first child and our two rescue dogs, Toby and Honey. Our membership is our strength. We must recruit and train young leaders to run for public office. One of the best ways we do that is by developing and leading a top-notch fundraising and operations training program for young candidates and campaign leaders. Additionally, we must organize a strong grassroots program to help elect Democrats. I look forward to speaking with each one of you further and earning your vote in August.

Candidate for Executive Vice President – Cassie Peters Current YDA Office: Deputy Communications Director Length of years in YDA: 6+

Cassi Peters knows how to fight for the future of our generation. She is a lifelong Oklahoman and a proud Chickasaw. Cassi became involved Democratic politics at an early age, serving as President of the Young Democrats of Oklahoma and Chairwoman of the YDA Rural Caucus. As Rural Caucus Chairwoman, Cassi was the voice for rural youth within YDA and represented the organization at events around the country. Within Oklahoma, Cassi served as President of the Young Democrats of Oklahoma from 2010-2011. During her tenure as President, YDO carried out extensive volunteer and membership outreach programs during the 2010 Statewide Elections. The organization held fundraisers and volunteer events engaging hundreds of Young Democrats across the state of Oklahoma. Cassi also serves as the Cleveland County Democratic Party Secretary and was elected to serve as a Delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC this last summer. Cassi has spent the last decade working on campaigns across Oklahoma and the United States, ranging from City Council to the United States Senate. Cassi formerly served as Political Director for Sally’s List, an organization founded to recruit and train progressive women to run for office in Oklahoma. During Cassi’s tenure with Sally’s List, Oklahoma saw eleven progressive, viable women candidates run for the state legislature, which was unprecedented in Oklahoma. Cassi is currently Founding Partner/Owner of Skyfire Media, a general political consulting company emphasizing direct mail and online media and working on campaigns across Oklahoma. Cassi believes YDA's future is bright. She believes YDA makes a true impact in the lives of young people and can give us the tools and training to make a difference in our communities. That's why she dedicates herself to raising her two-year-old daughter and working for the next generation. Most importantly, she believes our generation, with the help of YDA, can help change the tide and make the world a better place for her daughter and young Americans across the nation. Website Address: Twitter: Facebook: Facebook:

Candidate for Vice President – Elaine Almquist Held:

Home State: MassachusettsYDA Position Currently Massachusetts President Emeritus, Massachusetts National Committeewoman, YDA Deputy Communications DirectorYDA Position Sought: Vice PresidentYears in YDA: 4 years

Elaine Almquist (North Andover, MA) is an advocate for the participation of youth and women in politics, and has been involved in Young Democrats for over 10 years. She serves as the Deputy Communications Director for YDA, and the National Committeewoman (and former state President) for Young Democrats of Massachusetts. Elaine is also one of the Young Professionals Co-Chairs for the Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus, and is on the Policy Advising Committee for the Massachusetts chapter of NOW. She lives with her fiancé, Lee, and enjoys knitting, skateboarding, and hiking. “I’m really excited to join Colmon, Cassi, and the other members of the OneYDA team. I love YDA, am passionate about electing Democrats from around the country, and am energized to work to see YDA succeed,” stated Elaine. “Working together, we can strengthen our communications from both the bottom-up and top-down, and to grow and build the political strength of our membership.” "I'm thrilled with the addition of Elaine to the OneYDA team,” said Cassi Peters, candidate for Executive Vice-President on the One YDA slate. “Elaine's experience as a leader in her state chapter and within YDA adds even more experience to our team. Elaine shares our strong commitment to seeing women more equally represented in elected office at every level. “I've worked with Elaine within YDA and I know she is someone that can get the job done. She has a proven track record and will continue to be a great leader within this organization as Vice President." “Elaine is a leader of immense talent, vision, and integrity,” said Colmon Elridge, Executive Vice President of YDA and Presidential Candidate. “Her honesty and engaging personality, coupled with her leadership on how best to communicate with and engage young people throughout our nation made this a very easy decision. I have valued Elaine’s counsel and partnership over the last three years, and Victoria and I are beyond excited not only to have her insight during this campaign, but over the next two years.”

Candidate for Vice President – Pat Burns

Over the more than one decade I’ve been involved in YDA, I’ve seen leaders come and go, big changes made, and I’ve seen financial booms and financial droughts. One thing has remained the same during all of this however, the strength of our membership. Our members are the glue that have held YDA together through good and bad, and will always continue to do so. I’m running for YDA Vice President in order to give back to the organization that has given me so much over the last ten years. I’ve obtained leadership skills, campaign organizing tactics, learned best practices for organizing young people, and met some people from across the country that I’ll be friends with for years to come. The decisions that we make regarding YDA in the next two years will absolutely guide the success of this organization for decades to come. I have a proven track record of collaboration to achieve answers to the issues our organization faces. I’ve been a local chapter leader, a state chapter president, and was the Southwest Region Director as well. Furthermore, I currently serve as the YDA Resolutions Committee Chair. I believe that all of this experience and historical knowledge in YDA will prove crucial in working with others to move this organization forward. Two major undertakings I will move forward on when elected are completing a chapter toolkit and implementing a YDA mentorship program. Both of these have been talked about for some time and after speaking with state leaders across the country it is apparent that now is the time to finally accomplish these two goals. Many state chapters are having to rebuild with brand new leaders and having a chapter toolkit with best practices and ideas from across the country on fundraising, organizing young people, leadership development, etc, could help maintain state chapters and build new ones where we currently lack a presence. Having a YDA mentorship program where newer members are linked up with more seasoned members at the national level will ensure that we are properly welcoming the YDA leaders of tomorrow into our organization. Too often, YDA has been seen as an insular organization that is resistant to new faces but having a mentorship program will help dispel that view. Also, this mentorship program will be one that many chapters may want to implement in their respective states in order to create a better leadership development structure. Having this and a chapter toolkit will help a great deal in preventing chapters from having to rebuild in the future and sustaining strong leadership even in off election years. In my position as a YDA VP, I will welcome any and all input from members in Maryland and across the country to help make these two goals a success.

Candidate for Vice President – Ben Cohen

Name: Ben Cohen, Vice Presidential Candidate YDA office (held): YDA Parliamentarian, Secretary of the State Presidents Association, President of the Kansas Young Democrats, Mid-West representative to the Judicial Council, former Parliamentarian of the YDA Jewish Caucus Facebook Page: Twitter: BCohen87 & @ydaprogress Website: Years Served in YDA: 4 years I have served as the President of the Kansas Young Democrats since 2011, YDA Parliamentarian since 2012 and Secretary of the YDA State Presidents Association since 2011. I also previously served as Parliamentarian of the YDA Jewish Caucus. As President of the Kansas Young Democrats, I oversaw the development of several new chapters including expansion into traditionally less-Democratic parts of Kansas. I have also revitalized Kansas Young Democrats (KYD) social media program and intra-communications program to gain input from leaders of smaller chapters. In 2008, I helped President Obama’s campaign in Lawrence, KS. In addition to my roles with YDA and KYD, I serve as secretary of the Shawnee County Democratic Party and was elected as a Delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Our membership is our strength. Therefore, we need to lead the development of training resources including the YDA Training Catalogs for our members and local chapter leaders. It is imperative that we develop greater intracommunications between YDA leadership and state and local clubs. Also if elected, I will champion the establishment of the 2014 YDA Campaign Fellowship Program. I look forward to speaking with each one of you further and earning your vote in August.

Candidate for Vice President – Louis Elrod Name: Louis Elrod, Vice President Candidate

YDA office (held): President of the Young Democrats of Georgia, former National Committeeman of the Young Democrats of Georgia Facebook Page: Twitter: @LouisElrod & @ydaprogress Website: Years Served in YDA: 9 years This is Louis from Georgia. I have been involved in the Young Democrats for nearly a decade, serving as a leader on the high school, college, and state levels. After founding a vibrant high school chapter in my hometown, I served as president of the Young Democrats of the University of Georgia, the state’s largest chapter, during the 2008 election cycle. I represented the Young Democrats of Georgia as National Committeeman from 2010-2011, and served as YDG President from 2011 to 2013. As President, I instituted a statewide training program that trained hundreds of Young Dems across the state on valuable political skills and helped placed them on campaigns during the 2012 cycle. We ran that program at a profit, and during my tenure as president, the Young Democrats of Georgia were not only completely debtfree but had our two best fundraising years since 2007. I obtained a degree in Political Science from the University of Georgia and worked as a legislative aide to state Representatives Brian Thomas and Carol Fullerton. I have managed five campaigns in rural areas, most recently winning two races during the 2012 election cycle. I want to work for YDA. We must engage in direct outreach to other presidents in red-to-blue or red states to share best practices for strong chapter building. If elected I will assist state chapters in coordination with other progressive organizations to conduct advocacy work. I want to help develop a sustainable fundraising plan with realistic and accountable goals, create a new orientation program for National Committee members, and assist with an effective campaigns plan. I look forward to speaking with each one of you further and earning your vote in August. Thanks, Louis P.S. I love blue crabs.

Candidate for Vice President – Jessica Stram Current office: Length


National Committeewoman, Connecticut Young Democrats of years in YDA: Active since November 2007 (5.5 years) I believe that there are three core reasons why people join YDA: to access networking and trainings that will prepare them for a career; to participate in electoral campaigns that seek to elect democratic leaders on every level; and to promote issue advocacy that advances the core progressive ideals that unite us. has had success in the first two areas, but as someone driven by the strong desire to work towards policy change, both nationally and in our states, I believe we have much more

work to do to enact progressive legislation across the country. It is for this reason that I am running for Vice President of YDA. I have been inspired by the work being done by our state chapters across the country to advance our Democratic ideals. Issue advocacy is a core tenant of YDA, and we must renew our focus on this by providing states with the tools to enable winning legislative campaigns, so that state houses across America know what young people need and demand from their legislators. Beyond our individual chapters’ work, YDA shares the beliefs held true and advanced by our partners at the DNC, but that is not enough. It is our duty to project the youth voice within our own party. If we do not advocate for the issues that affect us the most, who will? YDA must demand its seat at the table, and build a strategy to influence elected officials to support the interests of our generation. Maryland has been at the forefront of progressivism, leading the nation on such flagship liberal issues as marriage equality. The experiences of and lessons learned by your state chapter can help inspire and inform other states embarking on similar policy paths. Further, as other states engage in legislative battles, there is a huge opportunity to share those tools and experiences with your state chapter, as you continue to pursue policy victories in Annapolis. This is not about dictating what issues states should be working on, but rather empowering each state to advocate for change and arming each member and each chapter with the precise tools needed for success. I am excited at the prospect of leading YDA on issue advocacy, and will use my experience running state-level advocacy campaigns, and those experiences of leaders from chapters across the country, to build our organization’s voice. We have made great strides over the last few years, but more work needs to be done. To truly have a conversation on improving advocacy tools for young people, we must learn from each other, and work together as One YDA.Thank you for the opportunity to address your chapter. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at: or (203) 430-5916 Website:

Candidate for Vice President – Ben Yee Name: Ben Yee, Vice President Candidate Facebook Page: Twitter: @YBen & @ydaprogress Website: Years Served in YDA: 4 years I served as Vice President of Manhattan Young Democrats in 2009 after working on the 2008 Obama Campaign. Following that, I was elected as the Down State Regional Vice President of the New York State

Young Democrats in May 2010, and re-elected in 2012. I have also served as President of Manhattan Young Democrats since January 2013. I’m a born and raised New Yorker and went to college at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in partnership with the London School of Economics. I hold an honors degree in economics and a degree in political science. In 2008, I worked for President Obama’s 2008 campaign in the Tri-State Finance Office and, later, as New Media Director for New York State. After the campaign, I served on the Chief Information Officer’s team at the New York State Senate where we overhauled the Senate’s entire technology infrastructure and cut millions of dollars in waste. Currently, I work at a technology startup and as a technology consultant with government institutions and social businesses. Our membership is our strength. We need to make YDA the national hub for progressive activism by creating a catalogue of best practices at the State and County level which will be shared freely to inspire Young Democratic activists across the country. If elected, we will create an online “Can-Do library” by recording YDA trainings so that the time, money and effort spent on conventions and teachings can be benefit the entire YDA organization. Additionally, YDA can realize large gains by creating a shared technology infrastructure; centralizing hosting costs and building 3-4 WordPress templates which any YDA chapter can customize and use for free – even if they have zero money or cannot afford a vendor such as Salsa or Nationbuilder. We also should encourage chapter growth by providing seed grants and return-on-investment/analytics support for online advertising campaigns. I look forward to speaking with each one of you further and earning your vote in August.

Candidate for Treasurer – Jonathan Padilla Dear Maryland Young Dems, My name is Jonathan Padilla and I currently serve as your YDA Treasurer. Today, I’m asking for your support for a second term as Treasurer of this organization. There is still too much that needs to be accomplished to ensure the financial stability of YDA and I believe my continued leadership will contribute to a successful turnaround of this organization. I’ve been an active member of this organization since August of 2005 when I attended my first convention in my home state of California in that city by the bay, San Francisco. I remember the energy in that room, the exchange of ideas, the capacity for change and progress inherent in the organization. We can do that

again, it won’t be easy, we all need to join together, but we can do that again. From my time as a local chapter leader in Silicon Valley, a statewide officer in California, to my many hats in YDA, including High School Caucus Chair, Community Service Chair, and now Treasurer I’ve seen nearly facet of Young Dem activity. As Treasurer, I have had a large hand in literally keeping the lights on with YDA. Here’s a short list of what I’ve done in my current term:

Worked with our attorneys to complete Super PAC inception

Kept YDA in compliance with the IRS and the FEC

Resolved pending litigation/corrected prior IRS Filings (prevented dozens of lawsuits)

Built strategic partnerships/recruited new stakeholder board members (Chad Troutwine)

Spearheaded with Jeff Leanna and others the YDA Alumni Council creation

Raised over $25,000 for the organization If elected to a second term my priorities will continue to focus on putting YDA on the pathway to a sustainable financial foundation. We can continue this by:

Expanding and growing the YDA Alumni Council and bringing back Founder’s Day

Expanding strategic partnership development and monetizing relationships to keep YDA in the black and programs running smoothly

Developing a YDA Venture Fund, that takes Silicon Valley know-how and applies those principles to ensure that our membership has access to the best and most innovative programming from the bottom up

Candidate for Treasurer – Hugo Velastegui Name: Hugo Velastegui, Treasurer Candidate YDA office (held): President of the Delaware Young Democrats, National Committeeman of the Delaware Young Democrats Facebook Page: fref=ts Twitter: @hugovthe1 & @ydaprogress Website: Years Served in YDA: 6 years

Since July 2012, I have served as President of the Delaware Young Democrats and as the Mid-Atlantic representative to the YDA Budget committee. Previously I have served as the National Committeeman for the Delaware Young Democrats. As a West Virginia University Mountaineer I served as Vice President, Treasurer and liaison to the County Committee for WVU Young Democrats. I hold a Masters degree in Secondary Education. I am Brooklyn native who has lived in Wilmington, DE since 2001 and yes - I love crab cakes. Professionally, I am a Financial and Sales Analyst and a partner in two additional businesses. Our membership is our strength. We must communicate to our members the monthly YDA expenses and liabilities. As Treasurer I will work to ensure equitable input from all interested parties. I think it is important to ensure that the basic process for convention and meeting selection is outlined in advance so that the conventions and meetings are “revenue neutral” or “revenue positive”. It also important that a full audit is performed by a professional CPA and that we are publishing YDA’s finances, including an itemization of expenditures. Transparency is key! I look forward to speaking with each one of you further and earning your vote in August.

Candidate for Secretary – Christopher Algera

I it. I as I

June 1, 2013A few years ago, I traveled to Las Vegas to attend my very first YDA conference. I had no expectation of what the conference would be like, nor did I know what I wanted to get out of the organization. I was invited by some friends from Chicago who took me under their wings and introduced me to a lot of great people and they even dragged me along to a meeting or two. When attended a Resolutions Committee meeting I was shocked that such great work had been taking place all weekend and I had missed out on part of spent the rest of the weekend attending as many meetings as possible and meeting as many people could. Needless to say, I was hooked on YDA!

In Illinois, I have served as the Secretary and as the National Committeeman. At the national convention in Louisville, I was elected to serve as the Treasurer of the LGBTQ Caucus and I, along with my other officers, immediately started working on a fundraising

plan and on rewriting the outdated governing documents. In addition to my work in Illinois and with the LGBTQ Caucus, I worked with seven other members, throughout the months of December and January, to look at our organization and develop suggestions of a comprehensive strategic plan for YDA. Through my participation in YDA, I am constantly reminded of the most important aspect of YDA: the members. In all of my experience, I constantly meet great people who are dedicated to their responsibilities and who share the same passion for furthering the Democratic causes for youth throughout the nation. I am not running for Secretary for myself. I am running for Secretary because I feel I can be an asset to YDA. I am proud to be running with the OneYDA slate, made up of a group of diverse people that are willing to put themselves aside for the betterment of YDA. I frequently hear complaints of inability to access information. We need a concrete solution. As Secretary, I pledge to be a fierce proponent of accessibility and transparency and will work to adopt and utilize the most effective and up to date technology. I will do this by: • Completing the YDA intranet and utilizing it as a home for storage of meeting minutes (which will be posted promptly after meetings are completed), and tools for state chapters. • Come up with a strategy for remote access to national meetings. I hope this will helpus to be a more inclusive organization and reach members who are frequently underrepresented at our national meetings. • Present and implement technology solutions that are up to date, user friendly, and accessible for membership management and communication. These tools also need to be affordable and sustainable for the organization. These are just a few of the steps we can take to make YDA more open and communicative. I look forward to working with you to hear your ideas, as well as to discuss other possibilities for communications. Together, we can work to continually make YDA better. Democratically yours, Chris

Candidate for Secretary – Shayna Daitch YDA office (held): former National Committeewoman of the Oklahoma Young Democrats Facebook Page: Twitter: @IknowShayna & @ydaprogress Website: Years Served in YDA: 10 years Hi Maryland! I am Shayna Daitch. I have served as the National Committeewomen for the Young Democrats of Oklahoma and I am currently a member of the DNC Youth Council. I attended the University of Oklahoma where I studied international security and served as president of the Hillel Jewish Student Organization. Like many of your members, I have volunteered, interned and worked on many local and state races. In 2012, I worked on the re-election

campaigns of President Obama and Senator Claire McCaskill doing digital outreach and field work. Our membership is our strength. Thus we need to ensure that our members are aware of what our National Organization is doing. If elected, I promise that minutes from Board meetings, Executive Committee meetings, and National meetings are provided to the National Committee by email within 5 days. I also want to establish regular and secure channels to share resources and highlight the important work of our local chapters. I believe it would be beneficial to YDA to conduct crowd sourcing and proactively solicit feedback from YDA membership. Also, it is important that we integrate and rationalize of all the YDA databases to more effectively communicate materials to members and chapters. I look forward to bringing my campaign communication experience to the office of Secretary to make YDA more effective and keep our officers accountable. I hope to speak with each one of you further and earning your vote in August.

The Young Democrats of Maryland 2013 YDA National Convention Delegation Nicole A. Williams – Honorary Chair Travis Crow Co-Chair ~ Latia Hopkins Co-Chair Rev. Joseph Lynn Kitchen Jr. – President/YDA Credential Committee Representative Terrell Boston Smith – Executive Vice President Maurice Simpson Jr. – Vice President, Membership/ YDA Rules Committee Alternate Mriga Rao – Women’s Caucus Chair Victoria Brown – YDA Platform Committee Alternate Elizabeth “Betsy” Dudley – YDA Credentials Committee Vice-Chair Dave Kunes Travis Ballie – YDA Platform Committee Alternate Jake Weissman – YDA Rules Committee Representative Sarah Weissman Gabby Jenifer Tisha Weerasoorlya Eva Dickerson Charles Harper Phylicia Henry Neal Carter Anna Yankova Katherine Donnelly – Alternate H.B. (Harry) Bhandari – Alternate Mike Ball – Alternate

Christopher Bradbury – Alternate

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