The DeKalb Young Democrats will not be having our regularly scheduled meeting this Wednesday, Nov. 20th due to the Democratic Debates happening that night here in Atlanta. However, if you haven't scored your own ticket to the debate, we encourage our members and friends to attend one of the many watch parties happening in the area that night. Here is just a short list (we are not listing any watch parties hosted by a specific candidate:
Democratic Debate Watch Party hosted by ACLU of Georgia: https://www.facebook.com/events/2514104665376289/
Georgia is a Battleground State Debate Watch Party hosted by Millenials for Progress, Millenials for Abrahms, and NARAL Pro-Choice Georgia: https://www.facebook.com/events/1181043828753609/
Presidential Debate Watch Party & Trap Trivia Contest hosted by New Georgia Project Action Fund, Working Families Party, and Black Voters Matter:
Democratic Debate Watch Party hosted by Cobb County Democratic Committee:
Presidential Debate Watch Party hosted by Gwinnett County Democratic Committee:
New Georgia Project + Swing Left Debate Watch Party:
Gwinnett Latinx Debate Watch Party hosted by Latino Caucus of the Democratic Party of Georgia:
Our October monthly meeting occurred on Wednesday, October 16th at The Marlay House in Decatur. Our featured speaker was DeKalb NAACP President Teresa Hardy. Ms. Hardy spoke to the group about the working being done around DeKalb NAACP's Remembrance Project. This important project focuses on raising knowledge and accuracy about the legacy of racially motivated lynching in DeKalb County and throughout Georgia, with a focus on the victims.
We also heard from the local representative for the area, Rep. Becky Evans. Rep. Evans talked about her experiences and work in her first year as an elected representative.
We also heard from candidates for local congressional, state, and municipal races.
Our next meeting will be Nov. 20th at Avondale Pizza Cafe.
After five months of traveling around DeKalb County, DeKalb Young Democrats came home to Avondale Pizza Cafe last night for our September meeting. The theme of Homecoming was further reinforced by the return of former DYD President, Mayor of Clarkston, and now candidate for U.S. Senate, Ted Terry. Ted helped bring DYD back from the dead as an organization in 2009, and here we are 10 years later as he runs to replace David Perdue.
We also had the pleasure of hearing from State Sen. Elena Parent. Sen. Parent spoke about the critical need to flip as many state House seats as possible in 2020 to prevent further Republican Party gerrymandering and entrenchment heading into redistricting after the 2020 census. Every state House race matters next year!
We were also honored to have several candidates for races from around the county in the house to introduce themselves, including:
In addition we received party updates, including an update from John Jackson on the DeKalb County Democratic Party, Scout Smith from the Georgia Democratic Party, and Landen Watson from the DCCC.
Finally, we'd like to acknowledge the return of Bridgemon Bolger, former DYD President and the longest serving DYD President of the decade!
Also don't forget, last night we announced the launch of our Road to 2020 Campaign!
Last night, Wednesday, August 21st, DeKalb Young Democrats wrapped up their tour of DeKalb County with a trip Lithonia/Stonecrest in South DeKalb. We were pleased to be joined by County Commissioner (District 5) Mereda Davis Johnson, State Senator Tonya Anderson, Stonecrest Councilwoman Jazzmin Cobb, DPG State Committee Member (Chair, County Party Committee) Scout Smith, and Cindy Thomas, candidate for Mayor, City of Lithonia.
It was a great meeting that allowed us to hear about efforts ongoing around cannabis decriminalization in the county, a recap of the state legislative session, a discussion about the challenges and positives around cityhood efforts in the county, and much more. We were especially excited to hear from Cindy Thomas, who at 33 is just one more young Democrat who is putting her name forward for public service in her hometown of Lithonia.
Next month, we'll be back home in Avondale Estates. Our September meeting is shaping up to be a special one, so stay tuned and keep in touch with DYD on Social Media and on this site to hear more as announcements about our September meeting are released.
Thank you to everyone who came out to Dunwoody to talk about Pride Month and the progress we're making here in DeKalb on LGBTQ rights. A special thanks to the City of Atlanta's LGBTQ Affairs Coordinator, State Rep. Matthew Wilson and Doraville Councilwoman Stephe Koontz!
Our Tour of DeKalb County rolls on to Stone Mountain In July, where we'll be hearing from Anoa Changa about Boycotts as a strategy. For this discussion, we're welcoming Anoa Changa back to lead a discussion on the nature, timing, efficacy, and strategy behind boycotts. Anoa Changa is a political analyst and attorney based in Atlanta, GA. She hosts “The Way with Anoa” podcast and is co-managing editor of The Progressive Army Blog.
Also, since we're now seeing more candidates start to declare for 2020, we wouldn't be surprised to see a candidate or two show up, so you don't want to miss out!
You may have seen that our April meeting is in Kirkwood. As promised, this is just the first stop on our official DYD Spring & Summer Tour of DeKalb County. As an organization, we are committed to engaging young people and Democrats all around this amazing county of ours. To that end, we’re leaving the friendly confines of our normal home in Avondale Estates to hit the road and visit all corners of the county! More specific details will come with each approaching meeting, but stay on the lookout for when DYD comes to your area!
During the latest DYD Monthly Meeting, elections were held for all of the elected leadership positions within our club. By unanimous vote, the following individuals were elected to Exec Board positions for the 2019 year for DeKalb Young Democrats:
We'd also like to extend a huge thank you to our outgoing President, John Jackson. John served as President of DYD since 2017, and helped bring a new energy and levels of engagement to DYD. John could always be counted on to serve as a face of DYD at events around the County and State. We thank him for his service, and wish him the best of luck as he continues to shape Democratic politics in DeKalb as 2nd Vice Chair of the DeKalb Democratic Party.
The 2018 Midterm Elections are now fully behind us, and attention is already being turned to the 2020 election cycle. However, before we fully move on, it's important to look back on all that was accomplished. We may not have had the success we were looking for at the top of the ticket, but voter suppression tactics that denied us the Governor's Mansion weren't enough to dampen the results here in DeKalb.
Coming in to the midterm's, DeKalb County had three remaining Republican-held state legislative seats in the northern part of the county. DYD committed fully to helping turn these seats Blue, and every weekend that wasn't spent canvassing for Stacey Abrams and our statewide candidates was spent trying to flip those seats. After Election Day, the results were clear, and SD40, HD79, and HD80 had all been flipped! We enter 2019 with a fully Democratic State Legislative Delegation here in DeKalb County, making DeKalb truly the vanguard for Democratic efforts in the state of Georgia, and ensuring that DYD will continue to play a pivotal role in Democratic efforts here in Georgia for years to come.
At December's Monthly Meeting, we heard from Rep. Dar'shun Kendrick about the upcoming legislative session. We also took time to thank the legislative leaders who will not be returning, including Rep. Howard Mosby. We thank him for his years of service to the county and wish him best of luck on his future endeavours.
Our next meeting will be January 16th at 7:00 pm at the Avondale Pizza Cafe. This will be an important meeting, as we will be electing our officers for the upcoming year. This includes an election for President, as our President for the past two years, John Jackson, will not be standing for re-election as he moves on to his new role as 2nd Vice Chair of the DeKalb County Democratic Central Committee. We welcome all returning members, as well as any new members who have paid dues before that meeting, to attend and take part as we position our club with new leadership for the upcoming year.
DeKalb Young Democrats are committed to being the "crest of the blue wave" both in DeKalb and for all of Georgia. To that end, we are announcing our official club canvassing schedule for between Sept. 1st up until the weekend before Election Day. We're looking at the top of the ticket, ballotwide efforts, as well as flipable districts here in the county. Note that specific dates are subject to change. Continue to check with us here and on our Facebook page for updates.
June's meeting centered upon the idea of activism, canvassing, and GOTV to enable the Blue Wave we're all working towards for November. To that end, the June meeting on the 20th actually began with 30 minutes of Phonebanking to young people in DeKalb County, targeting folks identified as Democratic voters in this past May's Primary contest. They were simply encouraged to check out the DYD website or FB page and look for ways to get involved in GOTV activities this Summer and Fall.
On the candidate front, DYD once again showed it's drawing power. First on the docket was Richard Keatley, candidate for Labor Commissioner. Richard has come to DYD meeting on numerous occasions and is truly considered a friend of the club at this point. We then heard from Mike Wilensky, who is running to flip a House seat from Republican (and has a great shot since the seat is being vacated by the incumbent) in North DeKalb. We also heard from El-Mahdi Holly, who spoke on numerous topics, including his own run in HD 111, as well as serving as a surrogate for State Superintendent Candidate Otha Thornton. We also heard from Tunde Akinyele, candidate for Superior Court Judge in DeKalb County. Finally, we heard from CD6 candidate Lucy McBath, a national spokeswoman for Moms Demand Action and a tireless advocate for gun regulations.
The big call to action came from guest Anoa Changa, activist and Cities Electoral Manager for Democracy for America. She spoke about the importance of not shying away from difficult conversations within the Party as we look to build a winning coalition for November. We also heard from Susan Motter, who encouraged more young people to come get involved with the League of Women Voters.
Stay tuned for major announcements in the next month, including our DYD Blue Wave Day of Action Calendar, which will include Days of Action for numerous candidates and campaigns from July - November.
Don't forget that Primary Runoff Election Day is July 24th.