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Press Release: Young Democrats Testify in Support of County Ballot Issues

Ben Feshbach, speaking here at the Paint the County Blue Fundraiser, testified from a student's perspective on the DREAM Act at the hearing.

The Montgomery County Young Democrats’ (MCYD) testified Wednesday night at the Montgomery County Democratic Party’s Ballot Questions Advisory Committee (BQAC) to weigh in on what issues are most important to them for inclusion on the Party’s sample ballot.

MCYD members Abe Saffer, Ben Feshbach and Jay Wilson offered arguments in support of marriage equality, the DREAM Act, and maintaining effects bargaining for county police officers.

Communications Director Abe Saffer voiced his strong support for marriage equality telling a personal story about his experience with the issue, and debunking the myth that same-sex marriage destroys marriage between a man and a woman, saying, “Ann Romney said ‘her and Mitt have a real marriage.’ Given that six states currently allow same sex marriage, means they don’t have a real marriage, or same sex marriage doesn’t destroy anything.”

MCYD Youth Rights Chair Ben Feshbach was joined by his father Rabbi Michael Feshbach in testifying for two of the state’s most heated ballot issues, marriage equality and the DREAM Act. Ben testified that, “this is economically beneficial, this is socially beneficial, and it is the right thing to do. As a student and as a Young Democrat, I strongly urge a vote for the DREAM Act.”

Member Jay Wilson shared why, as a son of a police officer, he supports policies that protected the widest scope of collective bargaining rights. In his testimony Wilson argued “if we continue to roll back these rights, it is guaranteed that we will weaken our strong middle class and our party here, just as it has happened across our country.”

“As young people, we are deeply concerned about the future these policies are creating for us,” said MCYD Issues Chair Nik Sushka. “Are we going to be neighbors that support equal rights? Are we going to be a community that educates every young person, and provides them with opportunities and skills to make our communities a better place? Are we going to protect our first responders with adequate funding, benefits, and collective bargaining rights? We certainly hope so, because we’re the ones who’ll be living here for the next 30 or 40 years.”

The three hours of testimony to the BQAC resulted in affirmative votes for all three of the MCYD’s positions. The organization will continue to support these initiatives, as well as all Montgomery County Democrats running for election or re-election, through November with weekly phone banks, debates and presentations, and canvassing.

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Guest Post: Help Spread the Truth about the Maryland DREAM Act

The following post was written by MCYD member Javel “Jay” Wilson, who is serving as the Issue Committee’s liaison to the state-wide Educating Maryland Kids:

How would you feel if after graduating high school you were not able to fulfill your college dreams and have a chance to embark upon a career doing something you love? Most of us would probably feel awful! Unfortunately many graduating Maryland high school students experience this discouraging feeling because current laws make achieving their educational dreams almost unattainable. This current situation is unacceptable and needs to be changed. It not only affects our Maryland high school students but the whole state.

Based on the lack of fairness in the current laws, I have decided to ensure that all Maryland kids have equal opportunity to pursue their dreams of higher education by advocating for the Maryland DREAM Act. Each student that I have met whose life is affected by the Maryland DREAM Act increases my motivation to make sure this important legislation passes the ballot referendum this November.

To better prepare myself in advocating for the Maryland DREAM Act, I recently attended Maryland DREAM Ambassador Training given by the non-partisan alliance Action in Montgomery. This training helped prepare me for dealing with many of the misconceptions and oppositions that people have regarding Maryland Dream Act.  The training has further increased my motivation and desire to make a difference in ensuring that all Maryland Kids have equal opportunities.

We must collectively take action and ensure The Maryland DREAM Act passes this November! The Maryland DREAM Act provides equitable educational opportunities to all Maryland students.  It helps make needed change and provides increased educational opportunities that may not have otherwise been unattainable.

We need your help to spread the truth and facts about the Maryland DREAM Act, who it affects and why it is good for Maryland.

MCYD Members please sign up to be a DREAM Ambassador at mcyd.org/defendthedream today and help make a change!

Javel “Jay” Wilson

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Want to get more involved? Help MCYD make a difference!

Four important updates for our issue areas!

1. Marylanders for Marriage Equality urgently needs donations/loans for its Baltimore and Silver Spring offices. Email David Turley ASAP: david@mdfme.org and share a picture with us of your donation!

  • -Tables
  • -Chairs
  • -Desks
  • -Phones
  • -Computers
  • -Refrigerators
  • -Trash cans
  • -Printers
  • -Photocopiers
  • -Extension Cords
  • -Power Strips

2. Educating MD Kids (the DREAM Act coalition) will be conducting trainings for volunteers able to present their message to organizations of likely voters (PTAs, democratic clubs, etc…). Attend the May 24th Membership Meeting to learn more.

3. Montgomery Women do a First Friday Power Breakfast the 1st Friday of every month. Attend June 1st’s and meet other emerging and existing leaders in the county.

4. Get out the Youth Vote:
Know anyone coming home for the summer? Remind them to register for an absentee ballot! Want to actually register voters yourself? You need to get certified!

DaveLarryYDMConvention2012 with Obama Signs
Help MCYD get out the vote!
MCYD Tours Congress

MCYD takes a tour of the United States Congress

Young Dems with Congressman Sarbanes
Young Dems with Congressman Sarbanes

MCYD recently participated in a visit coordinated by Dan Ewald, Programming Director from the Baltimore County Young Democrats, to several of Maryland’s Congressional Delegations at their offices in Washington DC.

The event was attended by a dozen other Young Democrats from across the Great State of Maryland, including MCYD’s Max Etin, Laurie Ann Sayles, and Matt Nisenoff.

Matt shares his thoughts on the experience:

Dan […] did an outstanding job of it.

We were honored to meet with Congressman Elijah E. Cummings, who represents Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Howard County; Congressman John Sarbanes, who represents portions of Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Howard County (and with redistricting will include a part of Montgomery County); and Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger, who represents parts of Baltimore City as well as Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Harford and Howard Counties.

All were generous with their time and spoke eloquently on issues they are currently facing and how the force of those outside of Congress is particularly important in moving forward with issues in the current political atmosphere.

It was an honor to meet with these members of Congress. Their staffs were professional, helpful and informative, and their support on the visit was appreciated.  The tours of House and watching part of the days session rounded out an experience that we will appreciated.

One of the perks of being a member of the Montgomery  County Young Democrats is incredible access to elected officials in the region.

Not a member yet? Register online today at mcyd.org/register and attend our May 24th Membership Meeting in Silver Spring to get connected.

Meet the 2012-2014 Executive Board

The Montgomery County Young Democrats (MCYD) elected a new executive board on Tuesday as the organization intensifies its work to elect progressive Democrats across the state in 2012. The newly-elected officers – President Dave Kunes, Executive Vice President Laurie-Anne Sayles, Director of Communications Abraham Saffer, Director of Programming John-Ubong Silas, Director of Membership Chris Bradbury, Director of Finance Chris Coppola, and Secretary Nik Sushka– represent the diversity of Montgomery County’s youth.

The new executive board ran on a five-point plan of making MCYD more transparent, intentional, effective, inclusive, and empowering. “One of our biggest challenges during our next two years will be to create a model organization that truly reflects and represents the active, passionate, and hard-working community of young Democrats here in Montgomery County,” said newly elected President Dave Kunes. “Montgomery County needs to do its part to activate new voters to help address the steep dropoff in young registered Democrats the state has seen since June of 2010. The executive board and membership are dedicated to work tirelessly with all the past, current, and future members of MCYD to ensure that we are heard.”

Montgomery County Young Democrats holds monthly membership meetings. For media inquiries, contact Director of Communications Abe Saffer at Abe.Saffer@MCYD.org

 

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Join the Montgomery County Young Democrats

The Montgomery County Young Democrats (MCYD) strives to educate and motivate our peers to become involved in the political process by supporting strong, progressive candidates and policies.

MCYD is a 501(c)(4) organization that offers a voice for young people who seek progressive change in order to secure a just and stable future for all of the county’s residents.

MCYD members live, work, or go to school in Montgomery County and are the age of 39 or younger. But we always welcome the involvement and support of the “Young-at-Heart.”