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MCYD Condemns Governor Hogan’s Statement Regarding Syrian Refugees, Call on Maryland Officials to Stand on Facts and Compassion


Thursday, November 19th

Contact: Communications Director Katie Mullen –; President Nik Sushka –

The Montgomery County Young Democrats (MCYD) condemn Governor Hogan’s recent decision to join a chorus of Republican leaders spreading fear and ignoring facts about Syrian victims of terror seeking refuge in our country.

At a time when the United States must be global leaders in aiding victims of terrorist acts, Governor Hogan has chosen to spread misinformation about the federal government’s refugee program. We find it unbelievable that our Governor is unaware of the stringent review process to which refugees are subjected before being resettled in our country or of the many refugees who have made new homes in Maryland and pose absolutely no threat to the safety or security of their neighbors.

Furthermore, his statement is downright shameful in its contradiction of Maryland’s values. Governor Hogan’s partisan decision to not accept Syrian refugees denies our shared American value of freedom, as well as our own state’s founding as a refuge for Catholics fleeing persecution in Europe.

We reject the notion that we are safer as Marylanders by demonizing people of specific nationalities, religions, or other backgrounds. We affirm that Maryland is stronger when we stand for compassion and defend our diversity. And we call on all Maryland leaders to voice their support of our existing, responsible approach to refugee resettlement, even as we work towards a meaningful and constructive response to the threat of ISIS here and abroad.

Ultimately, it will be the federal government’s legal call where refugees are resettled. Maryland should be a state enthusiastically offering our cooperation, not heartlessly ignoring those in great need.

MCYD is a 501(c)4 organization that seeks to attract and develop young people into caring agents of change who commit through political action to working for just and sustainable communities. For more information, visit



MCYD 2016-2018 Elections Information

Nominations are Open to Serve on MCYD’s E-Board!

2016 Executive Board Elections will be held Tuesday, November 17th at 7pm in the Silver Spring Civic Center

Nominations will close Tuesday, October 20th at the Membership Meeting.

Do you want to put your passion for political action, community building, and advocacy to work with the Democratic Party and Montgomery County? Are you an active member in good standing of the Montgomery County Young Democrat?

Consider running for the 2016-2018 MCYD Executive Board!

Seeking nominations for:

  • President
  • Vice President
  • Treasurer
  • Secretary
  • Advocacy Director
  • Communications Director
  • Membership Director
  • Political Director
  • Programming Director

Board members serve for a 2-year term and work together to oversee the club’s operations, including MCYD’s monthly membership meetings, advocacy campaigns, political activism, and more.

Nominations are due to the Elections Committee by Tuesday, October 20th and will close at the Membership Meeting.

Nominations will be reviewed by the committee to ensure that members are in good standing and eligible to serve on the board.

To be certified for the ballot, please email the Committee at with:

  • First and Last Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Current Residence and Workplace or School, if in Montgomery County
  • Position you are seeking

Nominations will also be accepted from the floor at the October Membership Meeting at 7pm in Silver Spring.

Criteria the Elections Committee will be reviewing, per our bylaws, include:

  1.  2015 dues-paying membership
  2. Eligibility by residence, school, or work location
  3. Democratic Party registration, if eligible to register for a political party in the U.S.
  4. Active status (attendance at 1/3 of the last year’s membership meetings (which will be 10/3, or 3.3 meetings, which I would interpret as 3 meetings, since typically you round down in a that kind of counting) and not disciplined in last 90 days

Questions? Contact the Elections Committee at

Special election for Membership Director to be held August 18th

A special election for Membership Director will be held Tuesday, August 18th at 7pm in the Silver Spring Civic Building.

The election will fill the position through the remainder of the 2014-2016 Executive Board’s terms.

For more information about MCYD’s process for filling vacancies, please visit

Per bylaws, we’ll accept nominations as early as our July Membership Meeting. Nominations will also be accepted through August 18th to, as well as from the floor at our August 18th Meeting.

We’ll elect a special elections committee as the first order of business at the August meeting, take nominations from the floor, ask the committee to certify the ballot with any additions, and then hold elections.

Membership Director’s Role, Responsibilities, and Duties

MCYD’s Mission
To attract and develop young people into caring agents of change who work for sustainable and just communities via political action.

MCYD Executive Board
The Executive Board of the Montgomery County Young Democrats consists of 9 active, dues-paying members of MCYD. The current board is serving 2-year terms that will end January 1, 2015. The Board meets on the 1st Sunday of every month to discuss, decide, and carry-out the business that keeps MCYD running. This includes planning events, addressing local and state issues, working to develop members into leaders, and representing MCYD within the community.

The 9 board members serve in the following positions:

  • President
  • Executive Vice President
  • Programming Director
  • Political Director
  • Advocacy Director
  • Communications Director
  • Membership Director
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer

Role and Responsibilities of the MCYD Membership Director:
The Membership Director works with other members of the Executive Board to support MCYD’s mission. In particular, the Membership Director supports current members and recruits and orients new members. The goal of the Membership Director is to engage and empower MCYD’s members to participate as fully as desired in our organization.

Responsibilities Include:

  • Maintaining an accurate and current membership database
  • Preparing and collecting member sign in sheets for Membership Meetings
  • Confirming eligibility of potential members, per the MCYD bylaws
  • Coordinating with the MCYD Treasurer to ensure member dues are received and deposited
  • When necessary (e.g. during elections), providing appropriate committees and chartering organizations with requested documents and records

Additional Responsibilities May Include:

  • Planning and coordinating outreach activities such as New Member Socials to recruit new members
  • Representing MCYD at outreach events
  • Providing information to new members regarding opportunities to get involved
  • Developing materials like postcards, flyers, and potential member cards

Duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Participating in Ex. Board meetings the 1st Sunday of every month from 2-4pm, typically in Wheaton Library
  • Supporting membership meetings the 3rd Tuesday of every month at 7pm in Silver Spring


  • Active, dues-paying member of the Montgomery County Young Democrats
    • Must live, work, or go to school in Montgomery County
    • Must be a currently-registered Democrat, if able to register to vote
    • Be 35 years of age or younger through January 1, 2016
  • Evident passion for young people, community activism, and progressive change
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to communicate with diverse individuals/groups
  • Demonstrated capacity to collaborate with others
  • Strong organizational and technological skills

Length of Term

  • S/he will serve until January 1, 2016.


Press Release: MCYD Responds to the Baltimore Uprising


Thursday, April 30, 2015

Contact: Katie Mullen –; Nik Sushka –

Montgomery County Young Democrats Respond to Baltimore Uprisings

We, the Montgomery County Young Democrats, stand in solidarity with the people of Baltimore and we hear their protests calling for justice. The death of Freddie Gray and the anguish behind the violent and peaceful protests are the results of a long legacy of failure to respond to inequality in Baltimore’s most impoverished communities.

“Freddie Gray’s death after having his voicebox crushed and spine nearly severed while in police custody is tragic, and one more loss in the long line of black men killed after police encounters just this year. The fact that 10 days after his death, his family and the citizens of Baltimore are no closer to the answers they seek is an outrage. A riot is the language of the unheard, and what we’ve seen this week is a community’s reaction to injustice while feeling abandoned. This is not just about the unacceptable loss of Freddie Gray. It’s also about the systemic marginalization of a community for far too long. We have to recognize and commit to working on the systemic issues involved – police brutality and poverty – if we’re to join together as a community and move forward,” said MCYD Vice President Will Roberts.

We encourage everyone to listen to the Baltimoreans who are most affected by decades of the failed War on Drugs, police brutality and systemic inequality. We call on our elected officials, labor, community leaders and neighbors to respond with compassion and work to create real progress in achieving justice and equality for all.

“What we saw on the streets of Baltimore was a community angered by yet another unnecessary death and the perpetual brutality inflicted upon them by those who swore to protect and serve,” said MCYD Political Director Gabriel Acevero. “My hope is that after the cameras have left, we can have that uncomfortable dialogue about police brutality, the socio-economic challenges facing the city, the realities of black urban youth and how we can address it. It would be an affront to Freddie Gray’s memory if we sit on our hands.”

“We need—all of us—to be as devoted to justice as we are to order, and as committed to change as we are to restoring calm. Decision makers need to hold the megaphone up to the mouths of people who are speaking out. And Democrats and Republicans alike need to take responsibility for past failures and begin to do differently or we will find ourselves here again,” said MCYD President Nik Sushka.

In the days and weeks ahead, we offer our assistance in rebuilding Baltimore’s devastated communities, and fully support the long-term struggle of peace, justice and equality.

MCYD is a 501(c)4 organization that seeks to attract and develop young people into caring agents of change who commit through political action to working for just and sustainable communities. For more information, visit

Press Release: Hogan’s Transition Team Sets a Disturbing Tone for Maryland’s Future


Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014

Contact: Katie Mullen –; Nik Sushka –


Hogan’s Transition Team Sets a Disturbing Tone for Maryland’s Future

Silver Spring, MD – The Montgomery County Young Democrats (MCYD) are deeply concerned over Governor-elect Larry Hogan’s announcement yesterday of the six newest members of his transition team, who are firmly embedded in right-wing policy and corporate politics.

More than half of these new members – Blair Lee IV, a columnist for The Gazette; Marty Madden, a former Howard County Senator; State Senator Joe Getty of Carroll County; and Anirban Basu of Sage Policy Group – are on the record for supporting the elimination of the corporate tax, and opposing marriage equality, the repeal of the death penalty, raising the minimum wage, and reproductive rights. In an interview with the Washington Blade yesterday, Lee reaffirmed his vote against marriage equality, and his position that gay sex is a “mortal sin.”

Governor-elect Hogan is packing his transition team with consultants, legislators, and policy makers who are against the progress that Maryland has made over the past four years. In fact, voters affirmed much of this progress at the polls when the civil right to marriage equality and sensible, compassionate policies toward immigrant children in our state passed in 2012. His appointments set a disturbing tone for the future of our state in the next four years.

We, the Montgomery County Young Democrats, ask Governor-elect Hogan to remove Blair Lee IV from his transition team because of his extreme homophobic views that do not view all Marylanders as equal. We also ask Governor-elect Hogan to appoint members that represent the majority of Marylanders who voted for these progressive reforms that make our state more equal and fair for all. Our future depends on it.

MCYD is a 501(c)4 organization that seeks to attract and develop young people into caring agents of change who commit through political action to working for just and sustainable communities. For more information, visit


Press Release: Montgomery County Young Democrats Urge Passage of SB 364


Friday, April 4, 2014

Contact: Katie Mullen –; Nik Sushka –


Montgomery County Young Democrats Urge Passage of SB 364

Silver Spring, MD – The Montgomery County Young Democrats (MCYD) are extremely disappointed that leadership in the House Judiciary Committee has failed to take action to decriminalize or legalize marijuana. We strongly urge our delegation to support today’s action to amend SB 364 back to its original language, which includes decriminalization.

While 17 states and Washington, D.C. have moved forward to address the failed war on drugs, Maryland will continue to disproportionately arrest and incarcerate people of color at alarming rates in every county if we do not pass legislation this year. As a state, we have one of the highest rates of arrest for marijuana possession in the country. Police in Maryland have arrested more people for marijuana possession in the past 10 years than for all violent crimes combined, according to the ACLU of Maryland.

The problem and solution are clear. We don’t need a task force to study marijuana decriminalization. We need decisive action now. We call on the House of Delegates to respond to Maryland’s voters, who overwhelmingly support marijuana reform, and to get Maryland on the right side of history on this issue.

MCYD is a 501(c)4 organization that seeks to attract and develop young people into caring agents of change who commit through political action to working for just and sustainable communities. For more information, visit




MCYD Members at WUSA 9

Member Valeria Carranza at the 9 News Now studio

On Thursday, August 30th, MCYD members Aaron Kaufman, Valeria Carranza, Abe Saffer, Laurie-Anne Sayles and Chris Bradbury, visited the WUSA 9 NewsNow studios to watch Governor Romney accept the Republican nomination for President, and provide their reactions to his speech to be shown on the eleven o’clock news.

Featured in the video, Aaron Kaufman says something many Americans wanted from the speech saying, “I want to hear about polices, not warm and fuzzy tired phrases.”

You can see the full news clip here.



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.