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Bloggers at Dkos please keep reccomending and please send messages to DNC, this community can keep changing the dem party, and this is part of the way to transform it. Unlike the Republicans there is no Teenage Democrats,

This is why, the dems lose, we have no starting base for enthusiastic liberals.  There are many ppl like me here in New York and elsewhwere around the country, teens who want to get involved but just don't know how to.  I've volunteered at the spitzer campaign, but i feel out of place, everyone is double my age.  The Teenage Gopers are quite active, they hold conventions, help campaigns and meet with lawmakers.  By our party not enlisting the help of teens we let straglers drift to the gop side.  The grassroots of the Democratic Party must extend beyond computer screens and into the next genration, my eneration.  With the baby boomersleaving us  whowill fill their shoes, it is up to party leadership to make some changes.  I sent an email to the DNC about this but have gotten no response, we need a teenage dems and we need change.  What separates Dems from Republicans is our openess to new ideas, if we want to start winning we must progress.  2006 should be a new era for dems one where we win, one where we have a teenage democrats.

Originally posted to bushwhacker on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 11:44 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Please reccomend (4.00)
    please reccomend this, i know if the dkos community sees the need for a teenage dems, we might actually get one
    •  So, you never heard of the (4.00)
      Young Democrats?

      Check out their website, and find an link to a local group.

      They're waiting for you!

      "You can have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, or democracy, but you cannot have both." Louis Brandeis - former US Supreme Court Justice

      by Angie in WA State on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 01:46:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's sad (4.00)
        Having never heard of the YDA, I figured I'd check for a chapter within 20 miles of my zip code. There were only two (and one of them wasn't in an actual city). Why sad? Because I live in the heart of Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley and a 20 mi. radius covers the majority of Los Angeles. Yet there isn't YDA chapter in L.A. (the nearest is in neighboring Burbank). Odd. Dontchya think? I live in one of the blue parts of the country, yet the YDA is apparently near nonexistent.

        I'm not within 20 years of being a teen, but it would be nice to think that some LA teen could actually find a local chapter.

    •  Follow Jason Rae's example (4.00)
      Jason Rae joined our county party shortly after his umbilical stump fell off and rapidly rose in everyone's esteem through his dedication to the Democratic cause. He says he's going to be president someday--and some of us in the county party have gotten his autograph, because he just might do something like that!  We love our homegrown wunderkind. He has the discipline and savoir faire of someone who is a comer.  Russ Feingold got a similar very young start down in Janesville, and look at him.

      Anyhow, although he was not yet 18, Rae got elected to the DNC.  He attends the DNC meetings in spite of being a college frosh, and sends me regular updates.  You might be interested in this page, in which he describes the DNC's nascent Youth Coordinating Council.

      Yes, Howard Dean has thought of everything!

      Just dive in, Bushwacker!  you may need to show some committment before you earn party members' trust, but if you commit, that trust will come--Young Democrats club or no Young Democrats club.

      p.s. the Democratic Party of Wisconsin gives yearly seminars for people 26 and under, looking for talent they can hire.  I'll bet your state does, too.

  •  start your own thing (3.85)
    don't wait for the dnc or some other group to make you feel welcome.

    get a bunch of people just like yourself and start a club.  a clique.  anything.

    then.  if all 10 of you join the spitzer campaign all at once, it's a lot more fun.

    •  Yes and no (none)
      a group of ten people can accomplish some stuff, but come on the republicans have a large svcale organization, a highschool club with 10 guys carrries little weight.
    •  Agreed (4.00)

      Start with a couple of friends and form a loose group first, then contact the local Democrats if you can find any or something like MoveOn if you can't and ask for help organizing appearances, press releases, debates, etc. If you call it a "progressive" club instead of a Democratic club, you might be able to pull in greens, socialists, libertarians, and independents and have not only wider public vision and appreciation of your agenda but also useful experience having a dialogue with people whose views aren't equal to your own. Don't just be inclusive, but try to spread your message outside the group.

      Around my part of the country we had one of those well-funded "conservative" clubs that you're talking about. They got into the papers when they started up a couple years ago by playing the card of "young idealists opposing the powers that be" and received lots of positive press until the club's founder got into trouble for basically saying blacks and arabs should be expelled from the country or otherwise disposed of. That got them nationwide positive press, but the local paper stopped covering them until one time when they threw an anti-gay protest (which they called a "pro-family" demonstration) where they brought in trucks with large signs on them from an anti-gay group halfway across the state. I haven't heard about the group since, but the original members have graduated out by now. It turned out they were getting money and advice from the Eagle Forum which has been holding events in the area (and getting press coverage for their message) since at least this time. Maybe you can learn something from how they did things.

      •  Im 16 (none)
        im not worried about pulling greens and libertarians, i play a jv sport after school, i belong to other clubs, the dems need to have organization that already there, all you need to do is join, otherwise count highschool kids for the GOP
        •  You are right (none)
          A lot of parents push their kids to start resume building in high school. If there's no democrat organization to sponsor them for things like Boy's State and Girl's State (great resume material for your first couple jobs, or a college application), they'll join a republican club just for the sponsorship.

          resist much, obey little

          by frankzappatista on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 01:59:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I don't agree with you (none)
          You are saying, "poor me", I can't do it unless someone else has laid it out for me.  Where did you learn such drivel?

          You can.  Do it.  Keep it secret for awhile if you must.  But when you and your friends are ready with your plan, unveil it in all its splendor.

          Once again, at your age, you don't need coddling and you certainly don't need our pity.

  •  You're right (none)
    I'm not the one to ask how to go about organizing a Young Democrats group, but I'm sure there are people here who'd know how to do it.
    It is very much needed.  And as to your experience with a campaign...I've felt the same way, and I'm way old. The only campaign I felt right at home with was Gene McCarthy, and it was a really good experience. They wanted us and appreciated us high school kids canvassing neighborhoods for them, and we loved doing it.

    War is not an adventure. It is a disease. It is like typhus. - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

    by Margot on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 11:53:52 AM PST

  •  High scool Dem groups (none)
    exist - although they piss off the occasional Republican parent - perhaps the thing for you to do is contact this guy and get some organizing ideas.  

    Things fall apart-the center cannot hold...The best lack all conviction While the worst are full of passionate intensity (-8.50\-7.13)

    by kestrel9000 on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 12:01:26 PM PST

    •  I greduatid form Hi Scool (none)
      and that is wy I can spell reel gud.

      PREVIEW IS YOUR FRIEND.......aaaargh

      Things fall apart-the center cannot hold...The best lack all conviction While the worst are full of passionate intensity (-8.50\-7.13)

      by kestrel9000 on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 12:04:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Another Resource: "Campus Progress" (none)

      Another possible resource on starting up a group is the "Campus Progress" project of the Center for American Progress, in Washington, D.C. The project is mainly for university students, but they might be able to give you some advice.
  •  DIY, that's the spirit! (none)
    Well, when I was your age, I had to walk to school uphill both ways, in a blizzard, with hot potatoes in my pockets to keep me warm, and then that was my lunch...just kidding.  You might start a group yourself.  All you need for starters is a few like-minded friends and possibly a case of beer, I mean a website or something. You could start by meeting once a month to talk about current events.  Put fliers up, send out emails, maybe get some local bands in on the action, maybe some all ages shows to highlight your cause/membership drive.  Then, once you are organizes a bit and have a few regular members, barge in on the DNC and announce your arrival.  Keep us posted.  What you have on your side is are on the good side in the fight of good v. evil; 2. Young Democrats are a HELL OF A LOT MORE FUN!  
  •  Generation DFA (4.00)
    Hi --

    Are you familiar with GenerationDFA? They are affiliated with DFA (Democracy for America) and are made up of highschool and college age democrats.  You might want to take a look around their site and see if there are any groups in your neck of the woods.


    •  Very good advice/information!! (none)
      This is important to take note of because Democracy for America works to elect progressives and the democratic party and DFA are not always on the same page.  DFA works to get honest, progressive people elected and are usually very accessible to the workers on the grassroots level.  Given the choice of going to the Democratic Party or to work through DFA, I would choose DFA.
  •  Please Reccomend (none)
    Again, as many people as possible need to see this, to be able to acknowledge the problem, please reccomend!
    •  New York State Young Democrats... (4.00)
      ...recommend that you can find them...

      At this link

      •  Teenage dems (none)
        On their website the young dems talk about having parties and bars and social events similar to that, highschool age kids cant wlak into a bar and order a drink.
        •  Buck up, Bushwacker! (4.00)
          The world is your oyster!  You're young and at least for the time being, free!  If you're too young for a bar, get together at a coffee shop.  If you don't have any funds yet, do stuff that's free - meet at a park, or the library, your house, whatever.  You said that on the young dems website they meet at bars - why not email them and see if there's some meetings that are more age appropriate?  Whatever you decide, don't do NOTHING.  
  •  Please (none)
    get the dnc to listen the netroots is a important component of their base, let them know you are for this
    •  From Jason Rae of the DNC: (none)
      --who has 4 years on you:
      First, as I stated last month, the DNC recently passed a resolution calling for the creation of a DNC Youth Coordinating Council. The purpose of the council is to work with the College Democrats of America, the Young Democrats of America, and all DNC members under a certain age to develop a coordinated message and GOTV plan for the "youth" vote. I have been participating in conference calls with officials from across the country as we work to set-up this council. Our first official meeting of this council will be in New Orleans in April.

      I have also informed the other members of the council that I will be seeking the position of Chair. This cause is one in which I feel very strongly about. I ran for my position to the DNC to work to represent America's next generation of voters, and I feel that this is one of the ways to do that.

      So write to the DNC and ask how you can get involved.

  •  Thanks for speaking up (4.00)
    You are right, bushwhacker.  The Democratic party has still done little to acknowledge and support young progressives.  

    All the ideas people have given you here are good, but keep on nagging the DNC.  Keep reminding them of the support young conservatives get from the RNC.  We should not wait until people graduate from high school to count them as Young Dems--esp. considering that many people still in high school are old enough to vote, or become so right after graduating.

  •  agreed. (3.80)
    I'm a 15 year old Dem in Michigan.

    The Michigan Democratic Party's website has a section for youth, but ALL the links are dead (except for the college dems site).

    There is nothing for junior or senior high dems here in Michigan! I'm enthusiastic, I have time and talent...I'm scheduled to intern at the party HQ this summer, but other than would be MUCH easier to be a young GOP'er ;)

    Crashing the Gate did a good job of covering this.

    -Jordan Wells
    -6.38, -4.77
    High School Deaniac

    by Jordan LFW on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 12:57:48 PM PST

    •  College Dems (none)
      If there is no high school specific Dem group already available maybe some people at your nearest College Dem group would be interested in teaming up.
    •  My advice to you is to get in touch (none)
      with the college age kids and see if they will let you join them or ask for their help in setting you up with your age.  Ask one of them to be a group leader in telling you and your friends what is being done and where you are needed.  You would be a fantastic asset to them and there isn't a group around who couldn't use extra legs to deliver flyers door to door in your area.

      Tell them your limitations in case they forgot, i.e. no bars, etc.  Just remind them of where they were a few years ago if they don't already understand.  Live and learn from them.  Feel their energy and add your own.  Listen to them talk about the issues and add their wisdom to the thinking you have already done.

      Whatever you do, DON'T GIVE UP.  You are the generation that will have to govern us back from fascism.  Seriously.  We need you.  Now, you go tell them that and ask to be included.

  •  It's nice to say to young people who (4.00)
    want to be involved in politics, DIY and then give advice.  However, let's look at the larger picture.  Can we be passive as a party and expect High School Democrats to just come out of the woodwork and put together an organization?  If we really want Democrats to win we need to give as many people as possible the opportunity for involvement and make it as easy as possible.
  •  Great Idea (none)
    I'm impressed that you can spell: enthusiastic; campaigns; separates; conventions; organization; officially endorsed; important component; But have problems with: straglers; reccomend; genration, my eneration; svcale (scale); cant wlak into a bar. Typos?
  •  PAGING DR. DEAN (4.00)
    Shouldn't part of Dean's 50-state strategy be to boost Young Democrats programs?  I wish I'd had a progressive youth club to join when I was in high school, but I went to a Catholic high school that wanted to leave political partisanship out of the academic environment so we weren't allowed to have Young Republicans or Young Democrats.

    I'm about to graduate from college, but I'd love to volunteer as a leader or mentor for some kind of program for high school Democrats.  There really should be much better YD organizations!

    DRAFT BRUCE -- the pro-Springsteen bumper stickers!

    by iCaroline on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 01:03:22 PM PST

  •  Thanks (none)
    for reccomending and please keep reccomending
  •  It's amazing (1.00)
    how your spelling has improved.
  •  I think this goes to (none)
    show the problem with the democratic party i have a guy leaving 5 posts about spelling errors.  We dont have a TEENAGE DEMOCRATS Aand ther are teenagers who would join one andmake a diffrence, lets stick to that and try to change it for the better!
    •  Respectfully, (4.00)
      And I do respect you for even writing the diary in the first place, there have been a lot of posts here giving you good constructive and proactive ideas.  Your replies seem, to me, to convey that you would like something handed to you on a silver platter.  That attitude, imho, is what has been a big problem for the Democrats in the first place.  We expect the party to have just been taking care of things for us with little to no work or oversight on our part. (I do know that there are loads of people who do a hell of a lot of work also - no disrespect to them).  Guess what?  We're all busy.  I hope you'll get over your defeatist attitude.  My mom always told me, "Honey, nobody ever said life was going to be fair."  If there's not the group for you that you think there should be, then start one.  
      •  again (4.00)
        You keep forgetting I'm in highschool, im not thiry, i cant drive by myself, i cant vote, but I can ppush for change, if the republicans who are the party of incompetence can have a Teenage Republicans the dems can too.  I dont have the resourtces to start an organization out of scratch with out serious support.  Young dems are full of people double my age.  Why not a teenage dems?
        •  I haven't forgotten (4.00)
          that you are in HS and can't drive, etc.  All I'm saying, and what I think a lot of other posters here are saying, is that all you need to start is a few like-minded friends, a coffee shop or somebody's living room, and maybe some snacks.  Start from there.  Look at how a lot of young bands get started - no money, but all you need really is a computer, some paper for the printer (for fliers and stuff) and a little creativity.  Start a page on MySpace or some other blog site, or make a website.  Surely you have some friends who know how to do that.  Organize a little bit, have a couple of meetings, and then announce yourselves to the Dems.  Go to the websites that people have suggested and email them to see what their suggestions are.  None of these things take very much time, and I doubt you are too shy to send an email asking the College Dems in your area for help.  They'd probably be glad to help you out.  I'm not saying the Democrats haven't totally dropped the ball when it comes to organizing youth - they certainly have.  But with 2006 elections around the corner, the high school demographic is probably not on their radar right now.  So go out there and make the Kossacks proud!  Think of it this way - you can be a pioneer.  
        •  C'mon buddy (none)
          I was 16 once.  I was part of a small group of kids that started our own "underground" newspaper.  I was also a member of CADRE - Chicago Area Draft Resisters.  I got on the commuter train (by myself) and hauled ass into the big city.  What did I do for CADRE?  Anything they needed:  coffee, copies, errands, sweeping, calling, whatever.  I had a blast doing it and never felt like it was only me against the world.


          •  Missing the point (none)
            I'm not sure the kid is complaining about having to organize. The bigger point is... he shouldn't have to. Why isn't the DNC reaching out? Teenagers shouldn't have to reach out to the party, it should be the other way around.
            •  Stop it (none)
              Stop it.  Stop it.

              We're raising a bunch of entitled kids and your attitude demonstrates why.  How can it hurt the kid to learn that he has the power to do it himself?

              I agree that we need to have programs for kids but if they don't have one and no one is about to provide one for them, why not do it themselves.

              Our kids have had every single hour of their lives planned for them.  How are they ever going to learn to take initiate.  How will they ever learn self-efficacy.  We complain that they are a bunch of term memorizers and note takes who never question the dribble they're being fed.  Why do you think that is?

              Stop it.  Now.  It's not going to hurt him to do it himself.  

              •  Programs for kids????? (none)
                This isn't fucking daycare.

                I'm talking about a Democratic Party that is all about Howard Dean's 50-state program, a party that pushes grassroots reform, a party that has a community like Kos of organizers and activists that will jump through hoops to get things done - but when a kid shows up saying "hey, where is the organization for liberal teen democrats?" people like you chastize him for not pulling himself up by his own bootstraps.

                I don't care if this kid is the next American hero or some blowhard in a basement, the point is that the DNC should really have the foresight to organize teens just like the RNC does. Is that so f-ing hard to comprehend?

                When you talk about kids wanting handouts and entitlements, don't you realize how much you sound like some partonizing old fart. I don't care how many people on this board rallied against the Vietnam conflict in the 1960s - it doesn't excuse the fact that we need to be actively organizing American youth. We try to organize everyone else, why not teens?

                •  When the kid shows (none)
                  up and "yeah buts" every suggestion someone prostrates themselves to send his way (DID YOU ACTUALLY READ BUSHWHACKERS EXCUSES?) I sense that somebody considers themselves a loser.  I don't look at the Dem party needing more losers, we've got enough wimps as it is.

                  Furthermore...DFA has had a teen DFA in place since 2003.  Dean's done his part.  He can't come to your door, hold your damned hand and lead to water and then make you drink.

  •  what problems? (4.00)
    Please do tell! Have you had a brush-off experience with another Democrat? I'm - and other dems are more than willing to encourage young people - in fact it's my life and my job. Have you gone to your local town representative? Have you contacted your senators? Your local college? Your local town? Where do you live? This information is available on the web. What have you researched so far?
    •  The problem being that (none)
      our grassroots is not as strong as republicans, i've volunteered at campaigns(spitzer), ive written dean about a Teenage Democrats, young dems in new york is full of people 20 - 30 why is it a bad thing that a HGHSCHOOL KID wants a TEENAGE DEMS!  Seniors in Hoigh school can vote and make a difference, why lose out, why not get people younger than that involved grades(9-12),im 16 its hard for some one my age to start an organization, write congressman, im as blue as they come and I want chaneg, the dem party can win, only if people accept that young people like me have to be enaged, if i wrote my congressman, or senator(hillary clinton) you think that i would get a teenage dems out of ot please, even im not that naieve  
    with your help the dem party can become beytter and we might get a teenage dems
  •  Real world and Online (none)
    Hey, Bushwhacker, thanks for getting this through. I'm a high-school Dem myself, and it's good to see this got recommended so much, because it's a problem that needs addressing.

    Online, there's not much out there that I've found. Someone else recommended Campus Progress, and it is a very good resource, as are a few other groups mentioned here. I've found Young Democrats can be hit or miss, depending particularly upon how competitive/important your state is. There's not much of an outlet other than blogging either on DailyKos or through your own.

    In the real world, I've started working for one of my gubernatorial candidates, and this summer I'm going to be the coordinator for one of the state's legislative districts. Even if you just wave signs for most of the time, it's a great way to get involved; you both lend your energy and you get to see how the campaigns are won.

    Finally, we teenage Democrats have to band together. So keep it up!

  •  This 16 year old dem says (none)
    Here Here!
  •  Please keep Reccomending (none)
    Starting a Teenage Dems would greatly advance the Dem aganeda increase awareness of our issues and open the party to whole new generation of voters, Please lets people see this and send emails to DNC
  •  Bushwhacked by arrogance and bitterness (4.00)
    A kid comes on here (and how often does that happen?!) and says - hey, why does the RNC have an organization for teens but the DNC doesn't? Well wake up people. The GOP funds Young Republicans and we expect our young dems to be like Mickey & Judy - "hey kids, let's put on a show". These are some of the responses he gets:

    • start a club
    • i see. you need funding.
    • plan a party

Or you get the self-important arrogant responses like:

  • Not using abbreviations like "ppl" is important when you want to get people to pay attention to you and not dismiss you.
  • I can spell reel gud. PREVIEW IS YOUR FRIEND
  • Typos?
  • you would like something handed to you on a silver platter

Maybe instead of people impressing themselves with their perfect grammar and ethical superiority, they should actually respond to the substance of the diary. Why is it the DNC isn't pro-active enough to help fund and organize youth movements in the same way the GOP does?

Now, young liberal wunderkind, you're not off the hook either. Go to Google and you can find what I found in 30 seconds.

It's a California group but their website says "CYD/CCD members are between the ages of 14-35"  I'm sure they can help you out.

You say you're volunteering for Spitzer - then maybe you can make it here:

Everyone welcome!

Tuesday, March 21st, 7pm
Manhattan County Democratic Committee Headquarters
60 Madison Avenue (at 27th Street)
Suite 1201
Phone: 212-725-8825

Agenda TBA

RSVP requested:

And don't forget the words of Peter Townshend

Why don't you all fade away
Don't try and dig what we all say
Not try to cause a big sensation
Just talking 'bout my generation

or, as I (and Paul Weller) would like to remind you:

Hanging 'round the corners
Shouting at the top of your voice
Sing ya' little fuckers
Sing like ya' got no choice
I believe it's true
We are everywhere

  •  Man (none)
    If this can make front-page recommended list, I'm going to start writing diaries.
  •  17 year old Democrat here... (none)
    We tried to get a Young Democrats chapter started at our school but their wasn't much interest.

    The DNC really needs to do a lot more youth outreach. Back in the '60s, they college democrats and were very strong. After they came out against the war however, LBJ got pissed and cut off their funding. They really didn't get back on track until Al Gore pushed to give them some decent funding.

    Compare that to the College Republicans. They have sort have been a farm team for a lot of powerful and infamous people, including Karl Rove, Jack Abramoff, Ralph Reed, and Grover Norquist.

    Young people are very liberal and overwhemingly Democratic. That is no thanks to the Democratic party, however. Hillary Clinton is scaring off my friends from the Democrats with her crusade against video games. I've never heard a Democratic politician speak of lowering the voting age or lowering the drinking age.

    Basically, I'm saying that while I agree that the DNC should do more to organize teenage Dems, they should also work on attracting more teens to the Democratic party. That starts with taking progressive positions on youth rights issues.

  •  see article about campus conservative organizing (0+ / 0-)
  • Close


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