Ukraine – A Home away from Home


March 16th, 2022

 

Three weeks of devastation in Ukraine – a living nightmare for many Americans and me, still not even comparable to the living hell of uncertainty, grief, shock, and constant sirens and missile strikes for Ukrainians. 

 

In 2019, I had the wonderful opportunity to visit the birthplace of my mom and older brother, as well as the current/past home of my parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins – Kharkiv, Ukraine. In 1994, my parents (who met and wedded each other in Kharkiv) alongside my brother at the time dropped everything they ever knew and emigrated from Kharkiv to Indianapolis, Indiana. Kharkiv profoundly impacted and defined my life before my life ever even began. In retrospect, my trip to Ukraine in 2019 was one of the wisest decisions I feel I have ever made. At the end of my journey, when entering the doors to Terminal A at Kharkiv International Airport, my eyes were filled with tears, my mind with uncertainty, and my heart with sorrow and guilt as I saw my cousins in the photo above similarly unable to maintain their composure and crying as we all parted ways. Little did I know at the moment that this quite possibly could be the last time I ever see these fun and sweet cousins of mine and this city that has been so impactful to my life today. 


On February 24th, 2022, my life and the lives of many Ukrainians and Eastern Europeans alike forever changed and have not been the same since. These innocent people in Ukraine, such as my cousins in the photo, are now subject to a cruel war initiated by Europe’s most vile excuse of a human being since the likes of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin, Vladimir Putin. Every day, I wake up with two sincere emotions – gratitude and anguish. Gratitude for the fact I call myself an American. Knowing about my parent’s upbringing and immigration here is an immense privilege having this opportunity to now live in the greatest country on Earth. I wake up each morning in a cozy bed with clear skies above and another day to explore and enjoy the beauties of life. I do, however, have anguish for a multitude of reasons I struggle even to explain. For me, is it the fact that millions of innocent Ukrainian children, women, and families are being ripped apart due to the ambitions of a single soulless individual? Or my helplessness and subsequent guilt as an American thousand of miles away from “my home away from home”? Or how my heart and typically positive spirit within the span of three weeks have been absolutely ripped to shreds? Hearing the misery in my mom’s voice when she discusses her home of nearly 30 years being leveled due to airstrikes compounded with the news of family and family friends evacuating (or staying) in the homes they have lived in their entire lives has brought immeasurable agony. 


Before February 24th, I used to wake up every morning determined to start the day and eager to go, now I wake up every morning texting my cousin Sergei, my cousin-in-law Katya, my Aunt Lidiya, my cousin Ivan, our family friend Lyudmila to see if they are still alive. Minutes before writing this, I video called Katya while also catching a glimpse of my cousins once removed, Ivan and Matvei, playing with each other and just being children. Unlike others in my family, they chose to try and seek refuge outside Ukraine. They will begin a 1,000 + kilometer trek from Kryvyi Rih in central Ukraine (a city they escaped to from Kharkiv) toward its western border. The tiredness and sadness in their faces and voices were clear. Several days ago, Katya, Ivan, and Matvei said goodbye to her husband and their father, my cousin Sergei, who stayed home in Kharkiv. Considering the sorrow that filled us all when I left Kharkiv in 2019, it destroys me even to begin to imagine the sorrow they felt and are feeling due to this separation of their family and this diabolical situation overall.


If western intelligence is correct, there is no limit to the unhinged dictator of Russia. Subsequently,  this destruction of families and friends, homes, and many joyous memories will continue. As my cousin-in-law Katya echoed in her video call with me just a few minutes ago, Ukrainians and Ukrainian Americans alike are all counting on the West to do more. Much has been done, but not enough. As the resilient Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has expressed, Katya also knows the West must close the skies in Ukraine. I understand, and Katya knows we have the might to stand up to this bully. Now let’s have the willpower. Millions of Ukrainian families and children are counting on the West, and they know this bully’s cruelty will not stop in Ukraine. 

How are Western leaders going to stand by and pat themselves on the back, claiming current actions have been an effective deterrent? For the sake of people like Sergei, Katya, Ivan, Matvei, Lidiya, Lyudmila, millions of other Ukrainians, and the preservation of democracy as we know it, it is about time the West shows who we indeed are and stand up to this pitiful autocrat who is determined to commit genocide against Ukrainians and undermine the future of Western democracy. 

To learn how you can give back, visit Indiana Supports Ukraine. All proceeds support Ukraine. They are collecting money, goods, and amazon items. They’re going through the logistics of what they feel is important and are coordinating with a Ukrainian organization called Mist to get supplies there.


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VOTING: OUR MOST SACRED RIGHT IN THE BALANCE


Feb 16th, 2022


James Wells, Vice President of IYD

The GOP led General Assembly is again attacking out most fundamental right. We are witnessing today an affliction on Democracy.


Before the Indiana General Assembly is HB 1116, a bill designed to suppress the voting rights that Hoosiers have enjoyed for decades. 


The amended bill would require a voter to say – under the penalty of perjury – that they can’t vote in person on Election Day or during the state’s 28-day early voting period in order to claim on the reasons a voter needs to absentee vote by mail.


The question is why does that matter? Hoosiers should be asking their state legislators why do we, under the constitution of Indiana and the United States, need to provide an excuse to absentee vote when it’s our right to vote? Should we not have the ability to ensure we can cast a ballot in an election and have a say in the direction our state is going?


When I was in college at Ball State, absentee voting by mail was the most convenient way to exercise my right to vote back home in Gary, IN. 


In Indiana, of course I have to check off one of the 11 excuses as to why I’m requesting to vote by mail, although and hear me out on this, it’s my right to vote anyways. This should be a convenience.


The excuse I would check off you may wonder, “The voter has a “reasonable expectation” that they will be out of county for the entire time polls are open on Election Day.”


That excuse made perfect sense to me. I’m a three hours drive away from home on a Tuesday. There was no way I could make it home to Gary to vote and drive back to Muncie in time before classes.


With the option to absentee vote by mail, making that drive when there was a much better option to vote would have called for a strongly worded but much deserved scolding from Grandma for my lack of common sense. 


Absentee voting by mail is essential to guarantee that any eligible voter who wants to vote in an election, can. It was convenient, allowed me time to go over my choices on the ballot, and above all allowed me to exercise my patriotic duty to participate in the democracy we all share.


Again the question must be asked, “Why must any excuse be provided when we request a mail-in-ballot?” And why should the General Assembly place limits on our right to vote?


The National Conference of State Legislatures’ Voting Outside the Polling Place report even finds that there are “twenty-six states and Washington, D.C., offer “no-excuse” absentee voting, which means that any voter can request and cast an absentee/mail ballot, no excuse or reason necessary.


Eight states conduct elections entirely by mail which means voters do not need to request a ballot, and instead automatically receive one.”


That’s a healthy mix of rural, urban, and suburban Americans with easier ways to exercise their right to vote.


Where does Indiana fall? With 16 other states that are making it difficult to exercise the right to vote. 


We know Indiana can do better in terms of securing the right and access to vote in our State, but the Republicans in the General Assembly would much rather make sure they stay in power over making sure you can vote in an election.


Voting I hope is still an obligation we hold in high esteem for our fellow Hoosiers, because we can all agree that every Hoosier that is a citizen of this country should have the right and access to vote in Indiana.


Hoosiers should expect more from the Statehouse than what is being churned out lately from that building. 


Hoosiers should expect a government doing all that it can to expand access to the ballot, ensuring that every voter that wants to exercise their vote should be able to do so without hurdles to jump over. 


HB 1116 will do nothing more than keep more Hoosiers from voting, and further locking our fragile Democracy in chains.  


If you are afraid of big government, well this is it folks. And I bet it won’t stop there. 


What we need are free and fair elections in Indiana! Right now, that’s nonexistent.

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Indiana Young Democrats leader wins big at Young Democrats of America National Convention


Aug 17th, 2021

Win signals continued emergence of Indiana Democrats on the national political scene

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Indiana Young Democrats, the leading political youth arm of the Indiana Democratic Party and the official state-chartered unit affiliated with the Young Democrats of America (YDA), came back with some wins after a delegation of 21 members attended the 2021 Young Democrats of America Convention in Cinncinati, Ohio this past weekend where over 600 young Democrats gathered from across the country.

President and former Pete Buttigieg Indiana state director Arielle Brandy was elected Secretary of the national group receiving 86% of the vote after joining a slate of young progressives called YDA Reimagined. This marks the first time a candidate from Indiana has held the position of secretary since 1967.

“Over the last eight months, I have had the honor of connecting with state Presidents, National Committee representatives, and members of Young Democrats all over the country to earn their support. After a landslide victory, I am ready to step into national leadership and take YDA to the next level! I cannot wait to serve alongside some of the most talented YDs in the country. Our members will run for office, our state and territory chapters will grow stronger, and our message as young progressives will be clear,” stated Arielle Brandy, President of Indiana Young Democrats.

YDA Reimagined is pledging to bring the organization back to its core mission “to elect Democrats up and down the ballot, champion progressive values, and empower the next generation of progressive leaders.”

“I am really excited about the opportunity to work alongside leaders like Arielle Brandy as YDA charts a new path forward by building and investing in strategic partnerships with our state, territorial, and local affiliates. Together, we are ready to forge an organization that is bold, courageous, and unapologetic,” says Quentin Wathum-Ocama, the newly elected President of Young Democrats of America.

Brandy wasn’t the only one to take home a win.

Vice President, James Wells of IYD and former candidate for Vice-Chair of the Indiana Democratic Party, was elected Deputy Director of the Great Lakes Region of the Young Democrats of America, including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

Zach Shartiag of West Lafayette was elected President of the YDA Jewish Caucus.
Matthew Kochevar, National Committeeman of IYD, was Convention Rules Chair of the YDA convention.

IYD has benefited from national momentum as Indiana’s own, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a supporter and former member of IYD, became the first openly gay appointed cabinet member of the United States as Transportation Secretary. The former campaign manager of the Buttigieg campaign, Mike Schmuhl, recently won a bid for chair of the Indiana Democratic Party.

The organization is preparing for the 2022 election cycle by reaching out to past candidates and recruiting progressive young Democrats across the state.

IYD is the premier youth-led grassroots political organization in the state of Indiana. As the official youth caucus of the Indiana Democratic Party, IYD mobilizes young people between the ages of 14 and 35 to participate in the electoral process, influence elections, promote the ideals of the Democratic Party and develop the skills of the youth generation to serve as leaders on local, state, and national levels.

Young Democrats of America has over 150,000 members nationwide and chapters in 48 states and U.S. territories.

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Indiana Young Democrats denounce actions by Republican House Caucus


February 18th, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Yesterday was quite the day in Indianapolis. The actions of some members of Indiana’s House Republican Caucus displayed disrespect and racism towards Statehouse colleagues. That disrespect extends to Hoosiers across the state who elected their representatives to speak on their behalf. Some members of the House Republican Caucus attempted to mute the voices of those voters today.


“Firstly, the Indiana Senate passed legislation handing more money to charter schools, stripping public schools of their resources and funding. Additionally, the Senate Education and Career Development Committee this year failed to consider legislation that would have prevented charter schools from using Hoosier tax dollars if they discriminated against students. Last, but certainly not least, the Indiana House considered and passed racist legislation meant to further segregate our public schools. Thank you to Representatives Porter, Summers, Smith, and Jackson for speaking out and standing up to this legislation,” said Indiana Young Democrats (IYD) President, Arielle Brandy.


Policies can be racist and House Bill (HB) 1367 is a racist bill. Despite a bipartisan rebuke of HB 1367, the bill passed and is now headed to the Senate. The unwillingness of certain members of the House Republican Caucus to listen when members of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus attempted to share their experiences of racism was also racist. Representatives Eberhart and Lucas, and some of their colleagues, intentionally avoided listening to their peers in a racist and unprofessional manner. We hope they will learn and improve from this experience. As acknowledged by Speaker Huston, the discourse in Indianapolis this legislative session has clearly fallen short of the Honorable titles bestowed upon members. That must change if we want to tackle the numerous problems facing our state today. If we won’t listen to each other, we cannot attempt to tackle these issues in earnest. 


IYD President Arielle Brandy continued: “It’s my duty as President of this organization and a member of IYD’s Black Caucus to clearly state the outcomes that must follow today’s displays of racism. The Republican Party has done nothing to show that they’re engaging, supporting, or empowering Black Hoosiers.


  1. The Indiana Young Democrats urge the Indiana Senate to reject the racist legislation that is HB1367.
  2. The behavior today on the House floor from some Republican Caucus members was unacceptable and we demand a formal apology from them to Indiana’s Black community and IBLC members.
  3. We would also like to reiterate Rep. Robin Shackleford’s call from last May for the Indiana House of Representatives to undergo racial bias training before sine die. This training should also take place in the Indiana Senate.” 

Indiana’s legislators must possess the decorum and civility that comes with being a public servant. Indiana’s residents deserve to live in a state that works on behalf of all Hoosiers. The Indiana Young Democrats will continue to speak out against injustices.”


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Indiana Young Democrats leadership announces bid for Young Democrats of America


Feb 10th, 2021

Bid signals continued emergence of Indiana Democrats on the national political scene

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Indiana Young Democrats, the leading political youth arm of the Indiana Democratic Party and the official state-chartered unit affiliated with the Young Democrats of America (YDA), announced that its President and former Pete Buttigieg Indiana state director, Arielle Brandy will join a slate of candidates to run for Secretary of the national group. 


“Over the last 12 years, I have been committed to the mission & vision of IYD, inviting Young Dems to have a vision beyond being just a “red” state. I’ve seen the growth of our chapters, built a legacy of empowerment within our org, and expanded our branding, communications & messaging alongside a talented team of YDs who believe in my vision for youth in the Democratic Party,” stated Arielle Brandy, President of Indiana Young Democrats. 


With democratic control of the House, the Senate, and the White House, the slate of candidates calling themselves YDA Reimagined are pledging to bring the organization back to its core mission “to elect Democrats up and down the ballot, champion progressive values, and empower the next generation of progressive leaders.” The slate also includes candidates from Minnesota, Alabama, Nevada, California, and New York.


“By creating a culture of inclusivity, accountability, and transparency, I have experienced the successes and hard truths of what it means to truly keep a chartered unit and its members organized, engaged, and highly respected. I look forward to my run as Secretary of YDA, joining a slate of talented Young Democrats from across the country and representing the Hoosier state,” said Brandy.


Indiana natives and members of IYD have continued to step into leadership roles across the national organization including: 

  • Austin Matheny, YDA Environmental Caucus Chair
  • James Wells, LGBTQIA Caucus Chair
  • Dyna Martinez, Vice President of the Latinx/Hispanic Caucus and Vice-Chair of YDA Legislation
  • Matthew Kochevar, National Rules Chair
  • Zach Shartiag, YDA Deputy Secretary and Jewish Caucus Political Director

In a year where Indiana Democrats are gearing up to reorganize and elect new leadership from county chair to state chair, Indiana Young Democrats are continuing to step up to the plate as leaders in the party. Last month, Gary native and Vice President of Indiana Young Democrats, James Wells, formally announced his run for vice chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party. If elected at the March reorganization meeting, his goals include clearly defining the party’s message to Hoosier voters, supporting the growth of local party organizations, and recruiting the next generation of diverse and inclusive party leadership.


“I come into this race knowing that while things look bleak now, I see this enthusiasm and energy in the state that is ready to be organized and mobilized to campaign up and down the ballot for better policies that lead towards better government and better communities for all of us in Indiana,” said Wells. 


IYD has benefited from national momentum as Indiana’s own, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a supporter and former member of IYD, became the first openly gay appointed cabinet member of the United States as Transportation Secretary. The former campaign manager of the Buttigieg campaign, Mike Schmuhl also announced a bid for chair of the Indiana Democratic Party today. 


Just last year, IYD raised over $13,000 and gave $12,000 to nearly 30 young Democrats running for state and local office. The organization as a whole grew with two new county chapters and one reactivated county chapter. The organization’s membership, financial growth, and continued national leadership growth signal an uptick in interest among young people in politics and particularly the Democratic Party.


IYD is the premier youth-led grassroots political organization in the state of Indiana. As the official youth caucus of the Indiana Democratic Party, IYD mobilizes young people between the ages of 14 and 35 to participate in the electoral process, influence elections, promote the ideals of the Democratic Party, and develop the skills of the youth generation to serve as leaders on local, state, and national levels.


Young Democrats of America has over 150,000 members nationwide, and chapters in 48 states and U.S. territories. 


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STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO TERRORIST ACTIVITY IN WASHINGTON D.C.


January 7th, 2021


Indiana Young Democrats issued the following statement today in response to the terrorist activity in Washington D.C.:

“On Wednesday Georgia officially elected the first Black Senator and the first Jewish Senator in their state’s history. Nationally, Reverend Warnock will be the first Liberal Black Senator from a former Confederate state since Reconstruction. Jon Ossoff will be the first Jewish Senator from the South since the 1800’s.

“While yesterday should go down in our country’s history as a testament to the strength our country finds in its diversity, it will long be remembered for other reasons.

“We saw domestic terrorists, abetted by a sitting President, successfully siege the Capitol and delay the election of a President-elect. Yesterday was the first time that the Capitol has been breached since the British invaded the building in the War of 1812. This was an attack on our democracy and a coup tacitly supported by President Trump and the Republican Party. As representatives of Indiana, Mike Braun, Jackie Walorski, and Jim Banks enabled this attack on our republic by White Nationalist terrorists.

“White Nationalism has risen through the passive support of President Trump over the last four years. These events are the culmination of Trumpism, but are the tip of the iceberg of White Nationalism. Our democracy didn’t fall, this time. What we have seen is that Black Lives Matter peaceful protests for racial justice have been deemed as violent, but after seeing what has transpired today, we know that this portrayal is deeply rooted in white privilege. The injustices against Black people in America have been disregarded by the very people who have sworn to protect them and be held accountable as their representatives, President Trump included. We see where he and many Republicans stand after their refusal to peacefully transfer power to the Biden-Harris administration. As Young Democrats in Indiana, we are committed to racial equity in this country, calling out White Nationalism for what it is, and holding those accountable for their threats against our Democracy.”

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REMEMBERING TONY FLORA


Dec 22nd, 2020

          In January 2017, I went to a meeting at the Democratic Headquarters in St Joseph County, not knowing what to expect. I wanted to get involved in politics, but I didn’t know how. During the course of the meeting, I stood up and told my healthcare story. While others were still talking, Tony Flora leaned over and “whispered” while handing me his card: “You seem like you’ll be here a while. I’m Tony Flora with the AFL-CIO of Northern Indiana.”

          It turns out he was right. I have been here a while, and I will continue this fight for him. At the time, I lacked confidence and knowledge in the political system. Just his simple act of handing me his card, as if I was somebody he needed to network with, gave me confidence when I needed it most. Our continued conversations over the next few years gave me knowledge in politics. It also taught me that his abrupt introduction was so very Tony of him. I am so sad about his passing, but I know that his fight lives on in so many others he has inspired like me. Though older than our 35-year age limit, his advice, education, and unwavering support of the St. Joseph County Young Democrats has earned him an honorary young-at-heart membership status. His legacy will live on through our work.  Rest in power, dear friend.

 

Jennica Liberatore

President of St. Joseph County Young Democrats

2nd District Chair of Indiana Young Democrats

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YOUNG PEOPLE HAVE A MORAL IMPERATIVE TO VOTE

I’ve always been baffled when asked “Why did you decide to get politically involved?” because I never felt I had a choice. Each of us is impacted by politics, from paying rent to working to riding the bus to attending college. To be aware of the political factors that impact our day-to-day lives is to be outraged, to take action, and to enact change. As the saying goes, “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.”

Young people are especially impacted by politics at every level, as we will be around to see the furthest-reaching ramifications of the decisions made today. On top of this, many young people are particularly vulnerable to some of the most egregious challenges Americans face: a broken health care system, absurd costs of higher education, poverty wages, skyrocketing housing costs, systemic racial injustice, the devastating effects of climate change, and much more.

It’s no secret that voting rates are low for young people, and I see a distinct and legitimate lack of faith in the electoral system from my peers, including frustration and disappointment with the Electoral College, lack of ranked-choice voting [when voters are allowed to vote by ranking the candidates in order of preference], and elected officials. Those factors all contribute to the feeling that it doesn’t make a difference whether we vote or not. I won’t claim that the process is always fair or transparent or inspiring, but it’s our responsibility (and in our best interests) to improve it, and greater engagement from young people will change the shape of our nation.

This August was the centennial of white women’s suffrage, and it was only 55 years ago that the Voting Rights Act guaranteed voting rights to people of color. Today, it’s undeniable that voter suppression of Black Americans persists, from voter-ID laws to insufficient polling places to voter roll purging. The right to vote is not to be taken for granted, and the social responsibility lies heavy on each of us who are able to do so.

That being said, voting alone is not going to solve the countless injustices in our nation, particularly for people of color, LGBTQIA+ people, people with disabilities, low-income people, and women. It is also the responsibility of each of us to enact change with our own skills, interests, abilities, and experiences. That can take the form of volunteering with a campaign, joining a constituency caucus, donating to a candidate, taking to the streets as an activist, running for office, and much more. Our democracy depends on that diversity of approaches, and it is predicated on citizens exercising their right to vote.

It’s important to remember that there is much more on the ballot than the candidates for U.S. president (as important as that is), and that local elections have concrete and immediate impacts on our lives; so don’t disparage the entire ballot out of a belief that Indiana will vote for Trump. Last year, a Bloomington City Council race was decided by 23 votes, and in 2018 a mere 26 votes separated two judicial candidates. Voter turnout for those respective races was around 15% and 20%, respectively.

Why do we vote? We vote because it’s our privilege, our right, and our moral imperative. We vote because people of color and women and activists have fought for that right, yet so many still experience disenfranchisement. We vote out of love and rage.

Kaisa Goodman, 27, serves with Indiana Young Democrats (Ninth District chair), Ninth District Democrats (deputy chair—training), Monroe County Democratic Party (treasurer), Debs Foundation (board), and Hoosier Women Forward (board). She works as special projects manager for the City of Bloomington Department of Economic & Sustainable Development. Goodman previously worked as Monroe County Democratic Party executive director and managed electoral campaigns for Mayor John Hamilton (2019) and City Councilmember Dave Rollo (2015).

INDIANA YOUNG DEMOCRATS VOICE SUPPORT FOR AMBITIOUS CLIMATE PLATFORM


July 9th, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS, IN — The Indiana Young Democrats (IYD) announced today that the organization endorsed the platform recommendations of the DNC Environment and Climate Crisis Council, being the third state to sign on alongside California and Michigan.

 

The DNC Environment and Climate Crisis Council is a permanent entity of the DNC, or Democratic National Committee. The Climate Council “was established to push the Democratic Party to take bold and urgent action addressing the climate crisis and other environmental issues. The Council is recommending a sweeping set of policies for inclusion in the new four-year 2020 Democratic Party platform,” according to their website.

 

The platform includes a number of major policy proposals and is largely geared towards developing working-class jobs. The platform proposes “establish(ing) a federal Just Transition Task Force to develop a program supporting communities and workers impacted by the climate crisis and the transition to renewables, and fund the program.”

 

Indiana Young Democrats Communications Director, Austin Matheny, believes the platform recommendations provide an opportunity for environmental advocacy groups to bridge an existing divide with working-class Americans. “The issues facing communities of color, our native communities, our global economy, our national security, working-class Americans, and our environment have been seen as separate issues. What I think we’re seeing now during the COVID crisis is that people on all sides of the political spectrum are saying “Whatever is happening now just isn’t working for anyone”. Climate change is a bigger economic threat than Coronavirus, and we have tens of millions of unemployed Americans right now. This climate platform, and electing Joe Biden to enact this platform, can take on the issues jointly facing working-class Americans, communities of color, native communities, and our environment.”

 

Indiana has two Young Democrats of America National Committeepersons, Dyna Martinez and Matthew Kochevar, who support the recommendations as well.

 

Dyna Martinez had this to say: “I am so excited to support a bold, progressive, and transformative proposal. The science and data does not lie. We know that climate change disproportionately affects marginalized communities. This is not just an investment in our economy and the environment but an investment on our futures. I am looking forward to the DNC enacting  these ambitious policies and working with the Biden campaign to make sure that these are priorities moving forward. I’m extremely proud of the leadership our executive board has taken on supporting such recommendations.” 

 

Matthew Kochevar is encouraged by the bold plans being put forward. “Climate change is the single greatest crisis young people and future generations face on this planet. It has and will continue to affect every person on this planet, but most harshly indigenous people, people of color, and low income people who long suffer from policies that greatly affect their health and well being. For a person to attain their goals in life and for all of us to achieve as individuals and as a community we must have a planet that we can live on. The DNC Environment and Climate Crisis Council’s recommendations for the 2020 Democratic Party platform set the right policy goals for conquering this crisis. It sets bold action to address years of dithering inaction by policymakers that will be based on science and data, will grow a new sector of the American economy that will provide high quality, family-sustaining jobs and will re-grow the ranks of our labor organizations, and will address the long history of environmental injustice faced by so many Americans. I encourage the Platform Committee to include these recommendations into the party platform for approval by the Democratic National Convention.”

 

Michelle Deatrick Council Chair said UN a statement:

The DNC Council on the Environment and Climate Crisis is thrilled to have earned the Indiana Young Democrats’ support. Hoosiers know we need to act on climate now. Despite nearing 100,000 clean energy jobs, Indiana has the top carbon emissions per capita in the Midwest.

Environmental justice and frontline empowerment can uplift communities of color from Gary to Indianapolis. A renewable energy transition can create tens of thousands of good union jobs, making use of the state’s abandoned automobile industrial infrastructure primed for a second life. Mitigating against climate change will protect Indiana’s family farmers faced with extreme flooding and factory farms destroying bottom lines while polluting waterways.

I am so grateful to the Indiana Young Democrats for their endorsement of our ambitious national platform recommendations. These are winning issues for Democrats, key to both leading the way on climate action and regaining the state’s Democratic congressional and state house majorities. We look forward to working now and in the future with IYD and many other youth Democratic groups across the country, from the Young Democrats of Michigan and California, to the College Democrats of Minnesota, to the Young Democrats of America’s Hispanic and Veterans’ Caucuses–and many more. Together, we urge the DNC to adopt our bold platform and lead Democrats to victory in November.

The Climate Council recommended platform will be voted on at the 2020 DNC National Convention, which is being held remotely while based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Convention and vote on the platform recommendations will occur from August 17th through August 20th. The platform can be found at www.dncclimate.org/the-platform.

You can also go to their website and publish your support the platform recommendations: https://www.dncclimate.org/endorsements 

 

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DEMOCRATIC STATEWIDE NOMINEES TO ADDRESS THE 2020 INDIANA YOUNG DEMOCRATS VIRTUAL STATE CONVENTION


June 17th, 2020

 

Democratic ticket for governor calls for young leaders at the table

INDIANAPOLIS, IN — The Indiana Young Democrats (IYD) announced today that the Democratic Gubernatorial candidate, Woody Myers, the Lieutenant Governor candidate, Linda Lawson, and the Attorney General candidate will be attending the virtual convention. These nominees will address the attendees during the lunch event at the convention in which the public will be able to hear and interact with each nominee. Senator Eddie Melton will be moderating this event on June 20 at noon. 


Dr. Woody Myers was born in Indianapolis and raised in Martindale-Brightwood, Woody is a proud 3rd-generation Hoosier. Myers received his Bachelor of Science and his Master’s in Business Administration from Stanford University, and his M.D. from the Harvard Medical School. Myers is married, lives in Indianapolis, and has five children and two grandchildren. 


“Linda Lawson and I are excited to join the Indiana Young Democrats this Saturday to discuss the importance of building a more inclusive Indiana through accessible healthcare, strong public education funding, and criminal justice reform,” said Dr. Woody Myers. “We welcome Young Democrats to the table as leaders in our state and we look forward to including their voices when we’re elected.”


Linda Lawson was elected to the First District of the Indiana House of Representatives in 1998. In 2012, she became the first woman elected by the House Democratic Caucus to serve as the Floor Leader until her retirement in 2018. Linda currently lives in Nashville, IN with her two best fur friends, Sophie and Hank.


“Linda Lawson is a champion for social justice and equality, workers, and public

schools. Linda is no stranger to leading the way for women,” said Arielle Brandy, President of Indiana Young Democrats. “As Indiana’s Democratic nominees, we are grateful to hear about their vision for Indiana and we as Young Democrats are committed to joining them in this fight and look forward to hearing them address us at convention.”


The Indiana Democratic Party will announce results from the Party’s contest for Attorney General June 17 at 6:30 P.M. Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody will be joined by the Party’s nominee after the final tabulation of the votes is completed Wednesday evening. The Indiana Young Democrats are bringing speakers and panelists from across Indiana and even working with national partners like Run for Something, Rust Belt Rising, and Planned Parenthood to hold this virtual event June 20. Over 240 attendees are expected, with Pete Buttigieg, Christina Hale, and Josh Owens being one of a robust line-up of high-profile speakers and trainings.


Myers and Lawson will address the attendees beginning at 12:00 p.m. More information about the convention is available online at the Indiana Young Democrats Convention website.



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