By Beth Clayton
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY–Eleven members of the Alabama Young Democrats are in San Antonio, Texas, at the Young Democrats of America biennial convention, hearing from nationally renowned speakers and attending training sessions.
The convention is scheduled from Thursday afternoon until Sunday evening following the swearing-in of new national officers.
The Castro brothers, Mayor Julian Castro and Congressman Joaquin Castro, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake, and Texas Democratic Party leaders were among the keynote speakers for the four-day event.
One Birmingham Young Democrat was even recognized on the floor of the national convention, receiving the William J. Clinton award. Myeisha Hutchinson, the parliamentarian of the Birmingham Young Democrats and former Executive Vice President of the Alabama Young Democrats, received the award for her work on a civil rights commemoration fundraising event.
“We have a great group that has grown exponentially in just a few short months. Since April, our membership has increased by 500%, says Alex Davies, the National Committeeman for the Alabama Young Democrats. “With the new skills that we have gained this weekend, I’m excited to get home and get back to work so that we can organize and elect Democrats in 2014.”
Davies says the group has extended charters beyond their single chapter in Birmingham to start new chapters in important areas. New chapters include the River Region Young Democrats, the Black Belt Young Democrats, the Montevallo Young Democrats, the Etowah County Young Democrats and the Cullman/Blount County Young Democrats.
Groups like Democracy for America, Democratic Gain, NARAL Pro Choice America and Planned Parenthood were on site at the YDA convention to help with training sessions and discuss issues with the participants.
“The DFA (Democracy for America) trainings have been great. I’m looking forward to the DFA Campaign Academy in September to add on to what we learned this weekend,” Davies said.
The Alabama Young Democrats, Over the Mountain Democrats, Madison County Democrats, Tuscaloosa County Democrats, Saint Clair County Democrats and UAB College Democrats are all partnering to host a campaign and advocacy training with Democracy for America September 7-8 at UAB.
“We’re really setting the stage for 2014. The people are tired of the current leadership that is too busy trying to appease both the Business Council and the Tea Party. The Young Democrats are ready to step in to elect leaders who will fill that void and represent the people,” Davies said.