LIVE*, from the Cornfields of Iowa: YDWA at the Young Democrats of America Fall Meeting

Did you know there are Young Democrats outside of Washington State? It’s true!

887432_975102409968_2212746681758845841_o12241110_975105179418_1072616298224769892_o

Last weekend, your YDWA President (Lynda Foster) and your YDWA National Committeeman (that’d be me) travelled to extant Des Moines, Iowa, for the Young Democrats of America Fall Meeting.

The second Democratic presidential debate was by far the highlight of the weekend. YDA’s meeting took place 10 minutes from the campus of Drake University, which was the site of Saturday’s epic rhetorical clash between Hillary Clinton v. Bernie Sanders v. Martin O’Malley.

Weekend with Bernie
Weekend with Bernie

While Lynda watched the debate from inside the auditorium with all the beautiful people, I headed to the Hillary for America watch party. Iowans take their presidential politics seriously, and there were hundreds of Democrats in attendance.

While we were unable to secure photos with Bernie Sanders or Martin O’Malley, we did both lay eyes on Hillary Clinton (Lynda got a bit closer).

12244344_10101627677044373_3990921259124194589_o

The weekend was not just an extended debate watching party, however. The leadership of YDA did an excellent job putting together informative panels and relevant trainings, including:

  • 2016: LGBT Rights & Beyond (panel)
  • Delegation Selection Training (how to become a delegate to the national convention next summer)
  • Immigration, Refugee Status & Human Rights (panel)
  • Planned Parenthood: What Does the Future Hold? (an activist training)
  • Medical Marijuana Panel, held by Students for Sensible Drug Policy

Most importantly, Lynda was one of two speakers at an afternoon training on “The Keys to a Successful Lobby Day”. She did a great job passing along YDWA’s experiences to Young Dems in other states around the country, plus she showed how gosh darn legit we are.

IMG_3074-2

Other weekend speakers included:

  • U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota
  • Amy Dacey, CEO of the Democratic National Committee
  • U.S. Representative Xavier Beccera of California (who also serves as Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, the #4 leadership position)
  • Surrogates for all three Democratic presidential campaigns

And don’t worry: there were also plenty of opportunities to connect and socialize with other Young Dems from around the country. They’re pretty cool folks who you’d like too!

All YDWA members in attendance had an outstanding time in Iowa, and I’d encourage you to think about attending a YDA meeting in the future!

*not live