Over 150 Young Democrats from around the country gathered in Seattle, WA, for the first National Conference of the
2013-15 biennium. this was YDA’s first event on the West Coast since February 2008.
Saturday morning featured a “Wake Up for the Environment” breakfast sponsored by the Washington Conservation Voters. Conference attendees learned about WCV’s efforts to keep massive coal trains from rolling through towns throughout the Pacific Northwest so the coal can be loaded on ships for export to Asia. Also on Saturday morning, former Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire and her daughter, Seattle Port Commissioner Courtney Gregoire addressed the meeting of YDA’s Women’s Caucus, an all-start team of Washington political consultants gave a training on campaigns and elections, and theThe conference kicked off Friday, with early arrivals receiving a tour of the state legislature by State Representative Sam Hunt. That night there was a welcome reception at the Westin Seattle, the conference host hotel, featuring special guests King County Executive Dow Constantine and Washington Democratic Party Executive Director Jaxon Ravens.
leaders of Ref. 74 campaign which saw Washington become the first state to affirm marriage equality at the ballot box talked about their success story and how it can translate to other states. For lunch, Tacoma City Councilwoman Victoria Woodards joined YDA’s Black Caucus at their Elected Official Luncheon.
Saturday afternoon included a political communication training by veteran consultant Jennifer Crider, a panel discussion on the legalization of marijuana in Washington through initiative 502 featuring King County Sheriff John Urquhart and Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes, a “power hour” of training on building a social movement for change, and a transportation and urban planning panel. the day ended with meeting of YDA’s regional caucuses.
Seattle’s longtime Congressman U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott was the keynote speaker for Sunday morning’s general session.
Thank you to Kelly Drake, the YDWA State Committeewoman who organized the YDA Fall Meeting and made it such an amazing success!