The Annual Young Democrats of Washington Convention is a long-running tradition. Check out what we’ve gotten up to in past years!

YDWA Convention 2018 in Bellevue: Onward and Upward!

February 23rd – 25th, 2018 at the Red Lion Hotel Bellevue


  • Bellevue City Councilmember Janice Zahn
  • State Representative Kristine Reeves
  • Congressman Derek Kilmer
  • King County Councilmember Larry Gossett
  • Seattle City Councilmember Lorena Gonzalez
  • Congressman Adam Smith


Friday February 23rd

  • 7:00 PM – 11:00 PM: Welcome to Bellevue and YDWA 2018 Convention reception

Saturday February 24th

  • 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM: Workshops, Panels, & Committees:
    • “Advancing Gender Equity”
    • Anti-Oppression Training
    • “Campaign 101”
    • “Cycle of Criminal Justice”
    • “Dem 101”
    • “Geographic Diversity in Politics”
    • “Intersectional Movements Throughout the Years”
    • “#MeToo”
    • “Personal Narrative”
    • “Ready to Run”
    • “Weed in Washington”
    • “What Happened in Burien”
    • Behavioral Health Panel
    • Disability Rights Panel
    • Environmental Justice Panel
    • Housing/Homelessness Panel
    • Voting Justice Panel
    • Caucuses Committee
    • Chapter Work Session
    • Constitution Committee
    • Credentials Committee
    • Endorsements Committee
    • Platform Committee
    • Rules Committee
    • Transportation Committee
  • 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM: VIP Reception
  • 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM: Young Democrats of Washington Awards Banquet

Sunday February 25th

  • 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM: YDWA General Session: Board elections, committee reports, and voting by the general body

Thank You to Our Sponsors!


  • Washington State Democrats


  • Senator Maria Cantwell
  • Senator Patty Murray
  • King County Executive Dow Constantine
  • King County Democrats


  • Congresswoman Suzan DelBene
  • Congressman Denny Heck
  • Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal
  • Congressman Derek Kilmer
  • Congressman Adam Smith
  • House Democratic Campaign Committee
  • Washington Senate Democratic Campaign


  • King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski
  • State Senator Karen Keiser
  • Jason Rittereiser for Congress
  • Dr. Kim Schrier for Congress
  • 41st District Democrats
  • Democratic Law Students of America
  • Kulshan Strategies
  • Lynda Foster & Josh Cole
  • Michael Maddux
  • Dean Nielsen
  • Robin Vazquez

YDWA Convention 2017 in Olympia: Resist and Persist!

April 7th – 9th, 2017 at the Red Lion Hotel

Friday April 7th

  • 6:00 – 9:00 PM: Welcome reception hosted by the Thurston County Young Democrats Fish Tale Brewery

Saturday April 8th

  • 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Workshops, Panels & Committees
  • 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM: Lunch
  • 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM: Workshops, Panels & Committees
  • 6:00 – 7:00 PM: VIP Speakers
  • 7:00 – 9:00 PM: Young Democrats of Washington Awards Banquet with Keynote Speaker

Sunday April 9th

  • 8:00 AM: General Session

YDWA Convention 2016 in Vancouver

February 26th – 28th at the Hilton Vancouver

Friday February 26th

  • 6:00 – 9:00 PM: Welcome Reception hosted by the Young Democrats of Clark County 800 Main Street Sports Bar and Grill

Saturday February 27th

  • 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Workshops, Panels & Committees
  • 12:00 – 1:00 PM: Lunch
  • 1:00 – 4:00 PM: Workshops, Panels & Committees
  • 5:00 – 6:00 PM: VIP Reception featuring Monica Stonier and Eric LaBrant Cedar Room
  • 6:00 – 8:00 PM: Young Democrats of Washington Awards Banquet featuring Keynote Speaker Cameron Whitten, Executive Director of Know Your City Discovery Ballroom

Sunday February 28th

  • 8:00 AM: General Session Discovery Ballroom

YDWA Convention 2015 in Yakima

April 10th – 12th at the Red Lion Hotel in Yakima Center

Friday April 10th

Saturday April 11th

Sunday April 12th

YDWA Convention 2014 in Bellingham

April 4th – 6th at the Best Western Plus Lakeway Inn & Convention Center

Friday April 4th

  • 6:00 – 9:00 PM: Welcome reception hosted by the Whatcom and Skagit County Young Democrats Poppes

Saturday April 5th

  • 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Workshops, Panels & Committees
  • 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM: Lunch
  • 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM: Workshops, Panels & Committees
  • 5:00 – 6:00 PM: VIP Reception Terrace Room
  • 7:00 – 9:00 PM: Young Democrats of Washington Awards Banquet Ballroom

Sunday April 6th

  • 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM: General Session Ballroom
  • 2:00 PM: New General Board Meeting


Trainings geared specifically to help YD chapters with day to day business. If you need help setting up the basics, be sure to attend!

County Chapter Building

A round table discussion for County YDs interested in learning and sharing best practices for creating and building county chapters. Led by Pierce County Young Democrats Chair Josh Cole.

College Chapter Building

A round table discussion for College YDs interested in learning and sharing best practices for creating and building College chapters. Led by University of Washington YD chair, Koki Oizumi.

President/Chair’s Roundtable

The role of the executive is to set a vision for the organization and lead the membership to achieve it – if you are a chapter chair please attend this round table to share your chapter goals and aspirations, and weigh in on what YDWA should focus on in 2014.

Technology Training

KCYD Chair Betsy Walker has put together a free, easy-to-use YD Tech Toolkit to help chapters manage your online presence. Bring your laptop or a notebook for a crash course in building a website, social media, maintaining contact lists, setting up e-mail blasts, and much more!

Fundraising Training

We could all use more money, but do we all know how to get it? Former YDWA VP of Development and Pierce County Young Democrat Chair, Lynda Foster, will walk you through how she created sustainable fundraising models for both organizations, and how you can create a winning strategy for your chapter.

Expert Panels

Hear from industry experts covering topics that matter to YDs today.

Getting a Job in Politics

A panel of current Young Democrats who work as legislative assistants, campaign managers, and communication staffers to share some real talk about what it takes to get employed in Washington’s political scene.

  • Quinn Majeski, House Democrat Caucus Public Information Officer
  • Cait Huntsman, former campaign manager for Rud Browne
  • Andrew Taylor, former campaign manager for County Council member Ken Mann
  • Jeremy Mohn, Legislative Aide to Senate Minority Leader Sharon Nelson
  • Anita Yandle, Communications and Social Media Associate with the Washington State Association for Justice.
Getting Involved with the State Party

Are we the party of the future or the party of now? Leaders in the Washington State Democratic Central Committee will discuss how YDs can get more involved, and how participating in the central committee can enrich a YD’s political experience.

  • Jaxon Ravens, State Democratic Party Chair
  • Chris Roberts, State Committeeman from the 32nd LD
  • Lynda Foster, State Committeewoman from the 27th LD
  • Germaine Kornegay, Sedro-Woolley City Councilwoman
Transformative Solutions: Building a Blue Green Coalition

We shouldn’t have to choose between good jobs and our environment!  Hear from Whatcom County leaders on how the labor and environmental movements are partnering to create local, innovative jobs.

  • Matt Petryini, Power Past Coal Campaign Organizer
  • Chris Johnson, Vice President of the Northwest Washington Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO
  • Steve Garey, President of the United Steelworkers Local 12-591
Activism in Politics: How to lobby, organize and effect real political change

Want to win campaigns? Pass legislation? This panel of leaders in progressive movements will give us the scoop on how to get things done in politics.

  •  Courtney Normand with Planned Parenthood
  • Alex Clardy, YDWA VP of Political and Legislative affairs
  • Tiffany McGuyer with Washington Conservation Voters
How to Communicate Our Progressive Values When Discussing the Budget

One of the big differences between Democrats and Republicans is how we think government and the budget should interact with our lives – the difference is we don’t have a clear plan for communicating our values. Hear from budget and communication experts about what Democrats are fighting for in the State Legislature, and how we should talk about it when fighting for change.

  • Spencer Olson, Communications Hub Director at Fuse
  • Nick Federici, lobbyist extraordinaire
  • Jen Estroff, Community Activist, Registered Lobbyist, Ardent Feminist
  • Maggie Humphreys, Communications Manager at the Economic Opportunity Institute
Diversity in Whatcom County Politics

Issue organizing, educating, electing candidates, why are people of color less involved? Meet the leaders in Whatcom changing the demographics of politics.

  • Roxanne Murphy, Bellingham City Council Woman
  • Edgar Franks, Civic Engagement Coordinator for Community to Community Development
  • Doctor Johnson, Professor at WWU
How to Run for Office

We all have goals, dreams and aspirations, but do you know what your next step is to achieve them? We’ve brought in leaders who run trainings here in Washington to tell you about the training opportunities they offer, and give advice on how you can prepare for the future.

  • Noel Frame, Director at Progressive Majority Washington
  • David Sawyer, State Representative from the 29th Legislative District
  • Bryan Yambe, Fife City Councilman

YDWA Caucuses

For each caucus, we’re bringing in state-wide experts to give a 20 minute overview of what is happening in Washington on their topic. Each caucus will be responsible for doing one project this year related to their subject that is either an educational, volunteer based, or teaming building event. Each caucus will be given between $250 – $1,000 to accomplish it. After the overview, the caucus will discuss potential projects for 20 minutes, then hold election for the chair and vice chair.

Queer Caucus: Marsha Botzer

Marsha has been a leader in the Queer Community for over 30 years. She is a founding board member of Equal Rights Washington and the Seattle LGBT Community Center. In 2008 she served as a national co-chair of the Obama Pride Campaign.

Higher Education Caucus: Bill Lyne

Bill is a longtime advocate on higher education issues in his role as President of the United Faculty of Washington State, working with legislators and universities on issues important to faculty across the state. Bill also leads Western Advocates, Western Washington University’s parent and alumni advocacy group.

Religious Caucus: TBD
Labor Caucus: Joe Kendo

Joe Kendo joined the Washington State Labor Council as their AFL-CIO Legislative and Policy Director in 2013. He has been a union activist for years, fighting for better working conditions and recruiting members for political activism and leadership development.

Diversity Caucus: Vernon Johnson

Doctor Johnson is a poli-sci professor at WWU. His research includes African Politics, Development Studies and Revolution in the Global South. He is an inspiration on campus and annually leads a study abroad trip to South Africa.

Environmental Caucus: Matt Petryni

Matt Petryni is the campaign organizer and leader of Power Past Coal, a regional effort to motivate people to oppose exporting coal and organizes RE Sources’ volunteer outreach and community education efforts. Matt holds a BS in Urban Planning, Public Policy and Management.

Women’s Caucus: Cathy Lehman and Pinky Vargas

Both Cathy and Pinky are on the Bellingham City Council. Cathy was first elected in 2012, Pinky in 2014. Pinky is chair of the City Council’s Lake Whatcom and Natural Resources Committee. Cathy was elected by her fellow council members to serve as their council president.

Business Meetings

Each chapter has one vote in each of our business meetings. Send a representative, or proxy it to a representative from another chapter. These meetings decide the fate of our entire organization – for real.

Endorsement Committee

Decide who the Young Democrats will endorse this year – we will be considering Congressional and Legislative District races. The first meeting occurs at convention, and then they continue to meet over the following months to determine which candidates and campaigns YDWA should support.

Constitution Committee

The Constitution Committee updates our organization’s constitution and bylaws, procedures, meetings, and even elected officers.

Credentials Committee

In addition to processing chapter charters, Credentials helps establish the voting strength of each chapter, based in on the number of delegates, and how far they had to travel.

Rules Committee

The Rules Committee sets the details of the Convention agenda. This includes election order, caucusing procedures, and rules of order.

Platform Committee

The Platform Committee revises our statement of values that helps define what the young democrats stand for.


Thank you to our sponsors!

  • Washington State Democratic Central Committee
  • Whatcom Democrats
  • King County Democratic Central Committee
  • Washington Senate Democratic Campaign
  • House Democratic Campaign Committee
  • Sharon Smith
  • Aaron Belenky
  • Aerospace Machinists Industrial District Lodge No. 751
  • International Association of of Machinists Lodge No. 86
  • John Creighton
  • Lynda Foster
  • Chiho Lai
  • Megan Gustafson Melloy
  • Brandon Adams
  • Kelly Drake
  • Mike Estes
  • Greg Haffner
  • Andrew Peabody
  • Greg Hartman
  • Peggy Hartman
  • Amanda Nelson
  • 32nd District Democrats