Kevin Bondelli’s YD Blog

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Archive for September, 2007

YDA Hiring Florida Executive Director

Posted by Kevin Bondelli on September 24, 2007

FYD

Position: Executive Director, Young Democrats of Florida

The Young Democrats of America (YDA) is the nation’s largest youth-led, partisan political organization. As the official youth arm of the Democratic Party since 1932, YDA now operates as an independent 527 organizations. Our membership includes middle school, high school and college students as well as young workers, young professionals and young families, with over 1,500 local chapters in all 50 states. YDA’s national and state staff work with national, state, and local leaders across the country on peer-to-peer young voter mobilization campaigns, issue advocacy, leadership and skills trainings, and other activities to grow sustainable chapters and build the national infrastructure of YDA.

Job Description:
The Young Democrats of America is continuing to expand state-based staff as part of our State Partnership Programs. State Executive Directors work to build long-term infrastructure for the youth movement. The Florida Young Democrats (FYD) Executive Director reports directly to the President of the Florida Young Democrats and the Executive Director of the Young Democrats of America. The position will be based in central Florida either in Orlando or Tampa.

The FYD Executive Director is responsible for the overall implementation of programs on behalf of the Florida Young Democrats and the Young Democrats of America. This includes, but is not limited to:

· Manage the daily operations of the Florida Young Democrats.

· Organize Young Democrats chapters in communities across the state and work to strengthen existing chapters.

· Work with the FYD Executive Board to develop and Implement the Florida Young Democrats Strategic Plan, specifically planning peer-to-peer campaign activities, chapter building activities, lobbying efforts and coordinating with other progressive grassroots organizations.

· Create annual finance plan and budget and engage donors through ongoing fundraising activities. Work with the FYD Treasurer and FYD to ensure that the budget is met through effective donor solicitation and marketing efforts.

· Plan and coordinate events such as Executive Board and Committee meetings, convention activities, regular conferences, and trainings.

· Work with the FYD Executive Board to help Young Democrats become more involved in the political process, including but not limited to helping young democrats to find jobs and internships on campaigns and to help young democrats run and get elected to office.

· Handle all scheduling, communications, and appearance requests for FYD and the FYD President.

· Continue collaborative and cooperative relationships with the Florida Democratic Party, Young Democrats of America, and other progressive groups to ensure high visibility and effective activism.

· Recruit and manage FYD interns.

Salary and Benefits: $35,000 to $40,000 annually, health insurance, and reimbursement for cell phone.

To Apply:
Applicants should have at least two years experience with campaigns or politically- focused non-profit organizations. Management experience and knowledge of fundraising and the budget process is preferred. The position requires regular in-state and national travel and access to a car.

Applicants should send resume, cover letter, and three references to jobs@yda.org by close of business on Monday, October 1, 2007. The Young Democrats of America is an Equal Opportunity Employer. YDA does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, gender identification, sexual orientation, disability, marital status or any other protected status covered by federal, state or local law.

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YDA, Tony Cani, and Matt Stoller

Posted by Kevin Bondelli on September 21, 2007

Thank-You-Gate has hit the progressive blogosphere full force today after Matt Stoller of Open Left ripped on Tony Cani and YDA for thanking Congressional Democrats.

There’s tremendous opportunity in the youth space.  College Democrats is growing strongly, and this generation is the most progressive generation alive today.  Even so, the Democracy Alliance reduced funding to youth groups probably because of the proof displayed here that there’s no coherent strategy behind YDA, although it’s not clear to me if YDA got dinged in the funding cut.  They should have been dinged.  This is exactly the kind of sycophantic behavior that should be stamped out of the political system.

This issue has since spread to MyDD and Future Majority. The original YDA blog post is here.

I commented on Open Left, and here is what I said:

I am having a hard time with the concept that it is a bad idea to let your members of Congress know when they are doing something right. We are so quick to jump on every mistake and bad vote, as we should, but we never seem to talk about the good things that are done.

YDA has a very specific mission, with issue advocacy goals of its own. One of their main issues is the cost of higher education. The College Cost Reduction Act was a big victory for students and YDA, and it made complete sense for Tony Cani to thank Congress for it. Should Congressional Democrats being doing more to end the war? Yes. Should we expect them to stand up for the issues we care about? Yes. However, we should also acknowledge that progress is being made on important issues, and many of those issues have a great importance to young Americans.

Matt’s reaction is the equivalent of someone refusing to send a thank you card because they only got one of the birthday presents they wanted.

On the accusation that Young Democrats are the lapdogs of the DNC, that just isn’t true. The College Democrats are part of the DNC and receive funding through it, YDA is an independent 527 that raises its own budget. YDA split with the DNC in part because it wanted to have the freedom to take on the party when it was at odds with the mission of YDA. We saw this last year when YDA fought the DNC on youth goals for the Democratic National Convention. Take a look at the YDA platform and you will see one of the most progressive documents coming from a party-affiliated organization.

The work YDA does is extremely important for the present and future of both the Democratic Party and the Progressive Movement. More youth participation and higher voting turnout will mean victories for progressive candidates and issues. So I am going to thank Tony Cani both for the work he has done for the Young Democrats and for sending that thank you e-mail. Someone needed to let our Representatives know when they have done something right.

So if you want to thank Congress for actually addressing youth issues and annoy Matt Stoller (which is always satisfying), go to http://www.yda.org/thankyou.

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links for 2007-09-19

Posted by Kevin Bondelli on September 18, 2007

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links for 2007-09-02

Posted by Kevin Bondelli on September 1, 2007

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