Honey badgers are intelligent animals who are notorious for their strength, ferocity and toughness. They are known for being tireless in combat and embody the capability to exhaust much larger animals in physical confrontations in order to prevail. Because of their shared character traits, it seems only fitting that the honey badger stands as the mascot for the Young Democrats of North Carolina (YDNC).
A group of strong, intelligent men and women set out on Saturday to cover all of North Carolina when they traveled from Murphy to Manteo to celebrate Young Democrat Day. Young Democrats from across the state came together to make a difference in their communities. Gaston Young Democrats helped distribute school supplies; Mecklenburg Young Democrats donated blood; Guilford Young Democrats collected cans to combat a shortage at the local food bank; and Young Democrats from Asheville to Wilmington registered voters.
Although members of YDNC participated in events throughout the weekend, Justin Conley and Corey Duvall, two Macon County young Democrats, along with Sam Spencer, president, and Seth Koch, vice president, made the entire 13,000-mile, 53-county round trip across the state. “I believe last weekend’s events were extremely successful,” said Conley, who serves as YDNC treasurer and Rural Caucus chair. “Whether it was giving blood, registering voters, or collecting canned food, Young Democrats across N.C. gave back to their communities.”
Conley was one of several young democrats who spoke at the General Assembly during a press conference with Lt. Governor Candidate Linda Coleman. Addressing members, he said, “When people choose to give back in their neighborhoods, in their places of worship, in their communities, we’re not telling people our ideals, we’re living our ideals,” Conley continued. “And when we live our ideals, we’re not just doing it for us, we’re not just doing it for the people we see everyday, we’re doing this for the greater good for all Americans. That’s why it’s called the American dream; because it’s the collective aspiration of our people and it’s what binds us together.”
Coleman, who was pleased to see the number of active youth across the state giving their time to their communities, was grateful to take part in the events.
"The Young Democrats touching every corner of this state are proving they’re ready to rise above politics as usual and work hard to face our shared challenges," said Coleman. "My call is to all North Carolinians to join our young people across this state and harness their energy onward to Election Day."
Tori Taylor, who works with the Youth Engagement for the Democratic National Convention Committee, took time to speak to YDNC leaders. "Young Americans play a critical role in our political process and their participation is key to the success of the Democratic National Convention,” said Taylor. “As part of our efforts to have the most open and accessible convention in history, I have traveled across the state and region to Young Democrat meetings, events and conferences to hear from young people. Their feedback is helping us to provide more opportunities than ever before for young Americans to participate. The enthusiasm among young people in North Carolina for the President, Democratic Party, and national convention is very high. Whether they are planning to join us in Charlotte for the convention, or to participate from right here in Macon, young people will ensure that not only is our convention successful, but that our party is positioned well for the final push to November.”
Spencer led the group of young North Carolinians and worked to give the example that it is just as important for the youth to remain service-minded in their communities as it is for legislatures to when leading the state.
"Our generation is committed to public service and giving back to our communities," said Spencer. "The Democratic Party is the party that gives young Americans the opportunity to serve. President Obama passed the Serve America Act to expand national service programs and create jobs for young Americans, he signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act which kept teachers and public servants in good jobs, and he has worked to make college more affordable so students can get the education they need to serve their communities."
Founded in 1928, the Young Democrats of North Carolina (YDNC) is an organization for all registered Democrats under 36, including College Democrats and Teen Democrats. YDNC is one of the oldest political organizations in our state, and is the founding chapter of the Young Democrats of America. YDNC is the official youth auxiliary of the North Carolina Democratic Party.