Dear friends,

Thank you for all the positive feedback on the inaugural edition. If you know someone else that should receive this update, please send their email to me.

Please find attached VAYD’s analysis of the Virginia and national youth vote in the 2016 election. As in 2008 and 2012, young people once again were critical to delivering Virginia for Democrats. The youth Democratic performance in Virginia was 63% compared to 55% nationwide.

Fight Back (your advocacy portal)
Last week, Republicans in the General Assembly blocked healthcare for 400,000 Virginians. That means a less healthy, less prosperous and less safe Commonwealth. VAYD is leading a letter to Leader Norment and Speaker Howell. A great first step would be encouraging your members to sign the letter. 

At a chapter event, members could write postcards (15 cents cheaper than 1st class mail) to your Republican General Assembly member(s) or makes calls to their district office.

Please note polling data shows that conservatives are not swayed by the number of people who lack insured (I know, disgusting – right?) However, they are concerned about becoming sick because others are sick. More effective messages are:

  • 400,000 Virginians without insurance means more sick kids in classrooms (with your daughter/son.)
  • Not expanding Medicaid means more sick commuters on Metro/HRT.
  • Do you really want a server/bartender who been coughing for months but hasn’t seen a doctor because they can’t afford it?

The Battlefield (your campaign portal)
LAST CHANCE to help elect an amazing Democrat – Jacqueline Smith – as Prince William County Clerk of Courts. The election is Tuesday, April 18th; this a major pick up opportunity for the party. Thank you to the Arlington YDs, Fairfax YDs, Metro Richmond YDs & William and Mary YDs for organizing events to support Jackie and a huge shout out to the Prince William YDs who have been at the forefront of this race since Day One!

Hopefully, you and your chapter can join the effort! If you can canvass from Saturday until Election Day, sign up here. The campaign has set up a virtual phone banking system to support Jackie. If you or your chapter can make calls, any support is greatly appreciated. Please report the total number of calls made to me & Campaign Director Robbie Bradshaw (

Non-Virginia Battle Field

On Tuesday, Democrats sent shock waves through the Republican party. Ruby red Kansas’ 4th district (Wichita and surrounding areas) was nearly won by a Democrats! The margin was 53-46, a massive swing from the November election when the margin was 60-33. We didn’t win but we sent a clear message that we are going to fight in every community, in every town and in every district – and that we can win.

Recent filing showed the Jon Ossoff, a young democrat, has raised $8.3 million! 45 barely won this long-time Republican district by one point in November. This is absolutely the best opportunity to send a Democrat –who is also a Young Democrat – to Congress. You can sign up here to make calls for Jon.

If you are free this week, there is a DCCC bus leaving from the DNC Headquarters (Washington DC)tomorrow at 9am and returning on Wednesday, April 19th. If interested, please email Graham ( immediately. Shout out to members of the GMU Democrats and NVCC Democrats who were/are in Georgia supporting this race!

Possibly the answer to our reality show president: Montana Democrats are running a well-known songwriter and banjo-player, Rob Quist, who is also progressive. While often overlooked by the establishment, Montana’s has a Democratic US Senator and current (and former) Democratic Governor(s). This election will be held on May 25th.

This special election will be held in June. There are currently 3 Democrats who have filed for the nomination. This district was represented by a Democrat from 1883-2011, it was one of the districts that flipped in the 2010 election.

 Innovators (your new idea portal)
Tell me (and everyone else) what you’re doing that’s innovative, cool, fun and working. Whether it’s an event that brings in new members or a new tactic for registering/engaging voters (PokemonGo~YDs of Staunton, Augusta, Waynesboro,) this is a space for the best and brightest ideas. When you have them, send them my way!

A Few Shout-outs/Announcements

  • Congratulations to the University Democrats at UVA, who will host one of just three official joint appearances in advance of the Primary for Governor (June 13th).
  • Congratulations to Senator Jennifer McClellan (former VAYD president and true champion for young people) on her nomination as a 2017 Emily’s List Rising Star. Help her win, vote now!
  • Good luck to the Fairfax Young Democrats on their Issue Caucus Kick-off.
  • Congratulations to Sarah Mahmud, the new president of the University of Mary Washington Young Democrats, Shannon Kane, the new president of the University of Richmond College Democrats and Samantha Lane, the new president of the JMU College Democrats. Please be sure to update Paul ( regarding any officer changes.

Social Media Fodder

Virginia Democrats are great! (Gov. McAuliffe vetoing GOP crazy) (AG Herring standing up for our rights) (Sen. Warner introduces two bipartisan bills to tackle student debt)

Republican Disarray (Republicans delegates are running scared) (Trump lied – again)

Take Action (Tell VA GOP that the time for excuses is over.)

Mark your calendar
The next VAYD Executive Board call will be on Sunday, April 23rd at 7:00pm. If you are interested in joining us, as an observer, please let me know.

The NOVA Summit will be hosted on April 23rd starting at 11am. YDs are actively encouraged to participate and will be supporting programming. The cost is $10. 

Hampton Roads Democratic Train To Win Summit will be hosted on Sunday, April 30th starting at approximately 10am. YDs are actively encouraged to participate and contribute ideas to the planning. More details to follow!

Democratically yours,

James Lewis
President, Virginia Young Democrats