300+ attend rousing Young Democrats convention

KYD president Chad Aull with the self-proclaimed "Vice Sister," Valerie Biden Owens!Over 300 young people participated in the Kentucky Young Democrats (KYD) annual convention this past weekend, March 27-28 in Lexington.  Representing nearly 50 cities across the state, convention participants heard from some of the Commonwealth's most influential political leaders, engaged in workshops designed to advance the party agenda, and began developing strategies for electing a Democrat to Kentucky's U.S. Senate seat in 2010.

Statement from KYD President Chad Aull: "This year's convention had the highest attendance of any other event in my seven years with the organization.  Young people in the Commonwealth haven't been this politically engaged and motivated in decades.  I'm energized about where we're going and confident that we'll continue working to turn the Bluegrass State blue.  We'll be working hard to keep these young people active for years to come."

Click here for convention photos!

The convention kicked off on Friday night at the Lexington Children's Theatre with Valerie Biden Owens, sister and long-time campaign manager to U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.  Biden Owens connected her personal stories and experiences with smart, witty advice about campaigns, politics, and government.  Congressman Ben Chandler and Lt. Governor Daniel Mongiardo also spoke about some of the nation's most pressing policy issues and their unique impact on Kentuckians.

Saturday's lineup of speakers at the Kentucky Horse Park included new Kentucky Democratic Party Chairman Charlie Moore, Attorney General Jack Conway, State Representative Susan Westrom of Lexington, and State Senator Ray Jones of Pikeville.  All four individuals spoke candidly about the challenges and benefits of public service and how young people can play meaningful roles in politics and their larger community.

Annual awards were also presented to young leaders who have served the organization with outstanding commitment and achievement.  Recipients embody the spirit of passion and activism that Young Democrats across the country pursue daily:

  • High School Chapter of the Year: Bryan Station High School (Lexington)
  • College Chapter of the Year: Western Kentucky University (Bowling Green)
  • Edward "Ned" Breathitt County Chapter of the Year: Franklin County (Frankfort)
  • John F. Kennedy Member of the Year: Ryan Clouse (Bowling Green)

Convention participants also elected new officers on Saturday, filling out the 2009 executive committee.  Individuals elected on Saturday include:

  • Vice President of Chapter Building: Crystal Chappell (Drakesboro)
  • Vice President of Programming: Eugene Sisco (Pikeville)
  • Secretary: Lauren Ingram (Louisville)
  • Treasurer: Wil Rhodes (Frankfort)

Visit our leadership page to learn more about our full statewide team, including appointed leaders.

Thank you to the hundreds of students, young professionals, and families who came out to convention this year!  We were thrilled to see such a great turnout and are looking forward to a busy year with the Young Democrats of America convention in Chicago and what looks to be an interesting Democratic primary season for our U.S. Senate seat in 2010.  Please take all that you learned this past weekend and be our ambassadors to your communities.  Change will not come to Kentucky without your help.  Let's get to work!