Tonight at 9 p.m., President Obama will deliver his third State of the Union Address. The President will talk about our shared past, our common future, and where we currently stand as a nation. As the GOP and the Tea Party are divided over two seperate responses to the President's address, we Democrats will stand united.
You can watch it streaming live on the White House website, with notes straight from President and his staff at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/state-of-the-union-2011.
Today, I'd like to send you a note regarding the state of the Kentucky Young Democrats. 2010 was a banner year, and our hope is that 2011 will live up to its full promise.
In 2010, the KYDs participated in campaigns around the state. We advertised in college newspapers to remind students to get out the vote. We knocked on doors, we made phone calls, and we registered countless numbers of new Democrats.
In the year of supposed "Tea Party Tidal Wave", we Democrats in Kentucky held our ground, standing steadfast in our resolve. We may not have gained seats, but unlike in other parts of the country, our state stood our ground, sending our two Congressmen back to Washington and keeping a healthy majority in the Kentucky House of Representatives.
We even elected a few of our own, such as with the Marion County PVA Terry "Catfish" Rakes andJefferson County Metro Councilman David Yates. We had exceptional young people who ran for the first time, such as Austin Redmon who ran for Circuit Court Clerk in his hometown, Shelbyville.
In 2010, the KYDs nearly doubled our number of chartered chapters! These new chapters go fromHenderson County all the way to Wolfe County and back from Hardin County to Menifee County. We are developing an infrastructure for Young Democrats to be more involved in every corner of the Commonwealth and I am so proud of those who have stepped up to lead these new chapters. We have Young Dem organizations working together from high school chapters to young professional chapters.
2011 is shaping up to be even more monumental. There are more ways than ever for young, civic-minded Kentuckians to get involved. Our state needs people to step up and start YD chapters in their community. Our state needs YDs across the state doing their part to educate their neighbors.
In November, Governor Steve Beshear is one of only three Governors in the nation to be on the ballot, so the eyes of the country, and the Karl Rove money of the Republicans, will once again descend upon our Commonwealth. We must be ready. We must be united. We must be active.
November will be here soon enough. We must start now.
In late March, we will be holding our Kentucky Young Democrats State Convention. Please watch your email for an announcements soon regarding specific dates, location, and special guests. At the Convention, four KYD officers will be elected. We will elect the following officers - Vice-President for Programming, Vice-President for Chapter-Building, Secretary, and Treasurer. In addition to the election of officers, we will have guest speakers, breakout training sessions, and socializing with like-minded individuals. We hope you can join us.
In July, Young Dems from across the nation will be in Kentucky for the National Young Democrats of America. The KYD will host the 2011 YDA Convention at Louisville's historic Galt House. It is a tremendous honor to be hosting our fellow YDs from across the land. Kentucky is represented superbly on the national stage, as our own Colmon Elridge is the current Vice-President of YDA. The preparation for the Convention has begun and we can always use more help, if you want to be part of this historic event.
If you have a YD chapter in your community, let us know how you're growing, the community service work you're doing, and the candidates and issues you support. If you don't have a YD chapter in your community, let us know how we can help you get one started. If you're not sure whether you have a local YD chapter or not, let us know and we will help identify one close to you. If you don't have a chapter, and just want to attend the Conventions and the events, you are always welcomed.
Fellow Democrats, the present is strong. The future, though, is coming. We will be ready. We hope you will be a part of it.
Chad G. Mattingly
President, Kentucky Young Democrats