YDATL Blog
NOTE: The opinions expressed by our individual bloggers are their own, and not necessarily those of Young Democrats of Atlanta.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Bill Richardson and the Young Democrats of America in Omaha
This past weekend, the Young Democrats of America held their Spring Conference in Omaha, Nebraska, in the final run up to the national convention in Dallas - you know you want to come, and Georgia needs your help to get all the votes we so richly deserve! - and it was a great experience. For one thing, Omaha is a lot less flat than you'd think it would be, being in the middle of a flat expanse of wheat and corn and... well, wheat and corn. Apparently Omaha has one of the best zoos in the country - who would have guessed? And who would have expected to have to make time to do anything that captured the quintissential essence of the great state of Nebraska, other than help oneself to a nice big piece of cow?

I digress, however. Another thing that was unexpected was the first appearance of a Democratic candidate for President on the campaign trail in Nebraska since Bobby Kennedy made an appearance in the fateful year of 1968. Bill Richardson may still be trying to get his campaign off the ground, but taking the time to reach out specifically to YOUNG activists (i.e., the ones who haven't gone crazy, like certain folks in Washington) was a great way to get some energy into his campaign...



It wasn't Bill's best speech ever, but really just being there was a big step in itself. I think we - Young Democrats - are really coming into our own as a force in this party, and candidates that want to make the most of their opportunities are making the most of the Young Democrats at their disposal. Bill spoke on Friday at the convention, and on Saturday we heard from a couple of Democratic candidates for Congress who came close to taking a few more seats in Nebraska and - you guessed it - Young Democrats were an integral part of their campaigns. We also got a visit from the C-Span Campaign 2008 bus...



A lot of us even got interviewed by C-Span - hopefully some of us were on message enough to make it onto some important tape reel! Speaking of folks who were no doubt on message...



I think everyone appreciated the opportunity to be heard on tape, even if it's only viewed once by some beetle droid in a back room who decides that while you're still more airworthy than Sam Brownback, you won't ever be famous. We got to see a couple of humorous moments from the Republican candidates, specifically Mike Huckabee, who can't even have a non-awkward moment with a fellow Baptist. We also had an extended conversation about Mitt Romney and how there are lots of OTHER folks like him with the special undergarments who are ready to mobilize for him. (Fortunately we didn't actually SEE any video of said undergarments *shudder*).

In addition to all the boring old work that got done - you know, committee meetings, platform drafting sessions, and drinking all the Guinness at the hotel bar (it wasn't me!) - the Young Democrats of Atlanta even got yet another special moment in the sun in front of general session on Sunday - Shelby's YDAtl commercial (the black and white one) was one of two videos that were shown as examples for folks in other states. Do we rock or what?

All in all it was a very good conference, and a lot of details got ironed out for the national convention, which is going to be a GREAT event. Thunder... Thunder... Thundercats! Hoooo! Go Young Democrats!
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posted by Ataru Atlanta at 5/24/2007 05:51:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Dr. Joseph Lowery to YDAtl: Be good crazy (U2BE, photos)
On Monday night, the Young Democrats of Atlanta were honored by the presence of civil rights icon Dr. Joseph Lowery, who spoke at our The Future Is Blue fundraiser. Young Democrats know how to throw a party...



...make VERY VIP's feel welcome...



...and OF COURSE have a good time!



Dr. Lowery was SUPREMELY inspiring, and taught us the difference between GOOD crazy (Jimmy Carter) and BAD crazy (George "Department of Evil" Bush), as well as what an "agitator" is. THANK YOU to Dr. Lowery and all our great members who made our second fundraiser a HUGE success!

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posted by Ataru Atlanta at 5/16/2007 08:55:00 PM 1 comments links to this post

Monday, May 14, 2007

REMINDER - Future is Blue is Tonight!!
Its hard to believe, but May 14th is finally here. We hope that you will be able to make it out to Maestro’s tonight at 7pm for The Future is Blue, featuring Dr. Joseph Lowery. Its going to be a fantastic time that you will not want to miss!


Future is Blue, featuring Dr. Joseph Lowery
7pm, Monday, May 14th
Maestro’s in Castleberry Hill
170 Northside Dr.
Atlanta, GA30313

The Young Democrats of Atlanta Thank Our Future is Blue Sponsors!

True Blue Sponsor - $500
Mike Berlon
Jan Hackney

Yellow Dog Sponsor - $250
Jason Bogart
Melanie Goux
Catherine Smith and Jerry Tyler

Event Host - $100
Councilman H. Lamar Willis
Lee Biola
Richard Ray
Bob Roche
Dene Shepherd
Thomas Sparkman
Michael Stamboly
Allen Thornell

YDAtl Stewards
TJ Copeland
Page Gleason
Jan Hackney
Aaron Karp
Emily Schunior
Kate and Jay Sandhaus
Mike Stolarski

Want to become a sponsor of Future is Blue? Visit our website or contact our Finance Chair, Nicolette Allen, at 404-538-7262 or at finance@atlantayoungdems.org
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posted by Nicolette at 5/14/2007 08:28:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Friday, May 11, 2007

Help Register Voters at the Sweet Auburn Festival Tomorrow!
Dr. Joseph Lowery (yes the one that is speaking at our Future is Blue event!) and the Coalition for the Peoples Agenda need your help!

They are manning a voter registration booth at this weekend’s Sweet Auburn Festival and had some volunteers drop out at the last minute.

Will you help them register voters at this annual event that is attended by close to 500,000 people every year? (Think of all the Democratic voters out there!)

The Young Democrats of Atlanta will be helping to man their voter registration booth from 1:30pm to 4pm on Saturday (tomorrow). You do not have to work the entire time, but if you can help out for 2-3 hours it would be greatly appreciated.

Please contact Nicole, with the Coalition for the Peoples Agenda at 404-444-0230 to volunteer!

Cant make it Saturday, but are available Sunday? Nicole is looking for volunteers to work anytime between 10am – 4:30pm. Call Nicole at 404-444-0230 to help out!
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posted by Nicolette at 5/11/2007 01:02:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Reaching Across the Aisle
Today's bloggerHere is text of an email that I just sent to the President of the Atlanta Young Republicans. We'll see what happens:




May 9, 2007

Cameron Fash
President, Atlanta Young Republicans

Dear Cameron,

Hello, my name is Emily Schunior and I am the President of the Young Democrats ofAtlanta. I am reaching out to you in true old-fashioned bipartisan fashion to enlist your help and that of your group, the Atlanta Young Republicans.

I am sure your organization watched the Georgia General Assembly this year with as much interest as we did. We spent several days lobbying under the gold dome, and I am sure on many issues we were on opposite sides.

But one place where I know that we as young people in Atlanta, regardless of party, are typically in strong agreement is on protecting the environment. At our age, we are launching careers and starting families. We recognize a common responsibility to safeguard our natural resources, not only for the safety and happiness of ourselves and our own children, but for future generations. We also don’t share the same outdated views as many of our elders that economic development and environmental stewardship are mutually exclusive.

Therefore, I am sure you will join in my concern about the Senate’s failure last month to confirm the nomination of Sally Bethea, Executive Director of the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, to the Department of Natural Resources Board. She was widely considered the lone voice for the environment remaining on an 18-member board. The DNR Board has considerable impact on the natural resources in our state. Here is information about the makeup and purpose of the Board excerpted from the DNR website FAQs (which can be read in their entirety here: http://www.gadnr.org/pdf/visitor_info.pdf)

I. Who are the members of the Board of Natural Resources?
The Board of Natural Resources consists of 18 citizens appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Georgia Senate. There is one member from each of the 13 congressional districts of the state. There are four “at large” members and one additional member from one of the coastal counties (Chatham, Bryan, Liberty, McIntosh, Glynn, and Camden Counties)….

II. What are the Board’s Powers and Duties?
…[T]he Board has the power to establish the general policies to be followed by theDepartment of Natural Resources…. It also enacts the rules… that govern the Department’s regulation of activities such as environmental protection and wildlife management. The Board does … appoint the Commissioner of the Department and the Director of the Environmental Protection Division. It also by statute approves the appointment by the Commissioner of the Director of the Pollution Prevention Assistance Division. By its own policies, it approves the appointment of all Division Directors. The Department consists of the Environmental Protection Division, the Coastal Resources Division, the Wildlife Resources Division, the Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites Division, the Historic Preservation Division, and the Pollution Prevention Assistance Division.

Even we moderate pro-business types can surely understand that a board with these duties, consisting solely and completely of business and development interests, is not in the long-term best interest of either our environment or our economy. We know the long term economic impacts of poor natural resources policies. Doesn’t it make far more sense to ensure a balance of voices and interests to weigh in on such important concerns?

Governor Perdue thought so when he appointed Sally Bethea.

Won’t you help us voice your concerns? We are writing letters and making calls to the Governor to encourage him to continue appointing environmental advocates as terms expire. We are also writing to our own Senators and in particular to Tommie Williams, Chair of the committee which reviewed Ms. Bethea’s nomination encouraging them to confirm environmental advocates in future sessions.

Here is contact information for Governor Perdue and Senator Williams:

Governor Sonny Perdue
Office of the Governor
Georgia State Capitol
Atlanta, GA 30334
Office Phone: 404-656-1776
Send an email via:http://www.gov.state.ga.us/contact_dom.shtml

Senator Tommie Williams (R-19)
148 Williams Avenue
Lyons, GA 30436
Tommie@tommiewilliams.com
(912) 526-7444

We appreciate your help in preserving a fair and balanced DNR Board – that’s good for everyone in every party.

Best regards,
Emily Schunior
President, Young Democrats of Atlanta
president@atlantayoungdems.org
(404) 202-8430

For Further Reading:
http://savannahnow.com/node/279739
Overview Article from the Savannah paper

http://www.peachpundit.com/2007/04/23/those-darned-environmentalists/
Bipartisan discussion

http://www.ajc.com/opinion/content/printedition/2007/04/25/eddnr0425.html
Editorial from AJC

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posted by Emily Schunior at 5/10/2007 09:30:00 AM 1 comments links to this post

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Lou Dobbs....
Today, I read the weekly commentary of Lou Dobbs on CNN and found it rather interesting. Before you start to wonder if Allison has lost her mind, I typically read his weekly commentary to see what he has decided to whine about this week. I do not necessarily agree with him, but he seems to have an influence over the middle class and determines which issues are important to them. A recent example comes to mind - immigration. Yes, there have been rumblings for a while over the issue of illegal immigration, but there was certainly a correlation between his rants and public opinion. But I’m not here to discuss Lou Dobbs’ vociferous view of whether or not we have broken borders and the problems that allegedly come from the mass immigration from the South. I want to discuss his recent article, “A Call to the Faithful.”

This article begins by describing the continuing encroachment of religious beliefs in national politics, and then it devolves into an immigration rant, as usual. What I thought would be the overarching theme of Separation of Church and State is what caught my attention, as well as a particular quote. Lou begins by saying that Protestant and Catholic churches are putting pressure on the political system and influencing their congregation’s views with threats of Hell. This time, churches are standing on the other side of the mainstream Republican Platform, and Dobbs, on the issue of immigration. As an example, Dobbs mentions the head of the Los Angeles Archdiocese, Cardinal Rogers Mahoney, who is quoted as saying, “Anything that tears down one group of people or one person, anything that is a negative in our community, disqualifies us from being part of the eternal city.”

(Imagine the sound of Vinyl being scratched on a record player, as you make the Scooby-Doo head shake noise)

I have to pause for a second and re-read the quote. Yep, it says what I thought it said. I knew churches were on the amnesty side of immigration, and traditionally speaking, they should be. Churches have always been a place of sanctuary. However, let’s examine the quote; Cardinal Mahoney wants the Church to be inclusive of all groups of people or risk going to Hell. Ok, I get it – I love the quote (except for the threat of Hell), it is loving, caring, and christianly, right? It is essentially a derivative of the Golden Rule, and who doesn’t love the Golden Rule? However, what if we removed the group in question, illegal immigrants, and replaced them with, let’s say, the LBGT Community? Will the belief behind the quote above still be applicable? It depends on the church, but most probably would not extend the sentiment to that oppressed group.

Seems contradictory, doesn’t it? Lou Dobbs finishes off his commentary by pointing out the contradictory nature of the Christian belief system regarding immigration by mentioning Romans 13, a passage addressing the role of a government and that it should be followed (Of course, I completely disagree with the use and character of this passage). Perhaps, since Lou Dobbs is so concerned about the incongruous nature of religion and the ever dwindling separation of Church and State, we can coax him to point out the inconsistency in the support for immigrants and non-support for the LBGT Community and complain as effectively on the issue of Church/State as he does immigration. Maybe that will change some minds.
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posted by Allison Layton at 5/09/2007 04:04:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Special Election June 19, 2007
For those interested in assisting with the Special Election on June 19th, here is some information regarding phone banking.
Voter Registration
10th Congressional District
May 2007
Phone Bank from Atlanta area

MAKE A CALL – MAKE A DIFFERENCE!



Calls will be made to union member non-registered voters at the following dates and locations. Members will have received a mailing with voter registration form enclosed. This will be a reminder call to mail the form.


Tues, May 15 6-9PM
Office of United Food and Commercial Workers
Local 1996
3302 McGinnis Ferry Rd. #201
Suwanee, GA 30024
(N on I-85; exit Old Peachtree Rd. #109: left at top of ramp.
Pass Home Depot on right, turn right on Satellite Blvd.
Go to traffic light (big intersection) at McGinnis Ferry
Turn left on M. Ferry. You will see UFCW 1996 on left.

AND

AFL-CIO Office (near Atlanta airport)
2314 Sullivan Rd. Atlanta 30337
From I-85 going south, turn right on Old National Highway
From I-85 going north, exit right at Old National, but turn
back left over expressway.
Go about a block and a half to Sullivan Rd.
Turn right at the traffic light at Sullivan Rd.
Pass Coca-Cola on left; fire station on right.
Next 2 story building on right has the AFL-CIO office.


Wed, May 16 6-9 PM

Sullivan Rd. location only


Please call Mary Lou Romaine-Waymer at 678-714-3497 to leave your name, contact phone number, and when and where you plan to volunteer so we can make plans for phones, materials, and snacks. Thanks for your help!
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posted by Allison Layton at 5/08/2007 11:18:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Friday, May 04, 2007

Dont Be Blue Cause You Have Nothing To Do...

You ever come home on a Friday night, and just go “damn, I really don’t want to spend another weekend catching up on work, doing laundry, and cleaning the kitchen?” Well never fear, Atlanta Young Dems’ regular old Julie McCoy is here to save you from a weekend of Lysol and Scrubbing Bubbles.

Friday

Tonight! – Join the users of Donkey/Elephant for what has become a weekly tradition, the Friday night happy hour.
Tonight, we are taking this informal Happy Hour tradition over to Decatur for a night of Pool, Foosball, Table Shuffleboard, and Darts at Twains
Time: 7pm
Location: Twains, 211 E Trinity Pl, Decatur, 30030

But don’t stay out too late! Saturday is jam-packed from sunrise to way after sunset with lobbying, education, and of course partying (How can you not party on Cinqo de Mayo?!?)

Saturday

9am – Peachtree Corridor Lobbying for Affordable Housing
Tomorrow the Peachtree Corridor task force will be meeting at Atlanta City Council chambers to discuss development along Peachtree Road. While we are all excited about making Peachtree Road a true destination street for tourists and residents alike, many of us feel strongly about making sure affordable housing for all is included in the development plans. Join us as we partner up with our friends in the affordable housing community and make sure our voices are heard!
Time: 9am – 11am
Location: Atlanta City Council Chambers, 55 Trinity Ave
Contact: Mijha Butcher, mijha.butcher@gmail.com

11am – Dekalb Young Democrats Focus on the Environment Forum
If there is one thing Young Dems love, it’s the environment! Please join the Dekalb YD’s for their environmental forum this Saturday and learn more about the biggest threats to our local natural resources.
Time: 11am – 12pm
Location: PushPush Theater, Decatur Station, 121 New Street #4, Atlanta, GA 30030
Speakers: Betsy Nicholas, Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper
Kathie Gannon, DeKalb County Commissioner
Contact: Tim Cairl, President, Dekalb Young Dems, president@dekalbyd.com

3pm – Atlanta Stonewall Democrats 1st Annual Derby Day
Wear your wackiest hat, and get your mint julep on with our friends, the Atlanta Stonewall Democrats for their first annual Derby Day fundraiser!
Time: 3pm – 7pm
Website: http://www.atlantastonewall.org
Location: Private residence of Dr. Bill and Verna Cleveland, 1700 Doncaster Dr NE Atlanta, GA 30309
Price: $25 Young Dems, $50 everyone else. Visit the website to purchase your tickets in advance! Seats are going fast!
Contact: Kyle Bailey, kyle@atlantastonewall.org

After derby day, there are about a million and one other things going on including the HRC dinner. So grab some friends and just go out and have some fun, and then role on over to Sunday

Sunday

8am – 4pm – Grab some breakfast at Café 458 and support our friends at Democrats Work
Nothing cures a mint julep hangover like a good breakfast prepared and served by our good friends at Democrats Work. Come over anytime during the day, grab some food, and support a very worthy cause.
Time: 8am – 4pm
Location: Samaritan House Cafe 458, 458 Edgewood Ave. SE, Atlanta, GA

2pm – Young Democrats of Atlanta Campaigns Committee Meeting
Now you’ve spent the weekend partying it up, learning about the environment, and grabbing some good food at Café 458 (Democrat food just tastes better then Republican food doesn’t it?), but lets do try and get some work in as well. Join our tireless Campaigns Chair, Allison, for her first committee meeting of the year. She has tons of plans for future training, helping out with the 10th district race, and of course the 2008 election season! Make sure you come on out and help us develop our new plan for Taking Back the State in ’08!
Time: 2pm
Location: Manuel’s Tavern, 602 North Highland Ave, Atlanta, 30307
Contact: Allison Layton, Campaigns Chair, campaigns@atlantayoungdems.org

So there you go, weekend all planned out! (and you thought you were just going to chill on the couch all weekend!) Hope to see you all out there!

-Nicolette

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posted by Nicolette at 5/04/2007 12:54:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

 

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