The 2017-2018 school year was another success for College Democrats! It may have been an off year for elections, but every good Dem knows that the magic happens in the off years. Over the past year we were visited by many different politicians and candidates from across the state, including all four gubernatorial candidates. Our issue committees were hard at work hosting KickAsses on de-westernizing feminism, education and housing policy in Detroit, and opposing conversion therapy. Our members bonded together and canvassed for Ralph Northam, the Democratic candidate for governor of Virginia, in our annual Fall Break trip (with a side trip to our nation's capital). Best of luck to all of our members as they travel the world in study abroad programs, spend time at home with family, and work jobs and internships from Ann Arbor to Washington DC. We can't wait to see you all back in the Fall ready to flip this state in a blue wave!
College Democrats hosted Jason Kander, Promote the Vote, and Voters Not Politicians at the end of the semester to send our members off for a summer full of political organizing and preparation for the Fall elections. Jason Kander is a Democratic politician from Missouri who founded Let America Vote following the 2016 election. Along with Promote the Vote and Voters Not Politicians, Let America Vote supports voting rights and stands against gerrymandering and voter suppression in the United States. To learn more about these campaigns and get involved in the movement, check out the links below.
Sunday was a big day for College Democrats and Democrats across the state of Michigan as we gathered at the Michigan Democratic Party Nominating Convention. Over 6,700 Michigan Democrats came together in downtown Detroit to meet Democratic candidates and learn about their platforms. The morning started off with issue-based caucuses while the afternoon split off into Congressional district caucuses. The evening ended with speeches from Senators Stabenow and Peters and nominating votes for the State of Supreme Court, Secretary of State, and Attorney General candidates. Congratulations to Megan Cavanagh, Sam Bagenstos, Jocelyn Benson, and Dana Nessel for securing the party's nominations and good luck in the primary!
Congratulations to our graduating seniors, your four years involved with College Dems has been greatly appreciated. We had fun coming together to celebrate your contribution to the organization and we will miss you dearly. Good luck in all your future endeavors!
Last week was a busy week for College Democrats! Below are pictures from the many events our members hosted and attended over the last week.
It was a busy evening for College Democrats! We welcomed four candidates to speak to us at KickAss Thursday this week. First, we heard from Anuja Rajendra, a University of Michigan alum, who is running for State Senator of the 18th District. Then, two democratic candidates for University of Michigan regents, Wade Rakes and Paul Brown, told us about their campaigns. Andy Levin wrapped up the evening by sharing his reasons for running for Congress in the 7th District.
This Tuesday JustDems attended a Detroiters Speak lecture titled "Honoring Martin Luther King Jr.: Mobilizing a New Poor People's Campaign". Representatives from the Poor People's Campaign shared their experiences with organizing in the city of Detroit. This trip followed JustDems' KickAss Thursday Discussing Detroit: Policy Past and Present where Detroit community members taught us about education and housing policy in the city.
We were back in the Betty Ford room last Thursday for our KickAss on housing and education policy in Detroit! JustDems brought Detroit historian of the Black Scroll Network Jamon Jordan and 482Forward representative Jamila Martin to discuss the historical policies that have created the current systems of segregation and oppression in the housing and education systems of the city of Detroit.
Last week College Democrats welcomed Inter-Group Relations facilitators to lead us in a CommonGround workshop about race. As an organization we brainstormed the ways that racism manifests itself in cultural norms, systematically, and in individual interactions. We also shared ideas about how race affects the work that we do at the University of Michigan and how to make College Democrats more welcoming to students of color. Thank you to the IGR facilitators that made this workshop possible and everyone who chose to participate!
Congratulations to Kellie, Safia, Katie, and CJ on being elected as the new officers! We wish the new chair, vice chair, communications director, and treasurer all the best as they lead us into the 2018 election cycle. Thank you to Rowan, Lauren and Megan for dedicating the past year to our organization. Also, we would like to shout out Hannah, Camille, Olivia, and Rylei for running for officer positions. Dedicated members are the reason that College Democrats is one of the best organizations on campus!
It was a busy KickAss Thursday with College Democrats! Our Outreach team taught us all about the basics of organizing and the importance of a personal narrative. We were also joined by Jordan Acker who is running for the Michigan Board of Regents. Then, to end the night, we learned more about how the Lecturers' Employee Organization (LEO) is fighting for the lecturers that teach a third of our classes. #respectthelecs
Henry Gaudreau is looking for interns to staff his state senate race! The seat is currently held by a Republican, but the district is flippable and his campaign has been targeted by national organizations. More details below:
Another year, another successful Sex Education KickAss presented by FemDems! College Democrats had fun learning about birth control, consent, STI prevention, and much more. We were excited to have representatives from Sexperteam and SAPAC present to add their expertise. Donna Lasinski also made an appearance to talk a bit about her experience as a female legislator in the Michigan House of Representatives. Check out the links below for more information on Representative Lasinski's campaign or to see our presentation from last night.
College Democrats welcomed Bill Cobbs and Jeff Irwin to KickAss Thursday this week. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill Cobbs spoke with us about his plans for improving education, infrastructure, and treatment of natural resources in Michigan. Jeff Irwin discussed his history working in local politics and as Ann Arbor's state representative from 2010-2016. He is currently running as a Democrat for State Senator representing the 18th district.
Bill Cobbs' Website: www.billcobbs.com
Jeff Iriwn's Website: www.irwinforsenate.com
Thursday we hosted the Huron Valley branch of the Sierra Club. Local members talked to us about the important work the Sierra Club does in the state of Michigan, and particularly in Ann Arbor, to protect the environment. Local issues include the dioxane plume, solar panels on campus, and protecting the rusty patched bumble bee. Check out their website below to get more involved in the Sierra Club's local efforts and events.
This page will be the go-to source for keeping up with what we're doing, who we're bringing to campus, and how we feel about current events at U of M and nationwide. Here's what you can expect weekly:
- Recaps of our meetings
- Committee updates
- Internship opportunities
- Member spotlights
Check back soon for more updates!