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Young Dems: We Will Only Grow in 2017

By Bryanta “Bree” Maxwell.

Happy Holidays, and greetings from the Young Democrats of South Carolina!

The year 2016 threw all it had at us, and we are still ticking. From influencing both the Clinton and Sanders campaigns in South Carolina to sending 15 young Democrats to the DNC and the general election, YDSC members have been at the forefront in fighting for American values.

We may have lost this round, but the fight rages on. We cannot give up. Mary and Joseph didn’t give up when every inn in Bethlehem was booked. The Maccabees didn’t give up during the Seleucid occupation of Jerusalem. We will not give up either.

In two weeks, YDSC will release our 2017-18 Strategic Plan to the public. Within this plan we will discuss our vision and goals, including four key areas we will focus on: training, advocacy, engagement, and education.

YDSC is growing! In Columbia, the Young Democrats of the Central Midlands are increasing members and joining forces with other young professional groups to make a difference. In Greenville, the Greenville Young Democrats raised $1,500 in gifts for its toy drive earlier this month. The Catabwa Young Democrats in Rock Hill, the Sumter County Young Democrats, and the Ashley Cooper Young Democrats in the Charleston triad are also growing their membership in 2016. This is due to the hard work of these great chapters, their chairs, and state Outreach Director Jessica Bright. Thank you all!

Our organization will only grow in 2017. Our strength lies in our diversity: diversity of not only race, but also gender, geography, class, ideas, and even ideology. Going forward, the Democratic Party cannot focus only on race, nor entertain the false choice of choosing between millennials, rural workers, and/or minority groups. Voters are not demographic boxes to check off at election time, they are real people. There is a rather conservative 24-year-old somewhere in Kershaw who needs to know if her wages can be raised to a living wage and that her mother won’t be torn from her in the President-elect’s proposed deportations.  We need to be an intersectional Party, now more than ever, because everything America has ever stood for is under attack. For real this time.

I’ll expand on that in the new year. For now, Chag Sameach, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, and a Happy New Year to you and yours!

Bree Maxwell is the President of the Young Democrats of South Carolina. She has held the office since May 2015, and was elected to a full two-year term in April 2016. She was previously YDSC’s Vice President from September 2012 to May 2015. She is a graduate of South Carolina State University. Professionally, Bree works for the Richland County Treasurer’s Office as a Legal Researcher. In early 2016, Bree served as the chairwoman of S.C. Young Leaders for Bernie Sanders. She was the chair of S.C. Millennials for Hillary during the general election. Bree also serves on the Richland County Sheriff’s Department Citizens Advisory Council, and is a 2016 Clyburn Fellow.
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