London celebrations

The day – Connecticut Young Democrats spread to New London County

A group of Young Democrats are forming in New London County.

Conceived by Danni Cruz, member of the New London Board of Education, the group is intended as a place for 18 to 35 year olds to organize themselves politically.

Cruz, who is 18 and frequents UConn Avery Point, says he is by far the youngest elected official in town. He said this reinforces his belief that young people are not heard proportionately in politics.

“We can get a lot more young people to vote with this group and show people that their voice matters as much as an older person in our community,” said Cruz.

Cruz said it would be important for the group to bond with local mayors, elected officials, state officials and state senators.

“We have our next run for the senator, and I want a lot of people to volunteer and sign up for these campaigns, so we can bug them in their ears and say, ‘This is what we’re looking for.’ , said Cruz. “I’m going to use Daryl Finizio, who is running for the State Senate, as an example. If we have an urgent problem or concern, we can go to Daryl, we can go to [State Rep. Anthony] Nolan, and say, “Here’s what’s going on, can you help us or can you represent us that way?” ”

In October, Cruz approached state Young Democrats vice president Bella Langlois, president Gabriela Koc, as well as Grace Carlos, a 21-year-old Democratic candidate and student at Three Rivers Community College who was at the time. candidate for the Montville school board. . Cruz said that the day after this year’s election, he and Carlos started recruiting members. So far, they have found more than 10 people and expect that number to increase.

Carlos and Cruz both made it clear that this is a New London County chapter, not strictly New London, in part because some towns in the county are too small to have functional chapters. In addition to New London and Montville, the Young Democrats of Groton and Waterford have reached out. There is no Republican counterpart in New London for the growing Democratic group.

“There is a Young Republicans of Connecticut, but there is no Young Republicans of New London,” said Cruz. “If they see us doing it, they can do it, and that’s okay. If young people want to get involved, regardless of the party, they should get involved.

While there is still paperwork before it becomes an official chapter, the Connecticut Young Democrats have given New London County Young Democrats the blessing of organizing. The regional group is currently working on drafting its statutes.

Carlos stated that Cruz was looking for “a huge number of members, as many as possible”.

“So many people have reached out, wanting to be involved,” Carlos said. “One of our long-term goals is to have our own space, our own offices. As the elections approach, we plan to support candidates, help with campaigns, organize events.

Langlois, a UConn student from Ledyard, said there aren’t many Young Democrats sections in the area.

“One of my big things when I joined Young Dems was to involve more people from eastern and southeastern Connecticut, because right now it’s mostly central and l ‘western Connecticut,’ Langlois said. “I’m from Ledyard so it was very important for me to have an organizational structure there. The president and I have just completed an official chapter guide, so we are trying to launch these regional chapters. As long as you have decent support and the willingness to put in place a constitution, statutes, code of ethics, etc … it’s really not that difficult. ”

Langlois noted that some locals remain confined to a single town or city, such as the section starting in Stamford, and that there are other regional chapters, such as Naugatuck Valley.

“The Young Democrats are a legitimate branch of the Connecticut Democratic Party, so we have communication there,” she said. “They have their regional chapters, which report to us, and we have our statewide meetings. There was not a lot of youth involvement in Southeast Connecticut, there was no structure to participate in it, so I’m really happy that they are taking the initiative to start this chapter and be that structure for people to speak up and get involved in different issues of social justice and electoral politics.

Langlois acknowledged that there are already social justice youth groups in New London, but said the Young Democrats were filling a political void in the region.

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