The Orange County Young Democrats (OCYD) are “the official voice for young people in the Democratic Party of Orange County.” I spoke with OCYD president Katherine Reedy to find out more about this, “network of Young Democrat activists that are helping to provide a Democratic presence throughout Orange County communities, colleges and high school campuses.”
While many clubs around Orange County represent specific areas such as north Orange County and West Orange County, OCYD represents the youth voice of Democrats from all over Orange County.
OCYD is led by an Executive Board with a total of 8 members, 7 of which are elected and the 8th being the immediate past president. The club is the local chapter of the larger group known as California Young Democrats (CYD). In addition to working with CYD, the Orange County Young Dems also work closely with the College Young Dems and High School Young Dems in making sure they keep strong school chapters throughout Orange County. (For example, the University High School Democratic Club from Irvine won OCYD’s high school chapter award at their August Young Dems in the Spotlight fundraiser)
OCYD have been involved in many hot topic issues in Orange County in the last couple years. In 2012 they worked with community members in Costa Mesa to help defeat Measure V that would have turned the city into a charter city. Current OCYD President Katherine Reedy explains that the club have “been at the forefront of this issue for the past few years, taking the community’s message to democrats statewide at the California Democratic Party Convention, volunteering during the campaign and getting out the vote, hosting a campaign invasion to involve young democrats from other parts of the state, and even providing full-time staff to help with the campaign.” The club even earned the Project of the Year Award for their work on this issue at last years California Young Democrats (CYD) Convention in Sacramento.
The latest issue that OCYD is getting involved with is the call for district elections in the city of Anaheim. The club has been spreading the word about the “great disparity in Anaheim in terms of the allocation of resources that has resulted in services being withheld from the people who need them most.” Reedy adds that the club is “working hard to ensure that Anaheim has fair representation in order to correct this imbalance” and are “also looking ahead to the 2014 elections and the role that young democrats will play in the many critical campaigns happening around the county.”
The Orange County Young Dems are looked at as a very important group of people in Orange County. When an important issue comes up somewhere in Orange County, they are there to help. OCYD has a number of “alumni” that have gone on to hold elected office such as Bao Nguyen (Garden Grove Unified School District), Jamison Power (Westminster School Board), Al Jabbar (Anaheim School Board), and even current DPOC Executive Director Nick Anas is an OCYD past President.
Current president Katherine Reedy summed up how happy she is with the people that are a part of this promising club. “Whether through holding elected office or leading on a progressive issue, OCYD members past and present are an exceptional group of people.”
You can learn more about the Orange County Young Dems at http://ocyd.net or come to one of their meetings. They meet the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 7pm at Bistro 400 in Santa Ana and are holding their annual Holiday party on Friday, December 20 in Fullerton. You can also check their Facebook for more information on upcoming OCYD Events.