YDMA Convention Speech from New YDMA President Lezlie Braxton Campbell

Good Afternoon, My fellow Young Democrats, 

Before we begin, I would like to make some acknowledgements. Firstly, I want to thank all of you for attending our convention this weekend, without you our work and mission would not be possible. 

I want to uplift and recognize my predecessor Rebecca Pinn for all of her work with YDMA during her tenure as President and beforehand. I am so thankful to be taking over from your capable hands. 

I would also like to thank Rob Cohen for organizing our convention and everyone else who helped. 

Thank you Brendan Roche for helping out on the back end with elections and all the other hard work you do for us.

Lastly, I want to thank and congratulate the newly elected board. I want to thank you for stepping up and being willing to lead our fellow young Democrats during these incredibly uncertain times, and while it seems that nothing is certain now we are certain that we are united in our fight against Trump and taking back the White House in 2020. I assure you that I will not lead us astray.

I am honored and excited to have the opportunity to lead the Young Democrats of Massachusetts. Now, if you would have told me a year ago that I would be running for President I would’ve looked at you and said “yeah right” and now here we are. I mentioned some of my plans  for YDMA earlier and even though I have some ideas it’s going to take all of us working together and contributing for us to be successful. You know every time an election comes around there’s always a person that says “we are in one of the most important times/elections of our lives” but as we know every election is important. However, given the dire state of our country and our democracy it is imperative that we as young Democrats ensure that we are working to elect progressive candidates, advocating for policy that reflects our platform, and working to dismantle systemically perpetuated inequities such as the wealth and achievement gap as we build our presence and let it be known that we will hold our elected officials accountable. 

It was energizing and motivating to see so many people participating in chapter and caucus elections yesterday and as we take the time to celebrate, we must recognize that now is not a time that we can afford to be idle — we *MUST*  get to work right away. I am looking forward to working with and supporting everyone from Western Mass all the way down to the Cape & Islands and from  the Women’s Caucus to the AAPI caucus to ensure *EVERY* voice is heard. As we move forward, I ask that each of you do your part in holding the board and myself accountable and always bring your passion when it comes to our work. Thank you all so much, I cannot wait to see what this year brings for us.

To end, I would like to leave you all with a quote from the late Shirley Chisholm “You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas.”