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January 2010 Newsletter
2010: The Year of Opportunities
Dear Young Elected Officials,
I’d like to extend the warmest wishes for a very happy new year from myself and all the staff at the Young Elected Officials Network and People For the American Way Foundation. As the YEO Network’s fifth anniversary year begins, it promises great things, and we look forward to seeing what this year has in store.
2010 is sure to be a year of opportunity: the opportunity to have our voices heard, to enact good policy, to protect the freedoms of every citizen, and to reaffirm our commitment to creating a more progressive America. The YEO Network will continue to support you in the ways that you need it most. You can look forward to robust programming from the YEO Network to include our 5th Annual National Convening, bi-monthly telebriefs, monthly newsletter updates, policy sharing and support, partner conferences and regional meetings, and so much more. We look forward to having you involved in our Network as we continue working to support you and your leadership growth.
As Helen Keller so succinctly put it, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” Those words ring with the greatest resonance for the Young Elected Officials Network – an amazing group of some of today’s most dynamic and passionate leaders. As a new year and a new decade begins, I encourage you to join me and your fellow young electeds in seizing the opportunities to bring about fresh, innovative, and progressive change.
As always, the YEO Network is here to help you in your challenges and build upon your strengths as elected officials, and we look forward to connecting and growing with you in your public service. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if there is anything we can do to assist you.
Yours in service,
2009 YEO Highlights
Last year was an exciting year for both the YEO Network and our YEOs; here are some highlights from 2009.
Vermont State Representatives David Zuckerman, Rachel Weston, and Kesha Ram were leaders in the successful legislation fight to legalize same-sex marriage in Vermont.
Many YEOs across the country worked diligently in 2009, and continue to do so, to enact health care reform and ensure affordable, accessible, and high quality health care for all Americans. Many members of the YEO Network participated in People For the American Way’s teleconference with the White House to discuss the Administration’s health care reform efforts and how YEOs and campus leaders could get involved. Additionally, five outstanding YEOs were asked to serve on President Obama’s White House Health Reform Task Force: Arizona State Representative Kyrsten Sinema, Maine State Representative Hannah Pingree, Maryland State Delegate Heather Mizeur, Illinois State Representative Susana Mendoza, and Pennsylvania State Representative Josh Shapiro.
We held our largest National Convening yet in Atlanta, Georgia on June 12-14, 2009. Bringing together more than 200 Young Elected Officials, progressive partners, and policy experts under one roof for networking, in-depth personal and professional skills building, and sharing innovative policy, best practices, and resources.
Several YEOs were re-elected to their posts while others were successful in their runs for elevated positions, breaking records and glass ceilings in the process. Mayor Evan Low is now the first and youngest gay Asian-American elected to public office in the United States. In addition, Bozeman (Montana) Commissioner Sean Becker and former Santa Barbara (California) Councilwoman Helene Schneider have both been elected to be mayors of their respective cities.
YEOs at the Climate Summit in Copenhagen challenged UN leaders to take on climate and environmental concerns as a major issue. They spoke on behalf of YEOs across the United States with a presence that our country has not seen before.
We look forward to highlighting the successes and achievements of YEOs sure to come in 2010!
Preview of an amazing 2010!
The YEO Network continues to set the bar for top quality service to young elected officials across the country. Our goal remains to provide you with the best service and support we can offer. With this in mind, we are excited to announce that the Young Elected Officials Network and its sister program, Young People For, are joining under the umbrella of People For the American Way Foundation’s Youth Leadership Programs. This means we will be able to provide you with more resources, more staff support, more face time, and a clear connection to progressive action with young leaders nationwide.
This year, you can look forward to:
We are very excited about all that we have to offer this year. Please join us in taking advantage of the opportunities of 2010! We look forward to serving you!