2021 VAYD Convention, Candidate Forums, and Legislative Update: March Newsletter

VAYD Convention

The VAYD Convention will take place between April 16-18, 2021. During this, VAYD will hold elections for all VAYD executive board positions, including the Chair and Vice Chair positions for the Teen Caucus. We will also adopt resolutions/policy positions, and hold trainings and workshops. 

Click here to register for Convention.  Registration will close on April 10.

Chapter presidents, click here to re-charter your chapter.  Contact Membership Director Saehee Perez if you need any help.  On-time charters must be submitted by March 26 at 11:59 PM.  Late charters will be given a vote penalty.

If you are interested in running for a VAYD elected position, a candidate filing form will open after the Convention Rules are published on April 2.  

You will not need to fill out a form to run for Teen Caucus Chair or Vice Chair, though you must be registered for the convention and a member of a chapter.  The same rules apply to VAYD issue caucus chairs and vice-chairs.

The convention awards committee will recognize chapters and individuals who have dedicated work to VAYD.  Want to nominate someone or a chapter for an award? Click hereNominations must be submitted by April 10 at 11:59 PM.

The convention resolutions committee will consider resolutions (positions on public policy).  Want to submit a resolution? Click here.  Resolutions also must be submitted by April 10 at 11:59 PM.  For guidance, you can take a look at resolutions the Teen Caucus has adopted in the past here: https://teens.vayd.org/initiatives/resolutions/ 

If you have any questions about the convention, don’t hesitate to reach out by responding to this email.  For most Teen Caucus members, this is your first VAYD convention, so it’s definitely a little confusing!

Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General Candidate Forums

Starting this week, we’ll be offering young people a chance to learn more about the 2021 candidates.

With the number of great Dems running for office in 2021, VAYD has decided to host a series of virtual forums to help young people get to know the candidates. We are hosting an event for each statewide office: Lieutenant Governor, Governor and Attorney General.

The schedule for the forums will be:

March 24 @ 7 pm – LG Night One (register to attend here)

March 29 @ 7 pm – LG Night Two (register to attend here)

April 3 @ 5 pm – Governor Candidates (register to attend here)

April 8 @ 7 pm – Attorney General Candidates (register to attend here)

VAYD Members can submit their questions for the candidates through this Google Form. For more information, please go to vayd.org/events.

Chapter of the month

March Chapter Madness began March 13th at the Teen Caucus! Chapters will be weighed against each other using a number of metrics. Firstly, how well they coordinated with our programs and membership directors, their registration status for the VAYD convention, how many events they held, and how they promoted Teen Caucus events. Chapter leaders should rack-up points in those categories throughout March Madness to win! The deadline for the March competition is April 5th. 

HSDA National Elections

The High School Democrats of America will be holding elections for their 6 national Executive Board positions this summer.  Candidate filing opened today and will close on May 14.  

See this document for more info.

Legislative Update

Governor Northam has signed our civic engagement, HB1940/SB1430, into law!  Effective July 1, 2021, Virginia’s 680,000 middle and high school students will be permitted to take an excused absence once a year to participate in civic engagement.

We are very proud of the work we’ve all been able to accomplish together.  Virginia is the first state in the union to implement such a policy, making our Commonwealth a national leader in student civic engagement.  Every Democrat in both the House and the Senate voted for this legislation because, in contrast with the Republicans, the Democratic Party believes in giving youth a seat at the table.  Less than a dozen Republicans were willing to support this bipartisan bill; the majority of them voted against it.

This past week, Governor Northam also signed HB2125 into law to allow 16 and 17-year-old Virginians to preregister to vote and be automatically added to voter rosters once they become qualified.  Virginia Democrats have been talking about doing this for a decade, and it’s because of Virginia teen Democrats like you that we were able to get it done in 2021.  Despite our dear Teenage Republican friends supporting the bill, not a single, not even one, Republican voted for the legislation.

Issue Committees

Issue committees will meet for the first time at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, March 23rd for an orientation. The issue committees were created to ensure teens can directly influence legislation in the general assembly. As of now, there are issue committees dedicated to: racial equity, climate protection, gun violence protection, menstrual equity, and education. It is not too late to join, the interest form link is linked here