Sunday, August 8, 2010

Damn, it feels good to be a Democrat: CDA Recap


It's been a week since the College Democrats of America convention and, quite frankly, I miss it. Over four days, we met College Democrats from all over the country, met people who understood our nerdy political jokes (and that's a BFD), and connected as a statewide group. After our adventure to Charlotte, I was left with some final thoughts that I wanted to share with all of you.

1) "Hoosier Hospitality" is real


I was so impressed by how CDIN mingled. I'd look up at any given point of the convention and see a member of CDIN joking with another state, comparing fundraiser ideas, or exchanging contact information. This "Hoosier Hospitality" really moved me. To be a part of a group of people who are genuinely warm and excited to meet new Democrats is really something to be proud of. Each one of you who came to CDA created a phenomenal group culture that led to a better convention experience.

2) College Democrats are motivated people

While we may joke about who is going to run for office, let's face it: College Democrats are kids who are really excited about making change. The people we met were involved in all aspects of college life. From greek life to athletics to volunteering for non-profits, these are the people who are so dedicated to their causes that they will stop at nothing to see success for their organizations. A room of people with that much zest for living makes you want to return to your campus and see that Democrats are elected into office in 2010.

3) I am so proud of our Blue Dogs in Indiana who voted for health care reform


I was sitting at my table one day, listening to a speech that celebrated health care reform. I thought about all of the calls that our Blue Dogs in Indiana received in the final days before the health care vote. There were some really ugly messages out there, skewing what health care reform was actually about. Our Democrats in Indiana were incredible. While receiving some angry calls from people who vowed to vote for Republicans in 2010 if our Democrats voted for health care, they had the insight to proceed with voting for it. We are blessed to have Democrats in office who are willing to take a risk with their votes, even if it'll create re-election challenges. I hope you think about how crucial that vote was and then work extra hard to see that they are re-elected.

4) We are the progress-generation

I love that our group has an even distribution of gender, background and issue-specific interests. There's nothing more empowering than being able to grow as an individual as a result of the group growing as a whole. Even when we were sitting at Olive Garden discussing non-political aspects of our lives, there was this desire to understand and relate to one another. To sit next to men at the Women's Caucus who are genuinely concerned about women's issues is beautiful. This desire to help out all people prevailed throughout the convention. This is what is going to drive our communities, our states, our nation forward. It may be cliche to say this, but I believe in us.

In Conclusion....

I'd like to thank Andrea Watts, Mariah Kick, Sara Bega, Daniel Herman, Adam Drake, Nolan Born, Caboose Goodwin, Paul McGowan and Nick DeBoer for being wonderful representatives of the great state of Indiana. I feel blessed to know all of you and have no doubt that you each are going to make a difference in a big way during your lifetimes.

I also feel lucky for all the relationships we formed throughout CDA with other states. There's a sad summer-camp feeling that invaded me at the end of convention. It was a I-wish-we-all-went-to-school-together feeling. Then I realized, hell, we've established friendships across the country. It's good to know young Democrats are everywhere trying to make their mark.

I am proud of all of you.

1 comment:

Sara Bega said...

Reading this again makes me miss it so much! CDIN: Miss Congeniality 2010

PS. I love how you numbered this McKenna-style.