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Democratic Party (Calif.). California Young Democrats. (1938-) | Special Collections & Archives

Name: Democratic Party (Calif.). California Young Democrats. (1938-)
Variant Name: California Federated Young Democrat Clubs, California Federation of Young Democrats


Historical Note:

The California Young Democrats (CYD) is the youth organizing branch of the Democratic Party in the state of California. It serves to motivate Californians aged 14-35 in becoming active participants in government affairs and the political process, and to gain lifelong supporters of the Democratic Party's candidates and platforms. CYD is affiliated with the California Democratic Party and Young Democrats of America, and promotes the ideals and work of the National Democratic Party. It is comprised of a state headquarters located in Sacramento, and various chartered Young Democratic Clubs located throughout California. The organization holds local and state meetings and conventions, conducts fundraising, disseminates information on local and national political and social issues, participates in voter registration activities and party recruitment, and holds organizational campaigns and elections for state and regional CYD leadership. It is active in local, state, and national campaigns and elections.

Established in the 1930s, CYD has worked for decades to advance the Democratic Party's initiatives of progressive change, civil rights, social programs, and diplomacy. During the 1960s and 1970s, the organization actively promoted these ideals. On the national front, CYD openly opposed the United States' involvement in the Vietnam War and explicitly called for the nation's withdrawal from the conflict. Furthermore, the organization condemned President Lyndon Johnson's war policy, refused to support the Party's 1968 Presidential nominee Hubert H. Humphrey for his lack of opposition to the war, and opposed the draft.

CYD were also staunch supporters of a host of other issues. Members supported the Civil Rights Movement, and lent Robert Kennedy its support in efforts to end discrimination in the United States in all its forms and manifestations. It also denounced supporters of segregation, including Democratic Governor and Presidential candidate George Wallace. Locally, CYD advocated for social and educational programs and the alleviation of urban poverty, witnessed the strife of California grape growers and the formation of the National Farm Workers Association, and rallied against the proliferation of nuclear reactors in California. Still active today, CYD serves as a training ground for California's youth to become political leaders in the Democratic Party.






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