During the first week of August 2013, the UF College Democrats headed up to Washington, D.C. to participate in the annual College Democrats of America summer convention. At the conference we were able to meet College Democrats from all across the United States and had the opportunity to share our experiences and learn from other chapters.
The Conference was at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Capitol Hill, and we were able to attend a whole host of informational workshops on subjects such as fundraising, relations with the Democratic National Committee and our state parties, membership recruitment tactics, state federation relations and management, and election and issue advocacy strategies.
We were also able to hear from a variety of speakers. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) kicked off the conference on Thursday night along with Senator Tim Kane (D-VA) and Representative Jared Polis (D-CO). DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a proud UF Alumni, spoke at the morning session on Friday. We also heard from Representative Donna Edwards (D-MA) and Deputy National Political Director for the DNC Steve Walker. All of the speakers helped inspire us to take action and get even more involved!
On Saturday, UFCD was proud to help elect Rachel McGovern, former Publicity Chair and Vice President of the UF College Democrats and current Vice President of the Florida College Democrats, as National Council Chair for the College Democrats of America! Continuing in the spirit of elections, conference attendees helped make phone calls for former DNC chair and current Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe on Saturday night.During all of our “free time” we were able to take in the sights of DC and take a tour of the US Capitol, visit with members of the Florida delegation such as Senator Bill Nelson and Congresswoman Corrine Brown (FL-5), and see the historic Union Station.
After an exciting weekend of networking, learning, and sightseeing the UF College Democrats got back in the car to return to Gainesville ready to implement all of the new strategies that we learned. The College Democrats of America Conference was a great was to fire us up for the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year!