WHO WE ARE

The Young Democrats of Wyoming (YDW) support, educate, and empower Young WyoDems across the Equality State to run for office -- and win!

The Young Democrats of Wyoming mobilizes young people between the ages of 14 and 35 to participate in the electoral process to elect Democrats, influence the ideals of the Wyoming Democratic Party, advocate for progressive issues, and train the next generation of progressive leaders. 

The Young Democrats of Wyoming has hundreds of members statewide – including high-school and college students, young workers, young professionals, and young families. Our membership reflects the broad diversity of our state and the Wyoming Democratic Party.  Our programs engage Young WyoDems through their local county, college, or high-school chapters, through events like our quarterly state meetings, platform convention, and issue advocacy.

Community and college-based and local organizing are the cornerstones of our efforts and the Young Democrats of Wyoming remains committed to supporting our local chapters with the tools they need to succeed and grow.

WHAT WE DO

We organize from the bottom up in every precinct, statewide party structure, to the corridors of power in our state capitol. We work for progressive change through disruption of the flow of politics as usual. We lead by amplyifying the voices of young people across Wyoming. 

SUPPORT

The Young Democrats of Wyoming support Democratic candidates and causes in the races that matter most. Through organizing volunteer shifts, speaking to voters at their doors, and collecting signatures for critical ballot drives, YDW mobilizing in elections make a difference. 


EDUCATE

Without truly understanding policies that inform Democratic principals and how they are applied to the world around us, we cannot be effective advocates for reform and accountability. We strive to equip every Young WyoDem with resources by providing issue-based discussions, educational programming, and expert panelists. 


EMPOWER

After the 2016 elections, we're seeing a surge of interest in politics. That's why we are working to channel that energy to make progress on issues like job creation, racial and gender equity, immigration policy, healthcare reform, and clean energy.  


NETWORK

Come for the issues, stay for the people. YDW is an inclusive family of young activists, politicos, policy wonks, campaign staffers, and community members. 

 
 
 

Change only happens when ordinary people get involved, get engaged, and come together to demand it.

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HISTORY

The Young Democrats of Wyoming has been the official youth arm of the Wyoming Democratic Party since its founding.  

The Young Democrats of Wyoming operates as a separate organization from the WDP in order to grow the long-term sustainability of the organization and to have control over our own budget and programming. In accordance with the WDP bylaws, the Young Democrats of Wyoming maintains four voting seats on the WDP, including a voting member position on the WDP Executive Committee for our Chair.

Although several state Young WyoDem organizations preceded this organization, this is the first time the Young Democrats of Wyoming has been nationally chartered with the Young Democrats of America, the largest youth-led, partisan political organization in the nation. In the Spring of 2017, young progressive were ready to make a change and we officially revived the Young Democrats of Wyoming after nearly a decade of inaction. The first platform convention will be held in Laramie in April 2018. 

The goals of YDW have remained the same.  Participation in the Young Democrats of Wyoming gives members the opportunity to network with their peers from across the state and the opportunity to sharpen their political skills.  The Young Democrats of Wyoming serves as a coordinating body, a training ground, and a valuable resource for our members.  Members get first-hand experience in a wide variety of activities including campaigns and elections, grassroots organizing, fundraising, and issue advocacy.  Additionally, Young WyoDems help shape the ideas of persons seeking elective office.

Today YDW is an active, thriving organization comprised of local chapters and members in nearly every county. 

 
 
 

 Our Team

 
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The Young Democrats of Wyoming is an all-volunteer run political organization operated by an elected board of officers with the support of an Advisory Board comprised of Young WyoDem local chapter leaders. Below you will find YDW's officers for the 2017-2019 term. Officers are elected on odd-numbered years at the Wyoming Democratic Party's state central meeting in April. 

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SHAYNA LONOAEA-ALEXANDER

chair

Born and raised in central Oahu, Hawaii, Shayna is a Young Democrat passionate about LGBTQ advocacy, racial and economic justice, youth engagement, and saimin noodles. Since moving to Wyoming, she now understands the frustrations young people have with living in a deep-red state and is committed to nurturing unity and progressive values in her new home. She has previously served as Hawaii Young Democrats Secretary and Community Affairs Chair of Equality Hawaii, Women’s March on Wyoming organizer, and worked for the Wyoming Democratic Party, Hawaii United for Marriage, and the Hawaii State Legislature. She currently resides in Cheyenne with her scraggly dog.

shayna@wyodems.org

“We have to build things that we want to see accomplished, in life and in our country, based on our own personal experiences… to make sure that others do not have to suffer the same discrimination.” - Late US Congresswoman Patsy T. Mink, author of Title IX

 

Benjamin Rowland

vice chair

Ben hails from South Carolina originally and slowly worked his way up the eastern seaboard, including an eight year stint in Washington, DC where he attended law school and worked on the Hill.  He then heard the call of the West and hasn't looked back since.  He's lived in Cheyenne since the summer of 2014 and has loved intentionally learning about the Wyoming landscape, politics, and people.  Since coming to Wyoming, he's engaged more in Democratic politics and learning about community organizing to achieve shared goals.  He hopes to help revitalize our Wyoming Democratic Party community, particularly its younger members who have the potential to be Wyoming's future leaders.  When he's not talking Democratic politics, Ben can be found in on the trails, in the pool, or at the nearest coffee shop.

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ORION BELLORADO

treasurer

Orion is a 29 year old Wyoming native and currently resides in Jackson. He has a Masters of Physics (2012) and Master of Education (2014) from Montana State University. Orion is currently a mathematics and physics teacher at Jackson Hole High School and coaches Jackson Hole High School Nordic Skiing. He is a founding member and CFO for Roots Kitchen & Cannery, a regional producer of artisan canned goods.  

As a life long Democrat in Wyoming, Orion understands the challenge of communicating and collaborating to encourage moderate Democratic objectives. As an educator and small business owner, Orion is deeply concerned with civil rights, immigration, and most importantly education. 

When not teaching, coaching or selling canned goods, Orion enjoys mountain biking, cooking, and backcountry skiing with his wife.

obellorado@gmail.com

"I think by far the most important bill in our whole code is that for the diffusion of knowledge among the people. no other sure foundation can be devised for the preservation of freedom, and happiness." - Thomas Jefferson

"How wonderful that we have met with a paradox. Now we have some hope of making progress." - Neils Bohr

"Chaos is a friend of mine." - Bob Dylan

 

CARRIE MURTHY

Secretary

Carrie put her roots down in Laramie in 2007 after growing up in Maryland and attending college in South Carolina. She completed her undergraduate studies in Sociology from Winthrop University in 2006 and earned a Masters in Political Science from the University of Wyoming in 2010. Carrie is a research analyst at Westat, studying education policy and the teacher pipeline with a particular focus on teacher preparation, evaluation, and compensation.

A lifelong democrat, she cried on the night of the 2016 election, then dried her tears and (re)committed to stand up and show up for what she believes in. She is honored to serve as the Secretary for the Young Democrats of Wyoming and is excited to welcome and encourage young progressives to get involved, speak up, vote, run, and lead as the future of our country.

Carrie and her husband Sid have two delightful and energetic young children (Chaitan and Annika) and a goofy old German Shephard-Husky mix (Taj). Carrie is also a health and fitness junkie and loves running, hiking, and cooking. She formerly served on the board for Laramie’s local running club, the High Plains Harriers.

carrie.murthy@gmail.com

“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” - Greek Proverb

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State Committeewoman

 

Levi Shinkle

State Committeeman

Levi is a 5th generation Wyomingite.  Born and raised in Thermopolis, Levi still resides there where he is the Collections Manager at The Wyoming Dinosaur Center and a member of the Board of Directors for Hot Springs County Library.

A Democrat for as long as he could remember, Levi decided it’s time stop standing on the sidelines, roll up his sleeves and get involved.  As a member of Young Democrats of Wyoming, Levi is passionate about making sure we keep public land in public hands, ensuring quality public education in Wyoming, and equality for all citizens in the Equality State.   
When he’s not working with dinosaurs Levi can usually be found outside somewhere with his camera and his dog, Ali. 

"Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance." - Robert Kennedy 

“The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders.”  - Edward Abbey