Young WyoDems to Hold Platform Convention

LARAMIE, WY - On Saturday, April 28th, from 9am - 4:30pm, the Young Democrats of Wyoming (Young WyoDems) will host the 2018 Platform Convention. It will take place at the University of Wyoming Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center in Laramie. Registration for Young Democrats (between the ages of 14 - 35) is free, and participants can register at www.youngwyodems.org/convention. Democrats and observers older than 35 are encouraged to donate $35 to help cover convention expenses. Lunch will be provided and vegetarian options will be available. Traveling Young WyoDems can find accomodations at the Laramie Inn, 262 N 3rd St, Laramie, WY 82072.

 

The Young WyoDems are the youth-arm of the Wyoming Democratic Party and chartered with the Young Democrats of America. A year ago, the state chapter was revived and in accordance with our Constitution, that means gathering every two years to put together a platform - the ideas and beliefs that govern our organization as a whole. Young WyoDems are encouraged to submit amendments to the platform (youngwyodems.org/platform) and resolutions on Saturday.

 

Not only is this a great chance to hear from some of the most prominent, influential and progressive voices in the state, it's a wonderful opportunity to connect with other Young WyoDems, gain new skills and ideas through informative training and - most importantly - get fired up and ready to go for the elections in November!

 

Welcome Reception + YDW Awards

When: Friday, April 27th | 7pm - 9pm

Where: The Library Sport Grille & Brewery, 201 E Custer St., Laramie, WY 82070

Why: We’re hosting a reception to welcome all traveling and local Young WyoDems, where they can network and hear from Senate Minority Leader Chris Rothfuss and House Minority Whip Charles Pelkey. Young WyoDems will recognize young organizers for their advocacy and all schools that have organized a march, walk out or demonstration in honor of the Parkland shooting victims.

 

Platform Convention

When: Saturday, April 28th, 2018 | 9am - 4:30pm

Where: Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center at the University of Wyoming, Laramie

Shayna Lonoaea Alexander
Young Dems stand in solidarity with UW students protesting Prager

All Wyomingites should be able to lead happy, successful lives. By ensuring every generation has access to a quality education, we give our youth the tools to drive our economy forward. Wyoming is strongest when our workers are trained with the knowledge and ingenuity to perform at the highest levels. The Young Democrats of Wyoming believe everyone should have the opportunity to reach for that horizon and fulfill the American Dream.

That’s why we’re disappointed with the ASUW Student Government and University of Wyoming’s decision to partner with the Wyoming GOP, College Republicans, Turning Point USA, and PragerU to use student fee dollars for a speaker known for his divisive—often violent—rhetoric against women, LGBTQ people, people of faith, and working families. As Wyomingites, we pride ourselves on bucking trends and defining our own future, yet UW is following a disturbing national effort by conservatives to target universities in an attempt to turn us against our neighbors. We’re better than that.

We are committed to ensuring every student—no matter their race, faith, sexual orientation, gender identity, and ability—is treated with respect and fairness. This means spending student fee and University dollars wisely. It means ensuring students have health care, stable housing, and communities free of violence. It means enriching programming on civic engagement while speaking out against bigotry and other forms of intolerance permeating our political discourse. While freedom of speech and expression is a fundamental constitutional right, we must condemn any speech that creates a fertile climate for violence.

We, the Young Democrats of Wyoming, stand in solidarity with the UW students protesting this event. We know too well what it means to be silenced and shut out of the process. We have repeatedly tried to plan events at UW, only to be rebuffed by the administration in the name of non-partisanship. So, we ask: How can the Wyoming GOP sponsor this event without the same requirement? This double standard and right-wing partnership are symptoms of a system that needs fixing. We ask students across Wyoming to join us. We can’t do this without you.

Carrie Murthy
Open Letter to Senator Enzi

Dear Senator Enzi,

We were disappointed and concerned to hear your recent remarks to a group of Greybull Middle School and High School students. When a student asked what you were doing to support LGBTQ communities in the State, you responded that a man wearing a tutu to a bar shouldn’t be surprised if he keeps getting into fights, because “well, he kind of asks for it.”

Looking beyond the poor choice of using a bar scene in an anecdote geared towards teenagers, your response is harmful for Wyoming’s LGBTQ youth and the future of our State. Wyoming needs to face our tragic history and work toward bipartisan solutions so we can all feel proud—and safe—to live here. That is why we invite you and your staff to meet with us during the next Congressional recess to discuss proactive policies that support our LGBTQ youth.

Senator Enzi, let’s be clear though: LGBTQ individuals are not “asking for it” by being who they are. Gay men are not “asking for it” if they present themselves in a feminine manner. Trans and gender non-binary individuals are not “asking for it” by wearing the clothes that make them feel comfortable and authentic in their gender identity.

Furthermore, the dangerous mindset that someone is “asking for it” by dressing a certain way is the same victim blaming mentality used to discredit victims of sexual assault and rape rather than placing the blame where it belongs—on the perpetrators of such violence. This mentality is dangerous for LGBTQ communities, for women, for youth, and for all of Wyoming.

Senator Enzi, your comments put LGBTQ youth at greater risk by suggesting that it is okay—natural, even—to discriminate and inflict violence upon someone who is different. Your comments paint an inaccurate picture of Wyoming as intolerant and unwelcoming, threatening to drive our youth, jobs, and opportunity away from Wyoming. Your comments do not represent Wyoming values.

You recently apologized and called for civility, saying that no one should be bullied, intimidated, or attacked because of their beliefs. Though we agree with this sentiment, we feel your apology falls flat by not fully owning the responsibility of the violence your comments perpetuate. No matter the context of your comments, Senator, they place our LGBTQ youth in a vulnerable position. You must do better for our LGBTQ youth and for Wyoming by denouncing this kind of victim blaming culture and working tirelessly to ensure all LGBTQ Wyomingites are protected from violence.

Again, we invite you and your staff to meet with us during the next Congressional recess. Regardless of party affiliation, Wyoming’s LGBTQ youth deserve proactive policies that secure their right to live authentically, work safely, and love openly in the State we all call home. We sincerely hope you take us up on this offer and look forward to discussing how we can better protect and support our LGBTQ youth.

Respectfully,

The Young Democrats of Wyoming

Shayna Lonoaea Alexander