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Exciting first-ever Ethnic Council at the College Democrats of America Convention...

August 10, 2015
In The News

Dear NDECC Members,

We’re excited to report that we had a fantastic first-ever College Democrats of America (CDA) Ethnic Council that took place last week at the University of DC as part of the larger four-day CDA Convention.   We've shared some photos with you below!  

Thank you to all NDECC Members who participated in the event as speakers, guests, and those who sponsored ethnic college students to attend.   We were hoping to draw about 20-30 students at our Ethnic Council meeting, but given the great interest and support, our event was standing room only with more than 50 students in attendance! 

A special ‘thank you’ to Rep. Brendan Boyle (PA-13) who helped kick-off Wednesday's ethnic Council meeting by sharing his family’s immigration story and discussing the strong values of immigrants that help strengthen our country.   We would also like to thank and recognize our NDECC speakers which included DNC Ethnic Council Chair Dr. James Zogby, NDECC Co-Convener Alexandra Chalupa, NDECC Vice President Meto Koloski, Irish American Democrats Vice President John McCarthy, Italian American Democratic Leadership Council (IADLC) Representative Lucy Winterhalder and DNC Senior Advisor Maureen Garde for sharing their ethnic outreach experiences, promoting the NDECC’s work and helping more students engage in our future work.  NDECC Youth Council Chair Omar Tewfik was out of the country and therefore unable to attend the event, but was also instrumental in helping plan our successful meeting. 

Later that evening the Irish Democrats and Italian American and IADLC co-sponsored a CDA Welcome Reception that drew more than 125 students and included special guests Rep. Bill Pascrell (ND-9) and Rep. Joseph Crowley (NY-14).  

The entire CDA Convention included a number of high profile speakers in addition to the ones above, such as US Senator Elizabeth Warren, Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro and US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, among others.   There were also representatives from the democratic presidential campaigns who encouraged college students to take an active role in the coming presidential elections.   Students also heard from other senior political operatives and received firsthand insight into the political arena and tools they can apply back at their colleges to help promote our democratic party principles. 

We had NDECC leaders represented at other parts of the Convention too, including at Wednesday's CDA Black Caucus where African Diaspora leader Sylvester O'Kere spoke on a panel, Friday's 'My Road to Politics'  panel which included NDECC Co-Convener Alexandra Chalupa, DC Mayor's Office African Diaspora leader Mamadou Samba, and Guatemalan-American Pili Tobar who currently serves in Rep. Gallego's office and was instrumental in working with the NDECC when she was on the DNC Communication team last year.  

Finally, a big 'thank you' to DNC Youth Director A'shanti Gholar and DNC intern Patrick Coyne who is Irish-American for their behind the scenes help with the Ethnic Council, as well as the CDA team. 

Given the great ethnic representation at the CDA Convention, and particularly the energy at the CDA Ethnic Council Meeting, we look forward to organizing an even bigger event next year and have received a number of requests from students eagerly wanting to get involved with the NDECC’s work.

Thank you again for all of your support to make our event a success!  It is an honor to work with individuals who help to elevate the voices of ethnic communities. 

Best Regards,

Elvir Klempic

NDECC College Democrats of America Liaison