The College Democrats have a lot to be proud of this year. During the fall election, we registered the most college students on any campus in one day. Our efforts helped to increase voter turnout on campus, so much so we surpassed 2012 turnout. Our members worked on campaigns on the local, state and national levels and helped elect progressive candidates to congress, the state Legislature, city council, and school board.

Though we faced a very tough loss in November, this gives the College Democrats all the more reason to keep fighting for progressive causes students care about. The College Democrats will continue supporting efforts that make our campus more safe and sustainable.

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It has been clear following this election that young people are shaping the future of our party. The College Democrats will work hard to incorporate as many student voices as possible. Harnessing the power of student advocacy and activism on our campus is the best way to elect progressive candidates in 2018, 2020 and beyond.

The College Democrats will continue to advocate for issues like climate change, reproductive rights and student loan debt relief. By giving students an outlet to work for change on these issues, the College Democrats can show our representatives at all levels of government that these are the issues that will shape the political future of our country. The College Democrats have the ability to show our representatives the power students have when they organize, and that we are an important voice that is not to be ignored.

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Another component of College Democrats that has become increasingly important throughout this year is the fact we give students the drive and the abilities to one day run for office. Now more than ever we need new, younger voices represented in our government. The College Democrats have been instrumental to the successful campaigns of many former leaders of our organization. In the future, we hope to focus more on this important aspect of what our organization does. Encouraging students to one day run for office or volunteer on the campaigns of other progressive young people is one of the best ways we can move forward and create change.

Young people are becoming increasingly progressive and committed to political change. College Democrats will harness the energy that has come out of students standing up to the current administration and use it to create change that will benefit our campus, city, state and country.

Eliana Locke ([email protected]) is a sophomore majoring in political science and communications and outreach chair for the College Democrats.