By Kourtney Webb
The Queens County Young Democrats elected a new executive board for 2017, and it now faces the challenge of adding more diversity to the organization.
These officials are tasked with bringing Democrats together, statewide, so that they truly represent all segments of society. By adding new caucuses, the board intends to eliminate the feeling of exclusion some groups feel exists in politics.
Stacy Eliuk, the organization’s first female president, said the executive board has a platform with the ability to reach many people. She believes the board needs to build on the widespread desire of local people to get involved.
“Following Trump’s election, everyone and their mother jumped to get involved,” Eliuk said. “So many groups have risen to fan the flame to great initial results. However, that energy needs to be allowed to grow to effectively harness and sustain the sometimes grueling work that is ongoing activism. QCYD is in the special position to build on 10 years of development and an alumnae network comprised of elected officials, government staffers and other top professionals.”
The organization’s membership base reflects its diversity. It includes high school students, college students, young workers, professionals and families. QCYD’s also has six active caucuses. These include women, color, student, LGBT, labor and legal. The various caucuses encourage member discussion on issues facing the community, such as community-police relations, court and legal reform, gender equity in politics, and the future of labor in Trump’s America.
“Now, more than ever, Democrats need to live up to that big tent philosophy we’re so famous for,” Eluik said.
The Queens organization is a chartered chapter under the New York State Young Democrats. QCYD represents young Democrats between the ages of 16-36 living in New York’s 62 counties. Members of the organization work to make a difference in the communities in which they live.
The 2017 executive board members are: Stacey Eliuk, president, serving as Queens outreach director for Public Advocate Letitia James; Patrick Jordan, executive vice president and campaign director of City Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside); Antonio Alfonso, vice president of political affairs and political consultant; Amir Abbady, vice president of diversity and outreach, who serves as director of constituent services for State Sen. Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans); Jennifer Greer, vice president of membership and communications director for the City Council; Prameet Kumar, treasurer and vendor manager at Amazon; David Aronov, secretary and community liaison for Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills); and Breeana Mulligan, communications director for Councilman Vallone.
As the officially recognized youth branch of the NYSYD, it is particularly focused on motivating, educating and including young people who want to make a difference. QCYD members have the opportunity to help elect Democratic candidates at the city, state and federal level. They also strive to obtain the skills and experience necessary to lead the nation, and make sure elected representatives are fighting for all the people they represent.
One of the goals of the QCYD is to draw in membership and retain it for the Democratic Party. Last year, the organization was at the forefront of several successful Democratic campaigns across the state. The organization recruits made over 15,000 calls and knocked on over 13,500 doors.
This year QCYD wants to further expand its reach by adding two new caucuses. Vice President of Diversity and Outreach Amir Abbady said in a press release his organization wants to further increase caucus representation to focus on immigration and religious communities.