High School Democrats of America (HSDA) is an organization that has worked to organize high school students to elect Democrats, advocate for progressive issues, and work with the College Democrats (CDA) and Young Democrats of America (YDA), to build a pipeline of youth leadership within our party.
High school Democrats have registered voters, and have become effective surrogates on behalf of the national party. High School Democrats of America has more than 500 local chapters and a presence in 45 states and territories, including the District of Columbia, and Democrats Abroad.
People most often determine their party affiliation between the ages of 14-18. Voter registration trends suggest that more people are choosing to register without a party affiliation. There is a need to engage in peer-to-peer conversations on why students should be Democrats.
Data collected by the Center for Information for Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE at Tufts University) revealed that when people vote in three consecutive elections, they will be voters for life. Get Out The Vote (GOTV) efforts for high school and college students will help shape voter habits and combat millennial voter apathy.
The Republican National Committee (RNC) funds high school engagement programs with an emphasis in building coalitions and voting bases. The conservative equivalent of HSDA, the Teenage Republicans, receives funding from the RNC with a field office and a full time staffer.
High School Democrats of America is an entirely student-run organization, and is autonomous of the DNC similar to the Young Democrats of America.
Virginia Young Democrats Teen Caucus (VAYD Teen Caucus), the Virginia chapter of HSDA, has grown from 3 chapters to 45 chapters over two years; the VAYD Teen Caucus has worked on progressive legislation in the Virginia General Assembly; the VAYD Teen Caucus has held the Virginia High School Leadership Academy for two years to train high school students across Virginia to be leaders in their communities; and the VAYD Teen Caucus is an exemplary example of HSDA’s commitment.
Therefore, be it Resolved, the Democratic Party of Virginia supports High School Democrats of America:
- Receiving two Delegate At Large positions for HSDA Chair and Vice Chair;
- Becoming voting members of the Democratic National Committee; and
- Joining Young Democrats of America and College Democrats of America as recognized stakeholders in the DNC.