A Reflection on 2015, and a Look Ahead to 2016

A message from our President.

As I reflect on 2015, I feel compelled to use some old, worn-out cliché, such as, “It was one for the record books,” or “It was a year like no other.” I hate the thought of it, because I feel that we often prematurely characterize our recent past too positively.

But I can’t get past the belief that even as we grow older and age out of the Young Democrats of Allegheny County, we’ll continue to look back on this year with fondness for our group, our Party, and ourselves.

We began the year with our talent show, a brand new event in which many of our judicial candidates — three of whom have thus since been sworn in as Judges of the Court of Common Pleas brought their talents together to help raise money and recruit members for YDAC. The event was a great success, and we’re very excited to hold it again with a new slate of candidates January 28th, 2016.

Throughout the primary, members of YDAC knocked on thousands of doors and made thousands of phone calls. We worked for and with candidates particularly close to our hearts, many of whom were victorious.

As the general election drew near, we partnered with Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald to celebrate another YDAC first: the Trick or Vote Rally. This get-out-the-vote event brought together many old friends and new ones as we committed to elect our five statewide judicial nominees and Democrats up and down the ticket.

And we kept that commitment.

In historic fashion, all 12 nominees for countywide or statewide office were elected November 3rd. Our rallies, days of action, social media campaigns, and individual volunteer hours no doubt contributed to those victories. I’ve never been so proud to be a part of this team as I was after the results came in that night.

In 2016, we plan to take an even more active role. We’ll work with the Democratic Party and other groups to make sure Democratic seats are protected and, hopefully, make sure that we can pick up a few more seats as well. We’ll work with statewide campaigns for U.S. Senate, Auditor General, Attorney General, and State Treasurer. And, of course, we’ll fight hard to keep the White House in Democratic control. It’s a tall order, yes, but one I know we’re up to.

I send my thanks to each of our members for their work. Thanks to our elected officials for their support. To our candidates, whether victorious or not, we thank you for shaping public debate and for your commitment to better Allegheny County. If we keep working together, I know we’ll have a lot to celebrate after the polls close on Election Day 2016.

Democratically Yours,

Dj Ryan

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Something to Celebrate

A message from our President

Good Morning, YDs!

Last night’s election returns gave us many reasons to celebrate. I want to take a moment to congratulate those YDAC members who worked on or volunteered for our Democratic Candidates over the course of the past year. As an organization, we personally spoke with thousands of voters about why our candidates were worth their vote. And it really, really paid off.

The results of the General Election made one thing abundantly clear: That we, as Democrats, carry the banner of the people. Our message of government that works for every person is what voters expect from their elected officials. I’m proud to see that YDAC had such a hand in spreading that message to voters across Allegheny County.

I want to take a minute to thank State Senate Nominee Heather Arnet and her incredible team. Although things did not work out the way we’d hoped, Heather made an impact in her district that is worth celebrating. YDAC will forever be Team Arnet.

There were eight judicial races on the ballot last night. Democrats won all eight. I’m still in awe of our sweep of the statewide and countywide judicial seats. Our candidates faced tough challenges, but voters can see right through the tired Republican talking points. They know what could have happened had the vote not gone our way. I know our voters made the right choice in each of those races yesterday. Congratulations to our Justices and Judges Elect – YDAC is grateful for each of you.

We must emerge from our current celebrations resolute for the coming battle. Next year, our State House, Congress, and the White House are all in play. The Young Democrats of Allegheny County must be a big part of all of these races – not just the top of the ticket. I look forward to joining you on the trail as we work toward another sweep in 2016.


For just a couple days, though, let’s celebrate this one.


Democratically Yours,


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Meeting Notes – 7/8/15

At the meeting on July 8th, 2015, The general membership confirmed the President’s nomination of Julie Hallinan for the position of Treasurer. Julie had been serving as interim treasurer, and as Social Chair before that.

Robert Beecher was also announced as the new Social Chair, and Stephen O’Brion was announced as the new College Coordinator.

Plans were also made for upcoming service projects and for the happy hour to be held at Dave and Buster’s at the Waterfront on July 15th from 6-8PM

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Open Board Position

YDAC is currently looking to fill the position of Social Director on its board. This position is appointed by the president from the pool of dues-paying members and is then confirmed by the board. The Social Director is responsible for the planning, execution, and publicity of YDAC events (with support from the board).

In addition to the aforementioned responsibilities, the Social Director is expected to attend meetings and events regularly and participate in board meetings and calls often. In general, the ideal candidate is already a stellar member of YDAC looking to increase their involvement.

This position will be filled at the next General Membership Meeting. Interested parties should send a short letter of intent to president@ydac.org by July 1st.

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Statement regarding this weekend’s Pride events

To our members:

After taking time to carefully consider, YDAC has decided to honor its commitment to marching in the Pride Parade on Sunday. This decision was not made lightly and includes an agreement to participate in the Roots Pride event.

A few months ago, the board made a well-intentioned decision to partner with the Steel City Stonewall Democrats and march in the Pittsburgh Pride Parade for the first time in our organization’s history. We were proud to stand with Pittsburgh’s LGBTQ community and encourage diversity. Recently, the Pride Parade and its organizer, Delta Foundation, have faced valid concerns and criticism about their inclusiveness.

YDAC would like to thank members of the community who sparked a sorely-needed conversation on diversity and inclusiveness. The fact remains that transgender and LGBTQ persons of color experience discrimination and violence at disproportionate rates to the community at large. As Democrats, we stand against discrimination anywhere and must work to change these facts. We support a statewide nondiscrimination law that would benefit all members of the LGBTQ community.

At this time, YDAC would like to reaffirm its commitment to recruiting a membership more reflective of Pittsburgh’s vibrant and diverse community. With these goals in mind, we encourage all members of YDAC to join us at Pittsburgh Pride Parade and Roots Pride Riverwalk.

– The Young Democrats of Allegheny County Board


Those interested in participating in the Pittsburgh Pride Parade should reach out to President Dj Ryan at president@ydac.org, while those interested in the Roots Pride Riverwalk with should reach out to Lissa Geiger Shulman at secretary@ydac.org.

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Welcome to our new site!

How about this place?!?!

Welcome to YDAC’s brand new site! We hope you’ll find it easy to navigate, join, and stay up to date with the group. Please feel free to take a look around, test things out, and let us know if there’s something not working properly.

We anticipate growing this site more and more as time goes on, and making it the center of our digital world. For now, continue to monitor the Google Group, Facebook, and Twitter in order to stay fully informed.

Thank you and welcome to the new YDAC.org!


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