YDSA elects its own national leadership every year in the form of the National Coordinating Committee (NCC). The NCC directs the activities, fundraising, publications, education, general political direction and coalition work of YDSA. The NCC is composed of two co-chairs, and four at-large members. The co-chairs of YDSA are full members of the National Political Committee of DSA as well as the National Steering Committee.
YDSA-NCC members are elected every summer at our annual conference, which all active, dues-paying YDSA members are invited to participate in. The YDSA-NCC works alongside DSA staff to develop programming for the organization’s student body throughout the year.
2018-2019 YDSA-National Coordinating Committee
Co-Chairs then At-large members, alphabetical by last name.
Ajmal A, Virginia Tech, Co-Chair
Ajmal Alami is an organizer in Appalachia where he attends school at Virginia Tech and where he founded his YDSA chapter in fall of 2016. He grew up in Northern Virginia where his family lives and arrived in America after being displaced by the Soviet-Afghan war.
Ajmal has primarily organized around sweatshop labor divestment in solidarity with workers in the global south against economic imperialism, organized childcare workers for CSEA throughout the state of New York, helped his YDSA chapter mobilize students in forcing a neo-nazi teaching assistant out of teaching, and is currently working on campus living wage work in tandem with College For All with his YDSA chapter. Ajmal also served a term as YDSA’s co-chair from 2017-2018 before he was re-elected for 2018-2019.
Eliott G, University of Tennessee Chattanooga, Co-Chair
I joined DSA in the summer of 2016 after being won over by the organization’s big-tent, grassroots strategy. I helped establish a YDSA chapter at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where I oversaw our transformation from a stagnant independent socialist group into a lively organizing space connected to a broader socialist movement. I served as the chapter’s co-chair for two years, during which we worked on a campaign in solidarity with our campus union to oppose the privatization of university jobs and organized against local fascist groups.
Outside of YDSA, I spent two summer working as an intern for the Central Labor Council of Nashville and Middle TN, as well as for a local labor attorney. Both experiences have been invaluable to my understanding of labor-centered organizing.
For the last year, I served as an at-large member of the YDSA National Coordinating Committee, and I am excited to use what I’ve learned to be part of building a successful and thriving youth movement for socialism an democracy
Amelia BS, Carleton College, At-Large Member
I first joined DSA in the fall of 2017. Since then, my chapter has worked to support two shops that were unionizing, campaign for student worker’s rights, and host a rally against gun violence. I believe everyone who is distressed when they read the news or struggles to pay for their lifestyle should join DSA. Instead of feeling powerless and disconnected, I joined DSA and became connected with like-minded people, and I learned how to use collective action to achieve a better reality. YDSA is so important because it gives young people like myself an outlet for their discontent with the world they inherited. With my time in YDSA, I’ve learned how teaching youth ways to stand up to powerful societal forces and individuals can literally shape and change the world as it is. Please, join DSA!
Jessica C, Loyola University Chicago, At-Large Member
I am the founder and current co-chair of YDSA Loyola Chicago. We were closely involved with a union fight on campus, that ultimately resulted in a strike that we helped organize the student body to support. We won the contract and are ready to keep fighting for the graduate student union!
I’ve been a member of DSA for two and a half years and I have been deeply committed to organizing both with existing members and new ones. Because of my experience organizing around the strike, I have extensive experience with labor organizing, and now is the time to start getting involved with any and all labor fights on campus. I want to share my experiences and help prepare other comrades to support their local unions.
Sebastián UC, The City College of New York, At-Large Member
I started the YDSA chapter at The City College of New York in the Spring of 2017, three years after I came to the US from my home country of Chile. There, I participated in the marches of the mass student movement that arose between 2011 and 2013 to demand education as a human right. Upon moving to the US for college, I was involved in ESOL work and activism with an immigrant rights organization, as well as a student advocacy group that organized around progressive issues.
Afterwards, and as co-chair of the City College YDSA, I lead a campaign to divest CUNY from arms manufacturers and other corporations linked to Israeli apartheid; a campaign in support of the rank-and-file adjuncts of the PSC-CUNY faculty union calling for a strike; an effort to abolish the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at CUNY; and a successful campaign to prevent the CUNY Board of Trustees from stifling student participation in budget decisions.
Matthew W, Georgia Tech, At-Large Member
Joining YDSA/DSA nationally in Fall of 2016, I helped to start the Young Democratic Socialists of America at Georgia Tech. While never officially a chair of the group, I was a leader of the group while it was simply a coordinating committee. While in YDSA Georgia Tech, I helped lead campaigns around issues including:
- Advocating for the rights of sexual assault survivors and against legislation that includes “Mandatory Police Reporting” of sexual assault involving adult survivors, both in the state legislature and at the US Department of Education,
- Advocating against ICE detentions of immigrants such as assisting an occupation of an ICE detention center in Atlanta
- Advocating for LGBT+ rights and mental health resources on campus against the school administration which was reluctant to provide such resources,
- Advocating for common-sense gun regulation and against “Campus Carry” law, with me being a survivor of a high school shooting in Jacksonville, FL in March of 2012.
- And organizing against Georgia Tech for creating public records/dossiers on student activists (including me) which was shared among several of its own administrators and the state of Georgia’s Board of Regents.
I’m proud to see YDSA GT boom in membership since it’s founding, and I’m proud to see the group take up its own initiatives without my leadership including organizing tenets just north of campus, and advocating for better practices in mental health care at Georgia Tech.
Additionally, I serve as one of three Harassment Grievance Officers for Metro Atlanta DSA, having been appointed for my experience in advocating for survivors’ rights, and appointed to help ensure the investigatory system in MADSA is in compliance with our national harassment policy.
PREVIOUS YDS-CC MEMBERS
2017-2016 YDSA National Coordinating Committee
Ajmal A, Co-Chair
Michelle F, Co-Chair
Eliott G, At-Large Member
Rawan M, At-Large Member
Frida P, At-Large Member
Sanjeev R, At-Large Member
2016-2017 YDS-Coordinating Committee
Kayla P, Co-Chair
Spencer B, Co-Chair
Meghan B, At-Large Member
Jack SL, At-Large Member
Andrew S, At-Large Member
Hannah Z, At-Large Member
2015-2016 YDS-Coordinating Committee
Jack SL, Co-Chair
Shelby M, Co-Chair
Kayla P, At-Large Member
Noelle NF, At-Large Member
Hadi K, At-Large Member
Louie M, At-Large Member
2014-2015 YDS-Coordinating Committee
At the 2014 Socialist Organizing Weekend, the YDS-CC added an amendment to the YDS constitution resizing the number of members from 12 to 6.
Jacob C, Co-Chair
Andee S, Co-Chair
Femi A, At-large member
Shelby M, At-large member
Leah T, At-large member
Melody Y, At-large member
2013-2014 YDS-Coordinating Committee
Alexandra D, Co-Chair
Matt P, Co-Chair
Daniel S, Coalitions Coordinator
David R, Activist Editor
James B, Corresponding Secretary
Deanna W, People of Color Caucus Chair
Liz W, Working-class Caucus Chair
Tom D, LGBTQ Caucus Chair
Andee S, Women’s Caucus Chair
Ian L, Western Regional Organizer
Jacob C, Southern Regional Organizer
Bryan K, Great Lakes Regional Organizer
Sarah S, Northeast Regional Organizer