A letter from the YDSA Co-Chairs, Jake Colosa and Leena Yumeen, written before the 2023 YDSA Convention in Chicago.
This letter initially appeared in the Summer 2023 Print Issue, which can be found here.
The 2023 YDSA Convention has finally arrived! One of the things that sets YDSA apart from so many other student and youth organizations is our robust internal democracy. Convention is our ultimate venue for democratic decision-making in YDSA. Every year delegates from chapters across the country gather to debate and discuss YDSA’s priorities for the next year, make changes to our national constitution and structure, and elect the leaders who will carry those priorities out over the next year.
Over the past year, hundreds of young people have joined YDSA and thousands more have signed petitions, attended protests, and participated in union drives organized by YDSA chapters. YDSA has led the nascent undergraduate student-worker labor movement, supporting the development of the Student Worker Alliance Network and labor campaigns on dozens of campuses. Our national day of action for reproductive justice mobilized thousands of students on more than fifty campuses and helped jumpstart successful campaigns at the local level. Throughout these campaigns, YDSA has also grappled with important political and strategic questions about working in national coalitions, maximizing the impact of our campaigns and direct actions, and our orientation towards the broader student-worker labor movement.
Our ability to make decisions collectively through democratic processes is our greatest asset, and we are so excited to deliberate these questions and more with all of you at the convention this year. We send our love and solidarity to you all, and our congratulations to those of you who graduate this year. It has been an honor to serve as your co-chairs and we look forward to organizing and struggling alongside you all for decades to come.
In Solidarity Always,
YDSA National Co-Chairs