This weekend I had the privilege of returning to my native California to attend the 2009 California Young Democrats/California Democratic Party Convention, where 800 Young Democrats descended upon the Sacramento Convention Center to elect new leadership, plan for the future, and recap an extremely successful year.

Congratulations go out to new CYD President Alissa Ko and CCD President Ian Magruder, as well as to all of their new officers and caucus leaders. I would be remiss if I did not mention CYDs Christine Smith and Paula Villescaz and CYD Executive Director Claire Conlon for the unbelievable amount of work they did making this huge convention successful, as well as the Sacramento County Young Democrats for being amazing hosts.

I went to the CYD Tech Caucus meeting where we discussed text-messaging strategies, integration with CMS’s, and mobile application development. Specifically we were looking at ways an SMS campaign’s data could be tied in to Demopolis and different ways it could be used. There were a lot of key questions raised about the creation of iPhone, Blackberry, and Facebook applications. For example, who would be the target audience and how would they use it? What would make an application something that would continue to have value and be used regularly? How would a mobile application decrease the barriers to involvement and encourage users do more? The conversation was a good starting point and it will be interesting to see what they come up with in the future.

On Saturday night Wyclef Jean and Biz Markee performed at a CYD/CCD block party honoring Mayor Gavin Newsome that many are calling the best Young/College Democrats party in history.

What impressed me most about the Convention was the genuine respect that the elected officials, candidates, and CA Democratic Party leadership have for the Young Democrats in the Party. 292 of the delegates to the California Democratic Party Convention were under the age of 36, and 161 were under the age of 30. The California Young Democrats were definitely living up to their slogan: “I am a leader of tomorrow. I started yesterday.” It is clear that the work of past CYD Presidents Crystal Strait, Tim Steed, and Rocky Fernandez and their officers has paid off in a big way, and Alissa and the new board are ready to make even more progress.