For the first time in decades, the Bronx is about to receive an officially-recognized Young Democrats club.
Assemblyman Carl Heastie filed paperwork with party leadership in Albany last month and drafted by-laws to create a Bronx County Young Democrats Club.
The group will consist of members of the Democratic Party aged 36 and younger. It will hold regular meetings throughout the borough and serve as an opportunity for young Democrats in the Bronx who are interested in politics and building professional relationships early in their careers.
As of Tuesday, May 31, the Bronx chapter is not yet listed among the 19 county chapters on the statewide Young Democrats website. However, “it’s imminent,” according to Patrick Jenkins, spokesman for the Bronx County Democratic Party.
“We’re in good shape,” Jenkins said. “We’ve got to finalize some things, we have to get the paperwork together. It’s not going to be that long.”
The group does not have a leadership structure set-up yet. Young Dems clubs throughout the state are populated largely by elected-officials’ staff members. According to Jenkins, anyone who wants to can get involved with the Bronx chapter.
“I don’t know what the roles will be per say,” he said. “Everyone’s welcome to join if you’re under 36 and a Democrat.”
About 20 young Democrats from the borough wre already at work developing an organization when the news broke. They had held monthly meetings in different parts of the borough since late 2010 and planned to start the chapter themseles. Heastie’s status as an elected official and county leader took presidence over the other group in securing official recognition.
Highbridge resident Lailoni Narvaez was one part of the original roup and is a staff member for Westchester Senator Suzi Oppenheimer.
The 23-year old expressed disappointment that her group was not recognized, but expressed interest in being a part of Heastie’s group.
“We are going to work with him because we feel like we owe that much to New York State Young Dems and for the sake of chartering a Bronx Young Democrats, we will be members,” Narvaez said.
Previous attempts at organizing an official club in the borough fell apart due to infighting.
“Ultimately, it’s a win for the New York State Dems,” Narvaez said.
©2011 Community News Group