We're witnessing a phenomena of youth getting involved in politics this year. This is a rare sight and we must do everything possible to capture their interest, keep it positive, and maintain their participation in the process. Every major election we older folk bemoan the lack of interest by young people. It is a catch 22 situation: they don't vote because candidates don't speak to their issues, but candidates don't speak to their issues because they don't vote.
Barack Obama had broken through this conundrum and inspired many young people to get involved. Hillary Clinton has inspired many young women to get involved with her campaign also. Both Democrats are attracting these people and it will be up to us, Party members, to keep them involved. One of the things I enjoy about State Committee meetings is the opportunity to visit with the Young Dems. We have some very impressive young people involved in the Pennsylvania Democratic Party both statewide and on local levels.
An idea I've shared with some people is that we need a mentoring program set up so we can fully groom and develop these men and women. Older elected officials and Party leaders should take a young person under their wing and be there to help develop their talents. Networking is crucial in politics and this is an area where mentoring can do wonders. My principle idea, however, is that each older Democrat who wins office finds a Young Dem they can appoint to be an assistant and groom them in that office so they can learn, fill out their resume, and run successfully for office down the road.
Think of this as a farm system. It works well in baseball and it can also work in politics. If we show a definitive commitment to our young people perhaps we can keep more of them involved past November.