In recent years, the College Democrats of Connecticut have taken exciting steps to organize around progressive causes. Starting in 2007, the CDCT board organized college students for the 2008 elections. During the election, CDCT members across the state organized to keep Connecticut blue and elect Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States. Between 2008 and 2012, CDCT focused on promoting the Connecticut DREAM Act in Hartford and spent hours canvassing to elect Senator Richard Blumenthal and Governor Dannel Malloy in 2010. With the conclusion of the 2012 election cycle, CDCT renewed its emphasis on legislative advocacy.
In the spring of 2013, College Dems focused their efforts on strengthening gun legislation in Connecticut, as well as speaking with legislators about the rise in tuition costs at public and private universities. CDCT members even had the chance to attend a rally with President Obama in Hartford, where he discussed the importance of gun safety legislation. The College Democrats of Connecticut capped off an incredibly active semester with a spring convention at Yale University.
During the fall of 2013, CDCT helped candidates across the state to successfully win their local elections. In mid-November, the 2013 Fall Convention was held at UConn where Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman and CDP Field Director Lora Rae Anderson, among others, spoke to the CDCT members in attendance. The 2013-2014 executive board was also elected.
In the spring of 2014, held at Wesleyan University, guest speakers included Governor Dan Malloy (keynote), then-State Representative Mae Flexer (now State Senator) and State Representative Matt Lesser, Connecticut AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Lori Pelletier; as well as Lora Rae Anderson, Field Director for the Connecticut Democratic Party.
During the fall of 2014, our convention was held at Yale University. Guest speakers included, Senator Richard Blumenthal, State Representatives Matt Lesser, Roland Lemar, Gregg Haddad, and State Senator Gary Winfield, as well as Lora Rae Anderson, Field Director for the Connecticut Democratic Party.
Our first guest at the convention held in spring of 2014 was Congressman Joe Courtney, who led a discussion on student loan legislation. For the first time ever, we hosted panel discussions by our political caucuses. The Women’s Caucus was joined by State Senator Mae Flexer and Senior Policy Analyst Jillian Gilchrest of the Connecticut Permanent Commission on the Status of Women who spoke upon paid family leave. Panelists of the LGBT+ Caucus, Dr. Jordan Youngblood, Assistant Professor ECSU and Alexis Apel, a member of the College Democrats of Connecticut LGBT+ Caucus and student at ECSU discussed the importance of gay-straight alliances and discrimination laws that exist across the nation. As a part of the Education Caucus panel, State Representative Susan Johnson, former President Pro Tempore of the State Senate, Don Williams and Timothy Bussey, Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Connecticut and Adjunct Instructor at ECSU addressed education costs. The Environmental Caucus panel was joined by State Representatives Sean Scanlon, Kevin Ryan, and Mike Demicco who conversed upon plastic bag usage, fracking, protecting Long Island Sound and more. Executive Director of the Connecticut Democratic Party Michael Mandell spoke about upcoming elections and the JJB dinner.