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Our club’s mission is to encourage the fullest possible participation of young Democratic voters within the San Fernando Valley, and to avidly promote the values of socioeconomic justice, including, but not limited to, supporting the intersectional movements of racial justice, feminism, LGBTQIA equality, workers’ rights, and environmentalism. While no single list can encapsulate all of the important policy topics of the day, but we want to know which topics are important to you, our members.

Please take a short survey here and let us know what policy issues are important to you. It can be any of the following topics below:

  • Housing 

  • Transportation 

  • Human Rights 

  • Environmental Policy

  • Disaster Mitigation

  • Immigration Policy 

  • Education

  • Voting Rights 

  • Gun Control

  • Healthcare
  • Racial Justice

  • Reproductive Justice

  • LGBTQ+ Rights

  • Combatting Sexual Harassment & Assault

  • Economic Equity/Social Welfare Policy

  • Other

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2019 RFK Awards

The San Fernando Valley Young Democrats (SFVYD) is proud to announce their 16th Annual Robert F. Kennedy Awards Reception on the evening of Thursday May 2nd, at the Sportsmen’s Lodge Hotel in Studio City.

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Statement on Congressman Tony Cardenas's Denial of Sexual Assault Allegations

The San Fernando Valley Young Democrats reaffirm our commitment to the constituents of the San Fernando Valley, particularly Congressional District 29, when we say that we are deeply saddened, angered, and disappointed to hear of the sexual abuse allegations against Representative Tony Cardenas.

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The revelations in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times article about Assemblymember Matt Dababneh’s history of sexual assault and workplace sexual harassment leave no question: Matt Dababneh must resign from the State Assembly immediately.

If he does not resign voluntarily, we call upon Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon to initiate the process to suspend him from the Assembly

Matt Dababneh is a threat to our membership and our community. Therefore, we are invoking our Code of Conduct in order to ban Dababneh from all SFVYD events effective immediately.

We commend Pamela Lopez and Jessica Yas Barker for bravely coming forward to share their experiences despite threats of retaliation. Our executive board commends Jessica for her proactive, full-hearted, and poised leadership around this issue as SFVYD President and for standing by Pamela's side at the live press conference.

We believe Jessica and Pamela, and we support them. We have good reason to believe that multiple other women may have also been victimized by Dababneh. We support them too.

Further, Dababneh falsely maligned our club’s reputation when he suggested that Jessica lied about his record of sexual harassment in their workplace for political gain.

The LA Times correctly described SFVYD as “an organization that has at times criticized Dababneh as not being sufficiently progressive.” We are proud of that record and stand by it, but our call for his resignation is not based on his voting record.

In Jessica’s words: "I disliked Matt's behavior in the office and his lack of professionalism and his sexism and chauvinism long before he was an elected official.”

Calling for an elected official’s resignation, temporarily leaving constituents without representation, is not a position we take lightly. This decision to call for
Dabaneh’s resignation is one we take seriously, just as we took seriously the decision to call for Assemblymember Raul Bocanegra’s resignation last week.

We believe that the people of the San Fernando Valley deserve representatives who will respect every human being and who will stand against toxic masculinity and rape culture.

We owe it to them to ensure that this is the case.


Read the story by the Los Angeles Times here:

Watch the live press conference featuring Pamela Lopez and SFVYD President Jessica Yas Barker here: https://www.facebook.com/CBSSacramento/videos/10154966164905671

Read the story by the Los Angeles Daily News here: http://www.dailynews.com/2017/12/04/valley-assemblyman-matt-dababneh-accused-of-sexually-assaulting-sacramento-lobbyist/


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Statement on Sexual Harassment in Politics and new Code of Conduct

Statement from Jessica Yas Barker, President of the Board

San Fernando Valley Young Democrats

For Immediate Release
October 23, 2017

Contact: press@wesaidenough.com

Like many of you, my Board and I have read the flood of stories about sexual harassment and abuse in the workplace that have resulted from the #MeToo campaign on social media. While it is jarring to see women who we encounter in everyday life- many of them friends and colleagues- share their experiences, this most recent outcry has caused even more pause and self-reflection as it has come from our very own California political community.  

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Statement and Call to Action re: The Tragedy in Las Vegas

Dear Democrats,

In the wake of the tragedy in Las Vegas over the weekend, we’ve all had a lot to digest. I personally know someone who suffered a gunshot wound and is currently recovering in hospital. He was with a young woman from my hometown who passed away. She was a mother to three kids.

We’re all reeling and seeking answers. Nevertheless, I agree with the trending sentiment that "thoughts and prayers" are starting to sound like an ineffectual platitude which takes the place of real action on gun control.

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News Release and Call to Action Re: Recent Assembly Climate Vote


Contact: sfvydemocrats@gmail.com


San Fernando Valley Young Democrats Express Disappointment in Valley Assemblymembers Bocanegra and Dababneh for Failing to Support AB 378

Last week, AB 378, which sought to extend California’s trailblazing cap-and-trade program, failed in the California State Assembly by just three votes. The members of the San Fernando Valley Young Democrats express our deep disappointment and consternation that Assemblymember Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima) opposed the bill and that Assemblymember Matthew Dababneh (D-Encino) failed to submit a vote. As young community activists, we feel a special duty to hold our elected officials accountable and to speak out when faced with the prospect of irreversible environmental degradation for our generation and generations to come. 

We are especially disappointed because AB 378 was designed to guide extra funding to socio-economically disadvantaged communities, like much of Assemblymember Bocanegra’s district, that disproportionately bear the impact of environmental damage.

At a time when the United States federal government is withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord and denying fundamental climate science, California should and must be leading the way in fighting global climate change. Unfortunately, last week’s vote on AB 378 undermined California’s role in that fight and represented another big win for the fossil fuel industry which funds the campaigns of too many legislators of both parties, including Assemblymembers Dababneh and Bocanegra. 

We call upon Assemblymember Raul Bocanegra and Assemblymember Matthew Dababneh to stand up for future generations, the most vulnerable among us, and our planet, rather than serving the interests of their powerful fossil fuel industry contributors. We expect better from California Democrats, and the residents of the San Fernando Valley deserve better from their elected representatives.

We call upon our members to contact the Assemblymembers to share their disappointment and to insist that that their future votes are in line with protecting our environment.  Dababneh (District 45) Tel: (818) 904-3840; Bocanegra (District 39) Tel:(818) 365-2464



Time to Pivot - a message following the 2016 election

Fellow Democrats-

I'm sure most of us are still barely emerging from the fog of last night. Perhaps you still haven't! 

Nevertheless, we can't stand around for too long with our mouths agape- we must snap out of it. In the wake of Tuesday's elections, we must pull together and soldier on. The day-to-day governance of this country is far more important (and complicated) than the adrenaline of the campaign. We must summon the sincere belief that we can- and will- survive a Trump presidency.

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The 10th Annual Robert F. Kennedy Awards

SFVYD invites you to attend and sponsor the 10th Annual SFVYD RFK Awards. Our event will take place on Thursday January 31, 2013 at 7:00 pm at the Gate Mediterranean Restaurant in Encino.

This year, SFVYD is thrilled to announce that our 4 RFK Awardees are:

• Assemblymember Mike Gatto

• Agi Kessler, Chair of the Democratic Party of the San Fernando Valley

• Gerry Guzman, Democratic Party activist

• David Phelps, Past President of SFVYD

• Additionally, our Carroll Young Inspiration Award- to recognize an outstanding young Democrat- will be given to immediate past President Mike Young.

We hope that you will join us at the RFK Awards to recognize the tremendous contribution each of our honorees make to the Young Democrats.

The generosity of our donors allows SFVYD to play a prominent role on the campaign trail from local and state races to the historic re-election of President Barack Obama! In partnership with Obama for America, we were able to ensure a “blue” Nevada for the President by delivering 27 volunteer canvassers to Las Vegas, Nevada for “Get Out the 
Vote” weekend. Locally, in a very tight “red-to-blue” race, we were able to deliver a very significant financial contribution to State Senator Fran Pavley to help ensure a Democratic supermajority in the California State Senate. Locally, SFVYD members were actively engaged in campaigns to help fight for candidates and causes we supported.

Among our endorsed candidates, we were particularly proud of Adrin Nazarian’s election to the State Assembly and Tony Cardenas’s election to Congress. Both Assemblymember Nazarian and Congressmember-elect Cardenas were longtime executive board members and leaders within our organization. Without a doubt, SFVYD made its presence felt in the November 2012 elections!

In an important milestone, for the first time in the organizations 18 year history, SFVYD elected its 1st
female President. Our club continues to evolve and inspire the next generation of Democratic leaders. SFVYD deeply appreciates the generous support of our donors. With your assistance, our club will continue to provide Young Democrats with programming, networking opportunities, and election activities in the years to come. Please make your contribution to SFVYD today to honor the past and help build our future.

Sponsorship levels:

Honorary Chair - $2500
(8 tickets, Featured speaking role, yearlong listing on promotional literature)

SFVYD Visionary - $1000
(4 tickets, Host Committee and Preferential Billing)

Valley Star - $500
(3 tickets, Host Committee and Sponsor Board)

Valley Leader - $250
(2 tickets, basic listing)

If you have any questions, please contact event co-chair Greg Girvan directly at (818) 631-2405. You can also visit our website at www.sfvyd.org for more information.

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Community College Board Runoff Election: Scott Svonkin Victorious

By Max Reyes, SFVYD Editorial Director

On Tuesday, May 17, 2011, SFVYD-endorsed candidate Scott Svonkin emerged victorious in the LA Community College District Board’s runoff election for the 5th District. The election is a great win for young democrats as Mr. Svonkin is a passionate, experienced leader who will work to strengthen the community college district and ensure a voice for our generation. Our club has been a strong supporter of his candidacy and, in fact, organized a young democrat fundraiser raising $2,500 for his campaign’s GOTV efforts.

Mr. Svonkin comes to the Board with a great wealth of experience. He was a product of the community college system, who has dedicated his career to public service including serving as Chief of Staff to an Assemblymember, working for Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, serving two terms as a Community College Student Trustee, and teaching a class at Valley College. Currently, Mr. Svonkin is a Senior Advisor to Sheriff Lee Baca and Vice President of his local Schoolboard.

SFVYD also endorsed candidates for the March 8th elections earlier this year. Here is a list of candidates who were successful in their elections:


Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees

District 1 - Mona Field

District 3 - Steve Veres

District 7 - Miguel Santiago


San Fernando City Council

Antonio Lopez

Sylvia Ballin



Fred Gaines

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