2019 RECAP

This year, we continued our momentum from 2018 and geared up for 2020. Building on our robust 2018 campaign efforts - when we took up a core, leading role in the Democratic Party of the San Fernando Valley’s Campaign HQ - we kept the pace by continuing to grow our membership, foster youth leadership, and stand up actively for progressive ideals.

We contributed to the new wave of progressive grassroots politics by supporting movements such as the Green New Deal, Abolish ICE, demanding police accountability, protecting Native American land, supporting public school teachers, and #MeToo. As with every year, we put on our Robert F. Kennedy Awards - which was a huge success! The RFK Awards serve to power our campaign outreach and leadership building efforts throughout the year and provide a platform for our members to recognize extraordinary honorees who demonstrate unwavering dedication to progressive values. 

As our ONLY fundraiser of the year, we rely on our RFK efforts to keep SFVYD going strong, so please save the date for our 17th RFK Awards! You can purchase tickets now by clicking here.

We are also extremely proud and honored to support Loraine Lundquist’s campaign for City Council (CD 12). As one of the earliest Democratic clubs to endorse Loraine, we are confident in her ability and believe she is exactly the leader we need! SFVYD has delivered dozens of volunteers to her team, heavily invested in her campaign, and will continue to do so for the 2020 election!!! To get involved, please contact any of our board members!

Throughout 2019, SFVYD continued its political action efforts by taking stances on important issues and collaborating with community allies. Additional items may be placed for endorsement at the Political Director’s discretion. Below are some of our highlights.  

  • LAUSD Strike - SFVYD stood in solidarity with our teachers who are fighting to better invest in our students. Earlier this year, more than 32,000 Los Angeles teachers and staff members went on strike to demand better pay and a better learning environment for students in the second largest school district in the nation.

  • SEUI and Kaiser - SFVYD supported and stood with Kaiser Workers, who were fighting to protect patients and good middle-class jobs that we need. We are extremely happy that SEIU-UHW  reached a tentative contract settlement with Kaiser Permanente! The historic agreement revitalizes the long-standing worker-management partnership, protects good, middle-class jobs, bans subcontracting and strengthens protections against outsourcing, and establishes a $130 million workforce development program. 

  • CSUN Hotel - SFVYD is proud to have joined the efforts of UNITE HERE Local 11 to ensure that CSUN prioritizes the needs of its students over profits in CSUN’s recent contract to develop an on-campus hotel. This effort cultivated attention from the LA Daily News and Senator Warren. Unfortunately, the CSU Board of Trustees approved the plan but we are grateful that CA Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis voting in dissent of this plan.

  • Unionize Legislative Staff - Currently, California State Legislative Staff are excluded from collective bargaining with their employers due to the Ralph C. Dills Act. Further, there are workers in the California State Legislative Staff that work more than 40 hours a week, earn little more than $3,000 a month, and do not have protections against retaliation from their employer. For these reasons, SFVYD was glad to endorse this resolution in support of the right of CA State legislature staff to collectively bargain towards more equitable pay and their own worker protections.

  • Community Roundtable - SFVYD sponsored a Food & Water Watch for a Community Roundtable discussion, alongside Save Porter Ranch and Women’s Alliance of Los Angeles (WALA) on Los Angeles’ 100% renewable energy plans.

  • Charity Drive - In November, SFVYD held a charity drive at the residence of SFVYD board member, Mayra Valadez, and donations were distributed by the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission. They help support struggling families and homeless people in need of clothes and other household items.

  • Holiday Toy Drive - Last month, SFVYD held our annual holiday toy drive and donated toys to brighten up the season for children in need. The collected toys were distributed by Northeast Valley Health Corp (NEVHC). NEVHC has made it a priority to donate thousands of toys every holiday season and we are very grateful to be partnering with an amazing corporation.


We are also proud to have endorsed the following bills in 2019: 

  • Assembly Bill 1057 -  AB 1057 will play an integral part in California’s efforts to protect the golden state environment by expanding the Oil/Gas company liability for deserting wells.

  • Assembly Bill 5 - AB 5 is a pro-worker bill that will provide crucial guidance to administrative agencies to ensure that victims of wage theft and misclassification are able to efficiently obtain long overdue recovery judgments.

  • Assembly Constitutional Amendment 6 - ACA-6, if passed, would restore voting rights to nearly 50,000 Californians on parole.

  • Assembly Constitutional Amendment 8 - ACA-8, if passed, lowers the voting age from 18 years-old to 17 years-old, thus allowing youth a larger voice in the democratic process.

  • Assembly Bill 1753 - Protects abuses of immigrants by unscrupulous immigration consultants, i.e. “notarios”.

  • Assembly Bill 392 (Weber) - This is the second version of a bill we endorsed last year which will create stricter legal standards for police officers who use lethal force. This bill is integral to saving lives and preventing future tragedies.

The SFVYD executive board has made the following recommendations:

Los Angeles District Attorney - No Consensus

Congressional District 43 - Maxine Waters

Congressional District 33 - Ted Lieu

Congressional District 25 - Christy Smith

CA State Senate District 21 - Kipp Mueller

LAUSD District 3 - Scott Schmerelson

LA County Supervisor District 5 - John Harabedian

Los Angeles City Council, District 6 - Nury Martinez

Los Angeles City Council, District 12 - Loraine Lundquist 

Los Angeles City Council, District 2 - Paul Krekorian

SFVYD has remained active every election cycle alongside the time in between cycles with community action. There is a plethora of work that must be done to gear up young activists from across the valley through social media, monthly membership meetings that highlight current events, build up coalitions with different community groups and voter education. SFVYD will continue to stay connected to the community and team up with different community groups to push for another surge of young people to stay informed and get out the vote for the 2020 elections Lastly, SFVYD is proud of our growing and strong membership as well as our strong, diverse, women-majority leadership executive board. We can’t wait to see what 2020 has in store! 

“I couldn’t be prouder of the powerful progressive advocacy and leadership building that is represented by our plucky collection of young activists. As we head into the 2020s, I feel extraordinarily confident that the club will carry on this tradition while also evolving in new and inspirational ways. Of course, that starts with mobilizing young activists to take grassroots action in 2020. SFVYD is poised to play its part and go all out in this election because we all keenly understand that our futures depend on it.”

Michael Barth
President of SFVYD

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Take Our Survey!

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: [email protected]

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: [email protected]


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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