The Young Elected Officials (YEO) Network has reached a key milestone: the Network now has members in all 50 states. Founded four years ago, the YEO Network is the first national program singularly-focused on providing a network of support to young progressive state and local elected officials.With members in all 50 states, the YEO Network has the potential to effect progressive change and support elected officials from coast to coast.
"We've experienced tremendous growth since the program launched in 2006. In four years, we've grown from 65 members in 29 states to more than 500 members in all 50 states," said Andrew Gillum, Director of the YEO Network, and Tallahassee City Commissioner. "Even in what many think of as the most conservative parts of the country, we're signing on members who are hungry to make positive progressive changes in their communities."
The YEO Network brings together officials age 35 and under who share a passion for building communities that reflect values of freedom, fairness and opportunity. Through the Network, YEOs build professional relationships with other young progressive leaders who face similar challenges, and learn from each other and from policy experts how to be more effective leaders on issues that matter to their constituents. The YEO Network brings together young elected officials coast-to-coast and links them with local, state, and national organizations to help create and sustain progressive policy agendas and infrastructure.
People For the American Way Foundation President Michael B. Keegan applauded the YEO Network's latest milestone. "With the YEO Network, we are building a pipeline of progressive leaders to shape the nation's future. For decades, the right wing has made a tremendous investment in training and mentoring young conservative leaders. The enthusiasm and the courage exemplified by the young leaders within the YEO Network are essential to building a powerful and sustainable progressive national movement."
In addition to an annual convening featuring skills training sessions, speakers, and education and training workshops, the YEO Network hosts policy telebriefs throughout the year to increase depth and understanding of important policy issues. The Network constantly engages and connects its members around issues, provides them leadership and personal development training opportunities and helps to showcase them at conferences, on organization boards and as spokespersons for the progressive movement at events around the country.
"Our members are leading the way on many critical fronts, including health care reform, public education, LGBT rights, green energy efforts, economic development and job creation, and fair tax and budget policies. YEOs are bringing fresh ideas and insights to their local communities to address common challenges and forge long-term strategies," said Gillum.
The Young Elected Officials Network is a program of People For the American Way Foundation. The program provides an opportunity for young elected leaders to network, share ideas, and develop positions on issues that affect their common constituencies and interest.