PFAW’s Young Electeds Program Candidates Win Major Victories

People For the American Way proudly congratulates the 2011 endorsees of our Young Electeds Program on their Election-Day victories. Of the twelve contests, ten Young Electeds Program (YEP) candidates were elected or reelected to serve as mayors, on city councils, and as delegates in the statehouse. One race for a House Delegate seat in Ashburn, VA remains too close to call and a recount is underway.

YEP, an arm of the People For the American Way Action Fund, advocates for the rights and liberties of all Americans by offering direct contributions, expert advice and other resources to support young, progressive candidates for state and local office.

“Our country faces unprecedented challenges, and I believe that these young progressive leaders have the experience, skills and energy it takes to make lasting change in their communities and across the country,” said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way. “The Young Electeds Program provides young leaders with some of the support they need to achieve success at the ballot box and in public office. Tuesday’s results show that we’re on the right track. This year we’ve been able to build on our success in 2010 and I look forward to this program’s future success as we look toward 2012 and beyond.”

The successful YEP candidates are:

  • School Board Member Jay Chen, Hacienda Heights, California (reelected). Chen is currently the President of the Hacienda-La Puente School Board. During his tenure, the school district reached the state’s performance level standards for the first time in its history.
  • City Councilman Leland Cheung, Cambridge, Massachusetts (reelected). Cheung helped pass a community bike-share system, advanced clean energy initiatives and championed improvements in child reading proficiency.
  • City Commissioner-elect Kyle DuBuc , Royal Oak, Michigan. DuBuc served in the Peace Corps in Niger and has eight years of public policy service under his belt. He currently sits on the Royal Oak Environmental Advisory Board.
  • City Councilmember Jennifer Gregerson, Mukilteo, Washington (reelected). Serving since 2007 with a background in urban planning, she is a steering member of the Information, Technology, and Communications Committee of the National League of Cities, and in 2011, was selected to serve as vice president of the Mukilteo City Council.
  • City Councilman-elect Anders Ibsen, Tacoma, Washington . Ibsen successfully ran for a seat on the Pierce County Conservation District Board of Supervisors during his senior year of college. He organized a summit to demonstrate the demand for local community gardens, and as a result City Council allocated seven surplus properties to be developed as gardens.
  • Commissioner-elect Ryan Mello, Tacoma, Washington. Mello currently serves as a City Councilman, Mello is the Pierce County Director for the Cascade Land Conservancy, serves as Vice Chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee and was Co-Chair of the city’s Task Force on Climate Change.
  • Mayor-elect Alex Morse, Holyoke, Massachusetts. Morse has a comprehensive plan for strengthening Holyoke through reforming education, public safety, the local economy and city pride.
  • Councilmember Ryan Spiegel , Gaithersburg, Maryland (reelected). Spiegel fights for access to fair banking services for his constituents. He currently serves on the environmental committee of the Council of Governments and has worked to bring “green streets” and LEED-qualified buildings to Gaithersburg.
  • Mayor-elect Svante Myrick, Ithaca, New York . Myrick will be the youngest mayor on record. He currently represents the 4th ward on the Ithaca City council. He is a worker’s rights advocate and is committed to protecting Ithaca’s aquifers from the dangers posed by hydraulic fracking.
  • Councilmember Faith Winter, Westminster, Colorado (reelected). Winter has a strong track record of advocating smart growth policies, has worked with churches and non-profits to increase affordable housing, is a stalwart for renewable energy.

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