WASHINGTON, D.C. — As people nationwide deal with the spread of the coronavirus, People For the American Way Foundation’s Young Elected Officials (YEO) Network released a collection of online resources today, to provide support and guidance to local government leaders who protect the health and safety of the communities they serve. There are also additional resources on the site to help elected officials with self-care and mental health.
The centerpiece of the resource page is a database of policies that YEO members have introduced or are in the process of introducing to alleviate the effects of the pandemic.
“We are facing an unprecedented health crisis and members of our young elected officials network are deeply concerned,” said Raquel Jones, YEO Network’s Program Manager. “We assessed the impact of state and federal responses to this national health emergency and wanted to equip our members with the vital support and information necessary to keep their constituents and communities safe.”
The YEO Network includes more than 1,300 members and alumni across the country, serving their communities and fighting for progressive values in offices ranging from local school boards to the United States Congress. Its membership is 39 percent women, 78 percent people of color, and 14 percent LGBTQ*. Program members and alumni include Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, former HUD secretary Julián Castro and Congressman Joaquin Castro, and former Georgia state legislator and Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams.
The Network’s resource specifically focuses on:
- Working family policies, including moratoriums on evictions and utility shutoffs, rent control and mortgage relief;
- Schools and children;
- Small business relief;
- Voting Rights and Democracy reform; and
- New recommendations from public health experts about slowing down the spread of the virus and other responses that protect the most vulnerable.
It also offers ways YEOs can assist those facing unique challenges, including low-wage workers, the uninsured, and communities of color who already experience health care disparities.
YEO is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. Because of the coronavirus, the Network has postponed its 15th Annual National Convening, which was scheduled in Atlanta for late April. Throughout this anniversary year, YEO is creating virtual, social distance-friendly ways for members to share information, learn and engage, while also planning contingencies for other 2020 programming, including Regional YEO Mixers, a 2020 Women’s Fellowship, a special Policy Academy, and its Front Line Leaders Academy, a six-month training program for aspiring community leaders. Next month, it will announce the recipients of the YEO Network’s “35 Under 35” award to honor passionate progressives currently holding office who are dedicated to building freedom, fairness and opportunity for all.
About the Young Elected Officials Network
The Young Elected Officials Network (YEO) was founded in 2005 with the mission to unite and support elected officials ages 35 and under who share a passion for building communities that reflect values of freedom, fairness, and opportunity for all.
A program of, by, and for young, passionate progressives holding elected office across the country, the YEO Network is committed to policy aligned with our vision for a fair, just society. The YEO Network provides cutting edge programming, investing in the full pipeline of progressive leadership and building sustained relationships with our members. We provide the resources young elected officials need to effectively impact policy, foster their own development and professional growth, and elevate their leadership in the broader progressive movement.