You might have noticed that posting here has been a bit lighter than usual for the past couple of weeks. Part of the reason for that is that I’ve been spending a lot of time planning Blue & Green: East Bay Young Democrats’ Third Annual Awards Gala. Each year, EBYD honors an elected official and a youth advocate at our annual gala. Being the president of EBYD, I’m a bit biased, but I think our events are a lot of fun, and I’m really excited about this year’s honorees.
Elected Official of the Year: Abel Guillen
Since I’ve gotten to know him, I’ve developed a deep respect for Peralta Community Colleges Trustee Abel Guillen.
The son of a baker and a cook, Abel was the first in his family to graduate from college. He grew up in a working-class Bay Area neighborhood where few people even considered attending college. Abel learned the value of hard work from his parents, and was fortunate to receive a great public education at UC Berkeley, where he earned his bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in public policy.
Abel ran in 2006 against an incumbent. People told him it was going to be impossible to defeat an incumbent in a down ballot race, but he went for it and became the first Latino elected to the Board and the youngest ever to serve as Board President.
Fitting with our theme and goals of making the gala as environmentally friendly as possible, Abel has led several green initiatives at Peralta. He helped to secure over $20 million for career education and green jobs, and created the Easy Pass partnership with AC Transit that saves each student over $1,000 a year (and gets more students on the bus).
I could probably write pages about why Abel deserves this awards, but I’ll save that for the event.
Kick-Ass Youth Advocate: Sean Dugar
Sean Dugar was a clear choice for the youth advocate award this year. Sean helped build EBYD to what it is today, and through his tireless activism has helped found and grown multiple other organizations in the East Bay and statewide.
In his nearly 8 year tenure with the NAACP Sean worked on a range of issues including Death Penalty, Police Brutality, and Higher Education Access issues but continued his passion of electoral organizing, coordinating campaigns that registered over 15,000 new young voters in the Bay Area between 2003 and 2008. Working his way up through the NAACP, Sean aged out of the most recent office of President of the California NAACP Youth & College Division in 2009.
Today, Sean continues to advocate for young people and people of color. Having co-founded and been elected Chair of the California Young Democrats Black Caucus in April of 2010, he has pushed a strong “Game Changing” agenda throughout the organization. Now at over 600 members the CYDBC is the largest and most active caucus in CYD.
In the fall election, due to Sean’s leadership, the CYD Black Caucus contacted 5000 young black voters across the state of California through phone banking, precinct walking, and social networking as part of its GOTV efforts in 9 targeted races across the state. Sean is also a founding member of the East Bay Young Democrats, South Alameda County Young Dems, and New Leaders Council (NLC). In 2011, Sean was elected by his peers to serve as a Delegate for the California Democratic Party in Assembly District 16.
Please join EBYD this Thursday to honor Abel and Sean and to celebrate the work we’ve done to engage young people in the political process and to elect people who represent our values.
Join us for celebration, food, and drinks at Numi Tea Garden, a beautiful oasis in the industrial Central Estuary neighborhood.
When: 6:30 – 9:30pm, June 30, 2011
Where: Numi Tea Garden, 2230 Livingston Street, Oakland
Tickets: $30 for EBYD members/$40 for non-members
To make the gala more environmentally friendly, we are providing a free shuttle from Fruitvale BART, picking up at the taxi stop. Look for the sign – “EBYD Gala 2011 Shuttle”. The shuttle will start pick ups at BART at 6:15pm and will start bringing people back to BART at 8pm. Bicycles are allowed on the shuttle. Please consider leaving your car at home and take BART and our free shuttle!
You can find more details and can RSVP on the Facebook event.
Thanks to our generous host committee for helping making this event possible:
Leaders: Hon. Jesse Arreguin, Hon. Susan Bonilla, Hon. Joan Buchanan, Hon. Abel Guillen, UFCW Local 5, Hon. Bob Wieckowski
Mover n’ Shakers: APA Democratic Caucus of Alameda County, Berkeley Patients Group, Cal Dems, Harborside Health Center, Mario Juarez, Milo Group of California, Oaksterdam University, Barbara Parker, Hon. Bill Quirk, Hon. Nancy Skinner, South County Young Democrats, Hon. Igor Tregub, Hon. Betty Yee
Advocates: Luis Alcazar, Jonathan Bair, Olga Bolotina, Hon. Rob Bonta, Ronnie Caplane, Hon. Keith Carson, Hon. Josh Daniels, Amy DeReyes, Sean Donahoe, East Bay Stonewall Democratic Club, Frieda K. Edgette, Dria Fearn, Rocky Fernandez, Annie Flores, Hon. Nicky Gonzalez Yuen, Hon. Loni Hancock, Hon. Ann-Marie Hogan, Hon. Rebecca Kaplan, Hon. Andy Katz, Andy Kelley, Royce Kelley, Hon. Beatriz Levya-Cutler, Kate Maeder, Peggy Moore & Hope Wood, Kathy Neal, Dave & Mary Nicely, Wayne Nishioka, Lily Nguyen, Jennifer Ong, Hon. Elsa Ortiz, Dorian Peters, Ces Rosales, Rena Rickles, Hon. Courtney Ruby, John Russo, Rebecca Saltzman, Hon. Tim Sbranti, Hon. Libby Schaaf, Sean Sullivan, Hon. Sandre Swanson, Hon. Lena Tam, Esperanza Tervalon-Daumont, Matthew Tisdale, Hon. Tony Thurmond, Vien Truong, Hon. Kriss Worthington