ALBION — A small, dedicated minority can make all the difference.
That was part of the message given at the forum for the creation of a Young Democrats chapter in Orleans County on Wednesday. Held at the Hoag Memorial Library, Patrick Jordan, president of the New York State Young Democrats, came down from New York City to talk to Orleans County Democrats about the possibility of a chapter in a county where Republicans outnumber Democrats 2.5:1.
“If you have 10 members in a chapter, and each of them knocks on 40 doors over a month. Over the course of a year, that’s 4,800 (for all 10 of them). That’s 10 percent of the population for Orleans County,” he said, adding knocking on doors causes a person to be 40 percent more likely to vote, calling 6 percent, every person who sees a lawn sign is .04 percent more likely to vote and an ad on the internet is .014 percent more likely to vote. “It doesn’t take a lot of people to make a huge difference.”
Jordan said he wants a chapter in every county, and hops to have 40 chapters by 2019 before he ages out. Recently in November, Genesee County charted its own Young Democrats chapter in November. The four things needed to start a chapter are the following:
• ten registered Democrats who live in the county or 16- and 17-year-olds who live in the county;
• a Constitution;
• officers — secretary, treasurer, president and vice president; and
• signoff by the county chair.
Andrea Newman, a Holley school board member who won against an incumbent, said what pushed her to run for the school board — and what young adults need — is encouragement from older adults. She said taking the time to pinpoint the people around that do have a strong voice can help carry the party forward. For the younger Democrats, she told them what caused her to run for the seat was that if she didn’t, somebody else would, and she had things she wanted to say.
“(Younger Democrats) really want a change,” said Kenny Capurso, a young Democrat in Orleans County who helped his father run for Orleans County Legislature. He said if people are listened to — whether it be about healthcare of other issues — and informed on the Democratic platform, real change can happen. His father, Al Capurso, added Democrats were running into problems as well because they let the opposition define what they are, and that doesn’t serve the party well because it was based on a lot of fear and ignorance.
Jordan said the most impactful thing a politician has ever said to him was, “I believe it is the job of a politician to make the world a little bit easier so that other people can change the world. Make the world a little bit easier so that the person who grows up to be Martin Luther King can go to an after-school program as a kid. Make it a little bit easier so the guy who grows up to be Elon Musk doesn’t have to worry about taking food to his grandparents because Meals on Wheels are there, so he can go to another night class.”
Anyone with questions may call (585) 813-2934 or visit orleansdemocrats.com.