Why the Young Dems?

By Marius Johnson

President St. Louis Young Democrats

Hello Fellow Young Dems!

My name is Marius Johnson-Malone and I am the current President of the St. Louis Young Democrats. I want to welcome you to our new Young Dems blog and accompanying newsletter. This space will serve as a way for the YD Executive Committee to have a more ongoing conversation with our members and the broader public about issues that are important to us as young progressives. That may translate to policy rants, election news, surveys, and more. Our greatest hope for this space is that you, as a member, will engage and let us know what you like or dislike. We ultimately want this blog to serve as an opportunity to have a conversation.

To start that conversation, I want to begin by letting you know a bit about why I am a Young Democrat. I was raised by my grandmother in south Kansas City. Like all families, my grandmother instilled in me a set of values that was in line with her own upbringing and life experience. Chief among these values was the notion of human dignity. Above all, my grandmother raised me to believe in the value of every human being having dignity. This translated into an understanding that if you work hard and try to live your life by the rules, you should be able to count on some basic things. You should know you have a place to lay your head at night and a job to return to the next day. If you are sick, you should be able to see a doctor without worrying over the financial consequences. Perhaps most importantly, my grandmother taught me that those of us who are fortunate enough have these basic needs met have an obligation to work so others have the same opportunities.

As I got older and began to understand what each political party represented, it was clear to me that Democrats were the party that was serious about ensuring that all people are afforded the basic level of human dignity we should all expect. I won’t pretend the two party system of democracy is perfect. Nor will I claim that the Democratic Party is the perfect embodiment of progressive causes that I support. However, when I reflect on the values my grandmother instilled in me the choice is clear. The leaders most consistently willing to fight for people who are not currently given a fair shot are almost always Democrats.

I know there are many in our generation who share my values and who want to support leaders willing to fight for those values. The St. Louis Young Democrats is a place to identify, develop, and support those leaders. I am a Young Dem because I believe in the fight for human dignity. I invite you to join me and the rest of the Young Dems in that fight.