February 26, 2013 officially marked the second anniversary of the California Young Republican Federation!
The Young Republicans have actually existed in some form in California at least since the 1950s. However, as most readers know, there was a major YR election dispute 20 years ago, causing the organization to split into the California Young Republicans (CYR) and the Young Republican Federation of California (YRFC). Approximately four years ago, I assumed the position of CYR Secretary, under then CYR-Chair Jenniffer Rodriguez. Jenniffer and I decided that there was no need to continue the split when the original people behind it were by and large no longer of YR age, so we approached YRFC’s leadership at the time, headed up by then-Chairman Shawn Fago and then-National Committeeman Adam Abrahms, to begin merger negotiations.
Unfortunately, some leaders of CYR, primarily in Kern County, did not wish to merge with YRFC, because growing the size of the organization’s membership and Board of Directors meant they would lose some amount of power. So, these Kern County YRs resorted to various tactics to try and block the merger, ultimately commencing an improper arbitration proceeding against Jenniffer and me. However, we worked over the next few years to build support within our organization and the CRP at large for our merger, and ultimately the merger was made official and CYRF was born at a special YR convention held on February 26, 2011, and the CRP granted a permanent volunteer organization charter to CYRF at the 2011 organizing convention just a few weeks later. Special thanks goes out to then-Senate Republican Leader Bob Dutton, Senator Joel Anderson, Republican County Chairs Jane Barnett, Scott Baugh, and Tony Krvaric for helping us build crucial support, and to past CRP Chairman Mike Schroeder, CYRF General Counsel Dave Bartels, Immediate Past Chairman Adam Abrahms, and current State Vice Chairman Chris Mays for their ongoing pro bono legal support for the merger. I am proud to have served as CYRF National Committeeman for the past two years, and look forward to continuing to serve in this role.
In the past two years, CYRF has been hard at work bringing new young professionals into the Republican Party and providing crucial support for our Republican candidates for office. In the summer of 2011, we held a hugely successful inaugural convention featuring Ann Coulter and the late Andrew Breitbart, which won us the Event of the Year award at the national Young Republican Leadership Conference in 2012. At the March 2012 CRP Convention, we hosted a young voter town hall that received much media attention. During election season, we organized a number of statewide deployments, transporting members from around the state to support Ricky Gill in CD9, Craig Huey in CD36 (special), Brian Bilbray in CD52, Bill Berryhill in SD5, Beth Gaines in AD6, Peter Tateishi in AD8, Scott Wilk in AD38, Eric Linder in AD60, Allan Mansoor in AD74, and Carl DeMaio for Mayor of San Diego. Our efforts were particularly vital to defending Allan Mansoor’s Assembly seat and electing freshmen Assemblymen Eric Linder and Scott Wilk.
The Publisher of this website, Jon Fleischman, had this to say about our successes: “The Young Republicans here in California are strong, vibrant, and impactful. As a unified organization, CYRF is training future leaders in our party and is engaged in the heart of the battle to win over young minds to our party’s candidates.”
With that record of achievement behind us, CYRF looks forward to making an even bigger impact toward Republican victories in 2014. Our primary goals are threefold: (1) to build a mobile army of hundreds of Young Republican activists to deploy anywhere in California, (2) to establish Young Republican chapters in every county in California, and (3) to become the primary vehicle through which the California Republican Party reaches young professional voters. To that end, we would like to invite you to our CRP Welcome Reception hosted along with the Sacramento County Republican Party at 5pm this evening at Gallagher’s Irish Pub where you can learn more about our efforts.
The entire CYRF team looks forward to working with the rest of the Party to make some gains in the upcoming election cycle. Here’s to victory in 2014!