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Emerson hosts convention for college Democrats

Massachusetts Congressional candidate Joe Kennedy III and Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren were among the speakers at the annual College Democrats of Massachusetts Convention held at Emerson March 31–April 1. The Emerson College Democrats student organization hosted the event, which brought 156 students from 22 colleges across Massachusetts to campus.

Samm Leska and Joe Kennedy

President of Emerson College Democrats Samm Leska '12 presented Joe Kennedy III with a College Democrats of Massachusetts T-shirt during the group's annual convention. The shirt features a quote from Kennedy's great-uncle Senator Ted Kennedy, who was the first honorary chair of the College Democrats of Massachusetts.

Samm Leska ’12, president of Emerson’s chapter, eastern regional co-director of the statewide organization, and co-chair of the convention, noted that the turnout was one of the largest on record for the annual convention. During the weekend, students listened to talks by prominent political leaders and attended workshops on topics such as voter protection, working with the press, jobs in politics, and campaign voter database software.

Kennedy, a candidate for U.S. Congress from the state’s 4th Congressional District, charged the student delegates to be involved in the politcal process. “Make no mistake, this is our fight,” he said. Quoting his grandfather, Robert F. Kennedy, he stressed that “the world demands the qualities of youth; it is youth who must take the lead.”

Echoing the same theme, State Treasurer Steve Grossman refused to call the students “future” leaders of the party. “You are the party’s current leaders,” he said. Grossman identified equal justice as the core value of the Democratic Party, reminding his audience that “there is never a wrong time to do the right thing for equal justice under the law.”

Warren, the convention’s keynote speaker, described her experience working in the Obama administration, struggling successfully against entrenched opposition to establish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She reassured her audience that “we have all of us” to fight special interests. “We can make something powerful happen,” she said.

Besides Leska, Caitlin Duffy ’14, Abby Ledoux ’15, and Marion Pritchard ’15 represented Emerson on the committee that planned the convention.

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