Be The Change – September 15, 2018

Be the Change Youth Empowerment Summit committee has been meeting regularly since last February to plan an exciting conference for high school youth on September 15, 2018.

We are in the process of fundraising for the event and thanks to the work of Sunny Carraway, we’ve been awarded $500 from the California Democratic Party, Bradley Fund and Carol and Ed Koons generously donated $50. While AADC has set aside $1,000 towards the event we’re still in need of additional donations. To that end, Jan Bell helped us send a letter to all the Placer County Democratic Party clubs and central committee asking for donations to help this county-wide project and to encourage them to invite youth in their areas to attend. We’re hoping to raise a total of $3,500 to meet our goal of 50 youth at approximately $70 per attendee.  Any donations you can make towards this effort would be greatly appreciated. Checks should be made out to AADC, with a note, Be the Change in the memo and mailed to this address:

Auburn Area Democratic Club
P. O. Box 6851
Auburn, CA 95604.

The Youth Summit is being designed to hear from our youth about issues that matter to them and then to encourage them through creative workshops of art, spoken word, debate, social media to find ways to get involved in bringing those issues to light through civic engagement and voting in the upcoming November election.  We also have a firm commitment from Audrey Denny’s campaign and a tentative agreement from Jessica Morse’s campaign to attend. We’re still working on a few others who can lend a voice to the conference.  Through our Contacts with the Young Democrats of the Sierra’s we’ve expanded the geographic scope to include youth from Nevada, El Dorado and Amador Counties as well as Placer.


Outreach efforts to get the word out about the Youth Summit are the focus of the committee for the coming months and we’re gearing up for when school starts back up mid-August.  To that end, Natalie and Rocky Zapata from the Auburn Hip Hop Congress along with Leslie Moonshine ad Leslye Janusz of AADC, have been meeting with the youth in the AHHC Writing and Reciting class to put together a commercial.  Aside from some good discussion on issues they care about, the group committed to producing a commercial for the Be the Change Summit. A video of “Man on the Street” was filmed of youth doing interviews with adults and youth at the last Co-op street fair on July 5 in old town Auburn. People were asked what they would do to Be the Change in their communities and what issues were important to them. We’re meeting with Natalie and Rocky after Growing Peace Camp to review the footage and see what we can do in putting a 30 second commercial together to publicize the Be the Change September Youth Summit.

On July 16, Natalie Zapata, Sandy Floyd and Leslye Janusz met with folks at a meeting of CD1 Indivisible on Youth Voting and Gun Violence in Grass Valley/Nevada City. At that meeting, they set up a Skype interview with Emily Stone, the organizer of the Sacramento March for Our Lives and we also watched a video of the March for Our Lives Washington Rally last spring.  The youth attending this meeting were asked what was important to them in getting youth involved.  They stated that kids aren’t as interested in political parties, or who’s running for what office, as they are the issues that impact them directly! They mentioned Climate Change, Gun Safety and Social injustice as being three issues of importance.  These young people see the importance of engaging youth who might not agree with them in discussions about these issues and encouraging them to get involved and vote.  This meeting gave those of us on the Be the Change planning committee some additional ideas of how best to structure our summit.  We’ll also be meeting with our committee of three youth in early August to get more input as to the actual activities for the event.

For more information contact Leslye at or call her at 530 889-9433.