We are delighted to announce we are running for chair of Liberal Youth as a job share. We need to create some energy within Liberal Youth and open it up to members. With only 5% of our membership currently active we understand that Liberal Youth needs a lot of work in the coming months, something we are committed to. Liberal Youth needs a team spirit and shared vision.
Through ensuring Liberal Youth is a campaigning organisation, recruiting & engaging with members we can build an effective organisation able to promote the Liberal values of our party.
We hope to build Liberal Youth as a campaigning organisation, making a difference both within the party and reaching out to the public. Firstly we have developed a plan for Liberal Youth to win key areas for the Liberal Democrats in May 2013 – The Gold Guard. By targeting areas that the party can win we believe our members and resources can make the difference. This will include Liberal Youth action days as well as making sure we have our own connect account. This will allow Liberal Youth to mobilise as well as incentivise – if a member phone canvasses 100 people in a week they could be entered into a draw to have lunch with Tim Farron….or even a 1 on 1 with Jeremy Browne. Through viral, exciting and innovative campaigning methods we can create a community spirit about the organisation as well as electing Liberal Democrats and promoting Liberal Youth policy. With Sam’s experience of running the award winning Bears For Belarus campaign which received international media attention and 24,000 views we can take this form of campaigning forward.
We also need to recruit and what better way than Freshers? In the past this has not gone well for Liberal Youth and we recognise it is a major concern of members. We want to launch a consultation with members to find out what you want from freshers – what worked and what is needed. It may seem early but getting the plans in place as soon as possible is vital to have a fully functioning fresher’s campaign. We promise to work with members to ensure that the resources are in place for societies to recruit. We also promise to have online training in recruiting and running fresher stalls.
Perhaps the greatest problem facing Liberal Youth is the level of membership engagement – that’s why we aim to focus on getting those 95% involved. Liberal Youth has become an executive clique in recent times with poor attendance at events. We hope to reach out through campaigns, training and speaking to as many members as possible. We want members to feel there is something to gain from Liberal Youth. This includes empowerment. By running new, exciting training on political skills we can empower members to do what they want in the party – from speaking to voters to running a campaign. We have also decided that each week, we will speak to 3 Liberal Youth members we have not spoken to before and encourage the rest of the exec to do so as well. The gap between the exec and members is dreadful and this simple task can go a long way in solving that. By running 3 meetings a year for branch chairs – including all university branch chairs we can share skills and experience, bring a sense of togetherness to Liberal Youth. Liberal Youth must also go further in supporting Liberal Youth Scotland and IR Cymru who are currently overlooked and underfunded. We are all young liberals with the same aims and too often we forget this. A unified community of young liberals sharing ideas and campaigning together can make a big difference.
Liberal Youth is in a bad state. With no meaningful presence at recent elections, low turnout in our own elections and a tiny proportion of our members engaged there is a lot of work to do.
We feel our vision of a positive energetic youth wing standing up for our members and empowering young liberals is one we desperately need.
We hope you will join us on this task.