Who We Are
The Young Democrats of North Carolina (YDNC) serve as the official youth arm of the North Carolina Democratic Party (NCDP). The vision of the Young Democrats of North Carolina is to make North Carolina a better place by promoting its issues, its young people, and the spirit of the Democratic Party.
The YDNC President and YDNC's two Young Democrats of America (YDA) National Committee Representatives serve on the State Executive Council of the NCDP, its highest governing body. The current (81st) President of YDNC is Dorian Palmer, and the current YDA National Representatives are Katherine Jeanes and Zachary Finley.
YDNC is organized at a county level, and any group of five or more Democrats aged at or between sixteen to thirty-five may join or form a chapter. Currently, active membership is exclusive to registered Democrats, but specific membership options vary by county. Progressive unaffiliated voters are invited to connect with their local chapters if they are interested in getting involved.
In addition to our network of county chapters, YDNC is partner to the College Democrats of North Carolina (CDNC) and the North Carolina Association of Teen Democrats (NCATD). All members of CDNC and NCATD are full voting members of the Young Democrats of North Carolina.
YDNC believes in the American values of freedom, fairness, equality, and social justice. We believe the Democratic Party at its best embodies these values, and the Young Democrats of North Carolina exists to advance these principles and give the youth of North Carolina a vehicle for progressive change.
2023 Ydnc Executive Board members
Ydnc officers visit the General Assembly in 2021
Inauguration of O. Max Gardner, 1929
Sir Walter Hotel, downtown Raleigh
The Young Democrats of North Carolina have our origins in the 1928 gubernatorial campaign of O. Max Gardner. With the Democratic Party in North Carolina fractured that year over Presidential nominee Al Smith's anti-prohibition stance, Gardner knew he would need to organize the state on an unprecedented scale in order to keep Democrats alive. So, one summer day in downtown Raleigh, he and a number of prominent party leaders gathered and charged ten young men from across North Carolina with a simple task:
“If the Democratic Party in North Carolina is to be saved, the young Democrats will have to do it.”
These young people got to work immediately under the leadership of Tyre C. Taylor, a native of Sparta, NC who was living in Mecklenburg County at the time. Together, they organized rapidly, chartering clubs in 96 of North Carolina's 100 counties by election day (the very first chapter was in Buncombe County!) and helping sweep statewide Governor Gardner to victory in an otherwise Republican-leaning year. Although their work in the 1928 campaign was over, though, the Young Democrats of North Carolina would continue on.
On June 15, 1932, the first state convention was held at the Sir Walter Hotel in Raleigh and our first set of official bylaws were adopted. That same year, Tyre Taylor would go on to found the Young Democrats of America, making YDNC the oldest and founding chapter of our national organization. YDNC has persisted continuously since, and though much has changed in our state, we've remained focused on our core values of making North Carolina a better place by promoting its issues, its young people, and the spirit of the Democratic Party.