Young Alabama: A political organization started by millennials
Many successful ventures begin as a group of friends who are after something: Apple, The Skimm, Ben & Jerry’s.
It’s too early to determine the success of Young Alabama, but the friends are certainly after something.
Young Alabama is a small bunch of Auburn grads who love politics and love Alabama, and who want to see the concerns of young people given more attention in Montgomery and Washington.
“Our parties are not speaking to young people,” said David Wisdom, Young Alabama’s president, in an interview with Yellowhammer. Wisdom said both Democrats and Republicans, on both national and state levels, are guilty of fielding older candidates who do not talk enough about issues affecting young people.
Wisdom and Young Alabama’s Vice President, Collier Tynes, also hold leadership positions in the Greater Birmingham Young Republicans, who notoriously withdrew their support of Roy Moore.
Wisdom said a key reason for Moore’s and other candidates’ failures have proved to be their inability to appeal to young people.
He also said that young people are more politically and socially consequential than often thought.
“Millennials are no longer the kids in high school and college. They’re doctors and lawyers – or about to be doctors and lawyers – and accountants and nurses and they deserve to be spoken to on policy issues.”
Executive Director Michael Bullington, who met Wisdom as they served in Auburn’s Student Government Association, said the idea for Young Alabama bloomed in 2016 as the group began gathering to put their political conversations into a podcast, and it grew into an initiative to improve politics for young people.
“We just kind of realized that there was a lot of room for an organization like this that could kind of push an ideology, but also at the same time not be bound by a party,” Bullington said.
Wisdom continued, “We’re not bound by some of the rules that some of the Republican clubs are. Republican clubs cannot endorse primary candidates – or they’re not supposed to. That’s one thing that we’re able to do, not being directly tied to ALGOP or other Republican groups.”
Bullington reinforced that even though Young Alabama’s founding members are conservatives, they want to keep it from becoming closed.
“I think we all agree on our personal politics pretty well, but we want to keep an open mind, not box ourselves in.”