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YA@GA Elections Tuesday April 7th!

Posted by Annie Gonzalez Milliken // April 1st 2015 // GA, young adults // 2 comments


 YA@GA15_ElectionWhat YOU Need to Know to Vote:

As explained in this post calling for candidates, Young Adults@General Assembly (YA@GA) was known as Young Adult Caucus and historically elected caucus “co-moderators” during a program slot at General Assembly. Shifting to YA@GA in 2014 we not only re-imagined how we serve young adults at GA with programming, we also began to re-think other practices like elections. In-person elections were poorly attended, didn’t always yield a slate full of qualified candidates, and made it impossible for anyone who wasn’t at GA that year to participate. We knew we could live more fully into our fifth principle.

So this year it’s different. This year candidates registered in advance and we checked in with their references to make sure they are indeed Unitarian Universalist(UU) young adults with good boundaries and leadership skills. This year anyone who is a UU young adult (ages 18-35) and cares about this issue can vote, whether or not they will be in Portland in June for General Assembly 2015.

What does it take to be a YA@GA co-facilitator?  What is this role you’re voting on?

Jonathan Rogers, our senior co-facilitator for 2015 says:

The first YA event that I went to at a GA was a worship in 2011 in Charlotte. I attended on a lark, and it helped me deepen my spiritual experience of General Assembly. What I have learned in two years on the YA@GA staff is that the amount of planning that goes into worships, workshops, and GA Talks is huge. It involves getting feedback from the previous year, shaping a vision for YA@GA, and communicating, collaborating and doing the work of making that vision a reality. A good co-facilitator will be someone who can do all those things and still have enough left in the tank to be a friendly and positive ambassador for the YA@GA group during the long hours at GA itself.

Ayla Halberstadt, our junior co-facilitator for 2015 says:

I started attending GA in 2012 and found my connections in the YA space, I made friends that I still talk to weekly despite being 2000 miles away. I am learning that as we shape how YA@GA will look in Portland this year, there is an opportunity to help facilitate connections within our young adult community that will last much longer than the 4 days we spend in the convention center. It also takes time to plan, listen, collaborate, and shape those 4 days of programing and community. Being a good co-facilitator is being able to take your passion for our faith movement and spread the energy to the YA community and beyond.

If you’re a UU young adult, read this post, watch each short candidate video, and make an informed choice! On April 7th this wufoo form will go live and you can rank your candidates in order of preference. So mark your calendars, set an alarm, make sure that at some point on April 7th you visit this wufoo form and make your voice heard!

And the candidates are:

CameronYoungCameron Young is a native of Dallas, Texas and currently lives in Fort Worth, Texas where he serves as Director of Lifespan Religious Education at Westside Unitarian Universalist Church. He became active in Unitarian Universalism at the age of 16 at the First Unitarian Church of Dallas. In addition to being a DLRE, Cameron is also a professional singer, having studied classical voice at Louisiana State University.


EllenRockettEllen Rockett is a digital designer from Illinois who grew up Unitarian Universalist UU with Youth CONs and summers at Camp Unistar. She went to college in Rochester, NY and was involved with First Unitarian there, the third-largest UU congregation in the country, as well as the other churches along her young adult journey.


KarlineValentineKarline Valentine grew up in southern New Mexico – right on the Mexican Border. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from New Mexico State University and taught public school in New Mexico for five years. In 2012, she moved to Utah and became a Unitarian Universalist! Since then, she has devoted much time, talent and treasure investing in that family of choice and is excited to develop further leadership skills.


Isaac CastroIsaac Castro is 27 years old and grew up in the small town of El Centro, California. He moved to San Diego to attend San Diego State University and stayed since graduating. Living in a large city helped him blossom into a young gay male/activist, and he found an accepting spiritual home at First Church. After attending for a year and a half, he can’t imagine life without this welcoming congregation.


NicCoffmanNic Coffman volunteers for Unitarian Universalist (UU) Congregations and LGBTQ Centers in San Diego County, particularly in the areas of music ministry, events, and graphics.  An event coordinator by trade, Nic is on the path toward ministry. As a Pagan Catholic Unitarian, Nic has led rituals, put together a UU Service in Drag for Pride Weekend, planned and volunteered for various events, and is currently on the board of the San Diego Pride Military Contingent.

Now you know the candidates, so on April 7th, fire up that computer, tablet or smart phone and exercise the 5th principle.  Go VOTE!

About the Author

Annie is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister and currently serves our faith as the Young Adult and Campus Ministry Associate for the Unitarian Universalist Association.
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