Students for a New American Politics join with local politicians to raise funds
This may be an off-season for campaigning but a group of Yale students are making efforts to raise funds for the 2012 races.
Students For a New American Politics is a progressive group who place interested members with political campaigns in an effort to get younger generations interested in politics. The group was founded in 2005 and since then they have had a hand in numerous campaigns across the country. In order to get members involved with campaigns, they host fundraisers that will pay for an eight to 12 week fellowship.
The group held a fundraiser Sunday at a private home in New Canaan.
Executive Director of SNAP Rhiannon Bronstein thanked the attendees of Sunday's fundraiser for their continued support.
"We're so excited to be here and we're excited to tell you what we have planned," Bronstein said. "As you all know, 2010 was a challenging year and a little disheartening for Progressives."
Bronstein said SNAP placed 18 fellows with campaigns last summer and the group was looking to raise funds to help more students get involved.
"SNAP gives you the biggest bang for your buck because almost all that money goes to the students since we have very minimal overhead costs," Bronstein said.
SNAP member Lee Kennedy-Shaffer said his time working for Himes was exhausting but well worth the effort.
"I had done some volunteer work before but not to the extent I was doing on with the campaign," Kennedy-Shaffer said. "Since then, I've gotten involved with the SNAP executive board and I want to bring an even better program next summer."
Kennedy-Shaffer said the efforts made by SNAP members to help candidates win is important, but the real payoff is with the number of young people who get involved in politics.
As part of the fundraiser, Congressman Jim Himes (D-4) was on hand to offer his support for the group.
"I've worked with SNAP since before I was first elected," Himes said. "Two of us survived 2010 and that was largely in part due to SNAP."
Himes said organizations like SNAP are important because they help younger generations get involved and stem the tide of disengaged voters.
Also on hand for the event was Congressman Chris Murphy (D-5) who said one of the first organizations to back him during his first campaign was SNAP.
"No one believed I had any chance in that race," Murphy said. "It was such a great feeling knowing that a national organization believed in us."
New Canaan Democratic Selectman Sally Hines, Darien Democratic Selectman David Bayne, former Darien First Selectman Evonne Klein, Comptroller Kevin Lembo and William Tong were also present at Sunday's event.