ROSELLE — Archange Antoine, Vice President of the Roselle School Board, met with elected officials, representatives from progressive organizations, and national political leaders last week in Washington, D.C., at the eighth annual convening of People For the American Way Foundation’s Young Elected Officials Network.
At the convening, Antoine explored policy initiatives, participated in issue-based training sessions, and shared ideas with nearly 200 fellow progressive elected officials from across the country. National leaders at the convening included White House senior advisor Valerie Jarrett and multiple members of the U.S. Congress.
“I’m even more committed to working with kids, parents, grassroots organizations and state legislators to make sure public education succeeds for all in New Jersey,” said Antoine. “This means tackling some of the inequalities and working to address the fiscal and social disparities that ultimately affect the lives of all men, women and children.”
Antoine, 31 was elected to the Roselle Board of Education in 2011 and has been a member of the Young Elected Officials Network since January 2012. He brought his own unique perspective to the convening, sharing his experience on organizing for equitable school funding for diverse communities and working on solutions to help poor and middle class families and children in New Jersey.
“We are the next generation of leaders the world has been waiting for and this conference gives us the tools and network to be more effective leaders,” he said. “I’ve come to realize that the American Dream will never be realized if we don’t have champions who hold people accountable and make sure legislation, communities and businesses are working together to create the opportunities that lead to the American Dream for our children”
The Young Elected Officials (YEO) Network, a project of People For the American Way Foundation, is composed of more than 650 city, county, state and federal officials ages 18 to 35, representing all 50 states.
The theme at this year’s convening was “Accelerating the Speed of Progress,” reflecting the YEO Network’s belief in the importance of bringing young officials together to propel the progressive movement forward. At the convening, elected officials discussed policy solutions to issues affecting their constituents, from the local to the national level. The conference covered a wide array of policy topics ranging from education to environmental sustainability, as well as core tenets of progressive leadership, such as community empowerment and the expansion of democracy.
“These elected officials are each making a profound impact in their individual communities,” said Andrew Gillum, Tallahassee City Commissioner and executive director of the YEO Network. “State and local elected officials can make an even greater impact when they are connected. By bringing these progressive leaders together, this conference provides for the exchange of ideas and the development of new policy solutions. The Young Elected Officials Network aims to unite and support the young elected officials of our country with the hope that they will return to their communities even better equipped as leaders.”
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