The Unitarian Universalist Association Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries is full of gratitude for everyone who participated in the YA@GA elections process. Big thank yous go out to everyone who registered as a candidate, ran in the election, read about the candidates, encouraged others to vote and of course to the 60 young adults who did vote in the process.
Without further ado we present the new YA@GA Co-Facilitator for 2017-2018: Aisha Ansano!
Aisha is a 3rd year Master of Divinity candidate at Harvard Divinity School and an aspirant in the Unitarian Universalist ordination process. She's writing her thesis on the phenomenon of dinner churches and planning to start a non-Christian dinner church. Currently working at Simple Church in Grafton, MA, Aisha is deeply interested in the intersections of food, spirituality, and community.
We're excited to work with her as we plan General Assembly (GA) 2017 (New Orleans, LA) and GA 2018 (Kansas City, MO). In the meantime, get excited for THIS General Assembly in Columbus Ohio! I know I'm jazzed about it. More information about the excellent YA@GA programming in Columbus will be coming soon.
In the meantime, here's what we learned from our second year of online YA@GA elections
Our young adults are super into the democratic process. Two-thirds of those who voted in the election were motivated by our fifth principle. Folks also tended to know one of the candidates personally, which certainly is a strong motivation for voting. More than half of those who voted reported knowing one of three fine folks who were running.
We also had lots of new voters in the process: 34 out of the 60 voters had never participated in a YA@GA or Young Adult Caucus election before. Of the remaining folks who had voted before, 11 had voted at an in-person election at GA in 2014 or earlier, 10 had voted online last year and 4 had done both in person and online voting (so dedicated!)
The Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries and the Young Adults at General Assembly staff are committed to continuing to think through the best way to recruit, vet and select our leaders and we thank everyone for your support and participation as we've experimented with moving elections to the internet.