The mission of the Young Democrats of America is to elect Democrats, advocate for progressive issues, and train the next generation of progressive leaders. Founded in 1932, YDA is the largest partisan, youth-led political organization in America.
Louis Elrod was elected President of the Young Democrats of America at the organization’s 2015 National Convention in Los Angeles, California.
Louis has been involved in the Young Democrats since 2004, serving as a leader on the high school, college, and state levels. After founding a vibrant high school chapter in his hometown, he served as president of the Young Democrats of the University of Georgia, his state’s largest chapter, during the 2008 election cycle. He later represented the Young Democrats of Georgia as National Committeeman from 2010-2011, and served as YDG President from 2011 to 2013. He served as Vice President of the Young Democrats of America from 2013-15.
As President, Louis instituted a statewide training program that trained hundreds of Young Dems across the state on valuable political skills and worked to place them on campaigns during the 2012 cycle. Louis and his team ran the program at a profit, and during his tenure as president, the Young Democrats of Georgia were not only completely debt-free but had two of their most successful fundraising cycles in years.
He obtained a degree in Political Science from the University of Georgia and worked as a legislative aide for the state House Democratic Caucus after graduating. He has managed five campaigns throughout Georgia, most recently winning two races during the 2012 election cycle: one for state House and the other for District Attorney, knocking out a Republican incumbent.
Louis lives and works in the Atlanta area, and cannot be reached during UGA football games.
Akilah R. Ensley, a native of Greenville, North Carolina, attended the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and the American Intercontinental University. She holds a Bachelor of Science in International Business Management and a Master of Business Administration and Project Management. As a dedicated political advocate and community organizer, she is instilled with a passion for service and a commitment to voter protection and engagement. As a Certified Life, Business and Wellness Coach; Mentor and Coach for Brown Girls Lead; Committee Member of the North Carolina American Heart Association; and Founder and State Director of the NC Chapter of the New Leaders Council, she works diligently to promote social welfare, civic engagement and community service.
Akilah has held numerous professional positions, which include Regional Field Director for Erskine Bowles for US Senate; Partnership Specialist for the United States Census Bureau; Principal Consultant for ERA Management and Consulting, LLC; Executive Director of the Pitt County Substance Abuse Coalition; Lead Sales and Patient Education Coordinator for American Lipo Centers; and Deputy Political Director for Kay Hagan for US Senate. In addition, prior to being elected Democratic National Committeewoman for the Young Democrats of America (YDA), Akilah served her beloved North Carolina as the National Committeewoman for YDA.
Akilah has a vision of inclusion and effectiveness for the next generation of young political leaders and strategic operatives. Her goal is to build a coalition of individuals who will help to reshape the political landscape across this country
Latest News & Announcements
A few weeks ago, I had the honor to stand in front of the Capitol with top progressive leaders from around the country to launch The Progressive Agenda to Combat Income Inequality.
The Young Democrats of America was one of the inaugural signers, along with NYC Mayor De Blasio, Members of Congress, union leaders like USW President Leo Gerard, actors, think tank executives and everyday Americans. We all believe it’s time for the government to work for the American people and not just the super rich and well-connected.
For over eighty years, the Young Democrats of America have stood for human, civil, social and economic justice for all. We have stood firmly on picket lines for striking workers, marched boldly for the rights of all during the civil rights era and have became a strong progressive voice for marriage equality across this country. For decades, we have stood committed to address and confront every fight that challenged our generation.
In the Year of the Ram, Young Democrats across the country wish you good health, fortune and prosperity. The Ram is a great year and those born under its sign are known to be are wise, gentle and compassionate. But also tough and firm in their opinions. As Democrats, these are qualities we particularly value - be it compassion for those in our communities or the strength to stand by our ideals.