December Member of the Month: Teddy Smyth

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Teddy has been an active member of the Metro Richmond Area Young Democrats since he moved to Richmond in March. He just wrapped up as campaign manager for Delegate-elect Jennifer Carroll Foy, who won by an astonishing margin of 26 points and flipped the seat from red to blue.

Teddy’s work as a campaign manager was mentioned alongside coverage of Delegate-elect Jennifer Carroll Foy in the Washington Postthe NationWIRED, and Topic’s documentary film series “She’s the Ticket.” He describes his organizing style as “enthusiastic and goal-oriented” and feels passionately that we must elect a new generation of young progressive leaders, led by women and people of color. 

Teddy got his start organizing students for action on climate change and environmental justice at Middlebury College in Vermont. He then worked to turn out the youth vote in New Hampshire with NextGen Climate before returning to his roots in the South to work on the campaign to elect Hillary Clinton and Democrats in North Carolina. After a period of sadness, he moved to Richmond with his best friend Hannah Bristol, to jump into the fray that was Virginia 2017. He worked for BoldProgressives.org supporting 5 Delegate challengers, including Jennifer Carroll Foy, and he joined Delegate-elect Carroll Foy’s team full-time after she won her primary by 14 votes. 

Outside of organizing, Teddy enjoys fishing in Byrd Park with fellow MRAYD members Ben Hermerding and Drew Shannon, tubing on the James River with MRAYD members Hannah Bristol and Thomas Fischl, and biking around town on his large red bike. 

November Member of the Month: Jack Irvin

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Jack has been an active member of the Metro Richmond Area Young Democrats for the past two years. He was born and raised in the Richmond area. Jack briefly left Richmond to earn his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia where he got a double major in History and Politics and a minor in Astronomy. He still remembers the locations of several constellations. Jack returned to his beloved hometown after graduation.

Jack is a former Governor’s Fellow and currently serves in the McAuliffe administration as the Operations Manager for Restoration of Rights where he helps Virginians with felony convictions get their civil rights back. During his time in the administration, over 160,000 individuals have regained their rights to vote, serve on a jury, run for public office, and become a notary public.  He is also a member of the City of Richmond’s Citizen Advisory Commission on Alternatives to Incarceration. Jack is passionate about criminal justice reform and strives to create change that will lead to a system where everyone is equal under the law and a system that focuses on rehabilitation.

He has been an active volunteer for several campaigns, spending many hours knocking on doors around the city of Richmond and making calls.  Outside of politics, Jack enjoys reading, scrolling through Twitter, playing trivia at various local spots, and watching sports. He is a die-hard Wahoo, experiencing the highs of UVA basketball and the lows of UVA football.

 

October Member of the Month: Eugene Chigna.

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Eugene Chigna is a member of MRAYD, and serves as the current treasurer of the Virginia Young Democrats. The proud son of Guatemalan immigrants, Eugene does his best to champion the values, dreams, and ideals that not only his parents passed on, but that other immigrant families and fellow Americans share and fight for every day. Born in Los Angeles, California, Eugene moved to the Northern Virginia area at age five and completed his education in Arlington County. He began his college education in Hampton University, and later transferred to Virginia Commonwealth University where he graduated with political science honors.

In 2016 Eugene interned with Senator Creigh Deeds during the General Assembly session; became a Governor’s Fellow; interned with the Hillary Clinton campaign; and was appointed by the Honorable Terence McAuliffe to the Virginia Latino Advisory Board–where he serves as chair of the education and workforce development committee. In this role, Eugene advises the Governor on the needs and concerns of the Latino communities in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and puts forth recommendations on an annual basis. Eugene also serves as Central Virginia co-chair of the Democratic Latino Organization of Virginia, helping the Democratic Party of Virginia to reach more Latino voters and communities, and helping to expand the Democratic Party. Eugene is also a graduate of the Sorensen Institute’s Emerging Leaders Program.

Eugene is passionate about music and enjoys playing music with his friends. He enjoys seeing live shows, and going out to listen to the Richmond Symphony, where he also serves as a member of their 20/30 advisory council. Eugene enjoys playing and coaching volleyball, and has coached youth local and club national teams. He has a six-year-old cat, owns enough instruments to form a one-man-band, and can read minds. You may be saying to yourself ‘no he can’t’–but he already knew you would think that.

September Member of the Month: Scott Castro.

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Scott is a member of the Metro Richmond Area Young Democrats and currently serves as the Political Director for the Dawn Adams for Delegate campaign. He is as a Public Policy and Budget Analyst at the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, working to improve access to mental health services to the citizens of the Commonwealth and to help stem the tide of the opioid addiction epidemic. Additionally, Scott serves as the President of the Virginia Supportive Housing Junior Board of Directors

Scott grew up in rural Maryland and moved to Richmond in 2005 to attend the University of Richmond. He took his Political Science degree to D.C. and worked at an education policy think tank while pursuing his Masters of Public Policy at American University’s School of Public Affairs. Scott moved back to Richmond after earning his MPP to be closer to his girlfriend, and now fiancé, Sarah Mersereau.

When he’s not working to improve the lives of vulnerable Virginians, he’s most likely knocking doors, making calls, or writing policy white papers for local and statewide Democratic nominees. He’s a staple at local music venues, a die-hard Baltimore Ravens fan, and enjoys some causal gaming when he can find an hour to spare. Finally, no bio on Scott would be complete without mentioning his love for cats, especially Fiona, his 10-month old tuxedo kitten.

Know an outstanding young democrat? Nominate our next member of the month here.