Monday, September 10, 2007

YLNI the Vote

YLNI is a very impressive group of "young professionals." They have done an impressive job gathering infomration on candidates and getting the word out to their supporters.

I 100% disagree with the majority of the members of YLNI due to their 100% support of Harrison Square; however, I am extremely impressed with their committment and their organization.

Here is a press release from YLNI

For more information contact:
Heather Schoegler, YLNI Vice President of Marketing
(260) 348-5252,

Brian Kelly, YLNI the VOTE task force chair
(703) 628-6937,

Rachel Blakeman, YLNI communications chair
(260) 413-1805,

September 10, 2007

YLNI the VOTE registering, educating and informing voters about the city election
Candidate brochure now available on web site, candidate night at ACPL Oct. 3

Fort Wayne, IN – Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana is informing and involving its membership of more than 1,000 in November’s election by producing a 24-page brochure featuring candidates from all the City of Fort Wayne races. In addition, YLNI will host a candidates night open to the public Wednesday, Oct. 3 and regi ster voters at organization events.

Republican, Democratic and Libertarian candidates on the city ballot replied to the same three questions. Their responses were compiled into a brochure that can be downloaded on the YLNI web site ( along with the information each candidate submitted to YLNI. The brochure also includes voter information such as a map of the city council districts. Copies of the brochure are available at upcoming YLNI events including candidates’ night.

YLNI the VOTE concludes Oct. 3 in meeting rooms A and B at the main branch of the Allen County Public Library. Formatted after the North Side Neighborhood Association candidates’ night, candidates will be given the opportunity to introduce themselves and give a 2-minute answer to a question specific to the office. The YLNI the VOTE committee will write questions prior to the event, but will not release them to the candidates. The moderator will be Michelle Gladieux, a Fort Wayne-based leadership educator and trainer.

Candidates night starts at 5:30 p.m. with a candidate meet and greet and the forum starting promptly at 6 p.m.

YLNI registered more than 35 voters at this summer’s Barr Street Market, which concluded Sept. 8. Voter registration will continue at YLNI’s general membership meeting Sept. 28 and the Oct. 3 candidates’ night.

This non-partisan effort is designed to engage YLNI’s membership in the political process and remove the two most common reasons why young adults don’t vote: lack of voter registration and lack of information about candidates and where they stand on issues important to young professionals.

"Since our founding in 2005, YLNI members have shown that they are an important part of the Fort Wayne community," said Brian Kelly, YLNI the VOTE task force chair. "It is time for our membership to voice what issues we find important and make ourselves heard on Nov. 6 in the city election."

Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana is a dynamic group that is connected to our community and committed to making it a vibrant and viable place to live, work and play. Our mission is to engage and empower our young leaders through community, professional and social opportunities. For more information about the organization, visit


Jennifer Jeffrey, Chair LPAC said...

I was involved in this committee, as some of you may or may not know, and have to say it was a tireless effort on everyone involved.

We were absolutely committed, and will be, to the non-partisan aspect of the publication and candidate's night.

Thanks goes to the Board members and community support for the advice and funding of the project.

Robert said...

Sorry, but I believe that you are wrong about YNLI. They are a pushy bunch of libs who carried the mayor's water on Harrison Square by commandeering the public meetings on the project. I was there and witnessed the parade of them stacked up to prevent less aggressive folk from speaking.

Their goal? To turn midwestern conservative Fort Wayne into a liberal Mecca. I have only their actions by which to judge them, but they seem to me to act much like the Daily Koz, Media Matters, George Soros liberal Democrats.

We do not need to have the taxpayers spend hard earned dollars on unneeded projects where we are powerless to object, except through the ballot box.

When the dust has settled, this loud minority will find out about the power of the vote.

Jeff Pruitt said...

Yes, this evil liberal group must stop trying to register and educate voters. These subversive actions will not be tolerated.

Liberal is not a political slur - I would suggest you stop listening to Mark Souder and/or any of the nonsense that passes for discourse on WOWO...

Anonymous said...

If "liberal" is not a political slur, how come democrats shy away from it like the plague? I think the last one to unabashedly embrace it was either Mondale or Dukakis, and you can see the results.

Of course, "educate" voters does not mean informing voters of the issues, it means dictating to the voters the "right position" on certain issues.

david said...


I don't think you can push your political rhetoric on this one. This committee really did involve everyone to make this truly an educational and non-partisan effort. I think if you choose to open your eyes to it, you will see that it was done correctly.

David C

barranda said...

Given my known stance on Harrison Square I am not surprised that Robert would label me as a liberal, even though I am a lifetime GOP. Nevertheless, I think Jennifer would be surprised to have been given the "lib" label.

That said, if YLNI is truly to be judged by their actions, then I am looking forward to Robert's comments following the forum, as I am confident that this committee has done a terrific job preparing for this event.

Anonymous said...

Let me pipe up on this one. I will not reveal my identity, but I got emails from YLNI and it was always come out and support Harrison Square, we need Harrison Square, rah rah sis-boom-bah. Never, and I mean not one time, was there any hint about any "education" going on or that there was going to be a discussion about whether it was a good idea. It was always couched in terms of we need to get behind this thing.

Of course, all this is fine, YLNI can do whatever they want, but let's be upfront about it.

barranda said...

Anonymous 10:11AM:

You comments are disingenuous, at best. I fear that is your reason for remaining anonymous. So be it. Nevertheless, I'll respond with two things.

First, you missed the point of Pruitt's post regarding educating. YLNI has put together a pamphlet containing statements from nearly all of the candidates running for City office (I believe a couple decided not to respond). The Candidates Night event is an opportunity for members to hear directly from the candidates in one convenient forum. The education is self-evident.

Second, you are just wrong about the education process with regards to Harrison Square. Initially, the Downtown Development Committee (DDC) held an open meeting with several members of the BaseballPLUS committee. Several weeks later we hosted a meeting with Brody, Becker, and Clark to discuss the project. The DDC then initiated, prepared and hosted the first (and arguably only) open forum, inviting members of the BaseballPLUS Committee (Gard, Carmody, Pope, Becker and Brody) and Hardball to educate YLNI membership and the public at large about the project. Ironically, the forum was not designed to be an opportunity for the public to voice concerns about the project. Indeed, it was offered for the sole purpose of educating the public about Harrison Square. The panel answered questions presented by the over 250 people in attendance. The questions were moderated and otherwise limited only for redundancy and time limitations. Anyone can argue until they are blue in the face about whether HS is a good idea. Heck, one could even argue that YLNI should have provided a forum for naysayers to speak up against the project. But to say “Never, and I mean not one time, was there any hint about any ‘education’ going on or that there was going to be a discussion about whether it was a good idea” is either ignorant or an outright misrepresentation of fact.

So please, anonymous, feel free to take your own advice and be “up front about it.” I can respect Robert’s position and his opinion. He is entitled to such. However, I challenge you to present anyone who has knowledge of YLNI’s involvement in advocating for Harrison Square that agrees with your position that you presented as fact above.

Heather Schoegler said...

I am going to pipe in on that last comment and say that the Harrison Square forum at the library was designed to provide some education behind the project and support from YLNI. You can absolutely debate whether it was effective education, but there was an outlet.

I can't speak for the former Board of Directors, but I know their public endoresment of the project did not represent any political endorsement.

YLNI the VOTE is also not an endoresement of any party or candidate as I think you will see upon reading the candidate brochure. I believe you will also agree it is an effective educational tool for the community.

david said...

I don't see what YLNI the Vote and Harrison Square have to do with one another other than the fact that you disagreed with one issue, Harrison Square, that some members of YLNI were in favor of. It must be very difficult for you to vote if you disregard an entire group based on some of their members stance on one issue.

And your comment about YLNI being too
aggressive ?

I think that is what Fort Wayne needs. it seems the fact that we have become stagnant and complacent in Ft Wayne might be why we make 0.80 on the dollar versus the national average.


Jeff Pruitt said...

I'm not a part of YLNI and I've disagreed with many of it's vocal members in the past. But trying to label them as some partisan organization is simply laughable and there is no merit to that line of reasoning whatsoever.

And just to go back to the liberal argument - most people that use the term don't even know what it actually means. They use it as a political slur out of ignorance and that was my point...

Anonymous said...

Interesting Michelle Gladieux has a consulting contract with the City of Fort Wayne -

Rumor has it, that she is scared of Matt Kelty, due to the fact that he would not fund such elusive things!

Anonymous said...

Oh for pete's sake...must you scrutinize every freakin' detail? And if so, can't you be more accurate? Listing the City as a current or former client doesn't mean she has a contract with them.

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