My Next Step

This morning, I formally offered my resignation as President of College Democrats of America (CDA) to the Democratic National Committee. I have been proud to serve as the President of CDA over the course of the last year. I was proud to have been duly re-elected as President in accordance with the rules after running unopposed this past July. However, my proudest moment in the three years I have served within CDA comes today as I step aside knowing that the organization I love so dearly is on course for positive and productive change.

Since my re-election in July, I've been deeply confused, conflicted, and hurt by the events that have taken place within the College Democrats of America. We live in a nation of laws where everyone either follows the rules or they don't. When people can decide to take the rules into their own hands, we cease being a nation of laws. This situation is a microcosm of that. And that's at the heart of why I formally filed a credentials challenge with the Democratic National Committee after being hastily impeached a day after our Convention. What happened to me can -- and if left unaddressed -- will happen to future leaders of College Democrats of America. By filing and ultimately winning the Challenge, the integrity of College Democrats of America as an organization will be preserved. As I step aside as President, I do so knowing that the future governing documents of this organization will hold those who lead it accountable for their actions and accountable to the rules.

My message to my fellow college democrats coming out of this is to always remember that this is an organization formed to build young people up -- not to tear them down. Over the course of the last month, we've had young people who we need to be active and engaged in politics witness the internet bullying, pushing of personal agendas, and general negativity associated with CDA spread. As I mentioned in my first statement, this is not who we are. Bullying comes in all shapes and sizes. And the negativity of the last month should not detract from the movement and passion of CDA chapters on campuses of colleges and universities throughout this country.

During the course of my presidency, together, we've done great things. We've worked to expand CDA by putting 10 new states on track to be officially chartered; we created the National Mentorship Program matching over 200 CDA mentees with mentors. We held our first annual Winter Summit in conjunction with the DNC Meeting. And most importantly, collectively, we registered thousands of new voters, knocked on thousands of doors and make thousands of phone calls supporting Democrats up and down the ticket in the lead up to the 2014 election.

While I will no longer serve in the capacity of president of College Democrats, I'm excited to announce that I will continue to serve the Democratic Party as a Fellow in the DNC's Voting Rights Institute. In this capacity, I'll be able to continue the important work I started in CDA of protecting and expanding the vote -- this time not just for college students, but for all. I'm looking forward to continuing to be engaged in the Party and remaining involved in work I care so passionately about.

There is no perfect leader and I acknowledge that I haven't been perfect. But I have given College Democrats my all and I move on to my next chapter knowing that one can stand up for themselves in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds...and win. I leave having learned many valuable lessons that'll guide me in the future. And finally, I leave knowing that true leadership is not just leading -- but in understanding when it's time to step aside.

Thank you to everyone who supported me through it all, together we moved a mountain.

Natasha