I returned to Champaign last year and found myself involved with the Young Democrats from my first day.
The Young Dems made it easy to become involved and encouraged me to help with my passion, voting rights. Now I'm the Young Dems' voter protection coordinator.
We talk politics often, but I was never asked to punish any candidate, including Alan Kurtz. I was offered the chance to meet many local elected officials and make my own decision on who stood for my values.
I never met Mr. Kurtz, who has not attended one of the many local Democratic events I've attended recently, and I looked forward to his response to our endorsement questionnaire.
When I was forwarded his response, which attacked the Young Dems for asking four questions about supporting young people and Democrats, I was astonished. Then I read his comments in The News-Gazette: "In my opinion, that's why this Young Democrat organization was founded. It's more of retribution than promoting Democratic ideals and principles."
The hostility toward an organization working to help get young people involved in the local party he claims to be a member of should shock every Democrat, and the temperament of Champaign's highest elected official should shock everyone else.
He did this before we even voted. Not only has Mr. Kurtz's outrageous comments sealed my vote to endorse Pius Weibel at our meeting, it has sealed my vote for him at the voting booth.
I'm a 7th District voter who now badly wants change.
MATTHEW J. DUCO