I don’t have a lot to say about Concord 51 other than I think it’s awesome, and that the young conservatives that visit this site in droves should check it out.
Concord 51, the brainchild of a group of young fiscal conservatives in New York City in their late 20s, among others, is looking to mobilize Republicans under 35 into a national movement.
The group, launched as a political action committee in the 2012 cycle, is moving aggressively to broaden beyond the Big Apple — already to Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Charlotte, Oklahoma City and Dallas — raising more money to contribute to candidates who are aligned with their beliefs and establishing a 501(c)4 that will allow them to do advertising and issue advocacy.
They’ve also caught the attention of big-name Republicans like former presidential candidate John Huntsman and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.
They’re building enthusiasm around a set of conservative values that are more appealing to younger voters, they say — more inclusive of gays, minorities and women — the bigger tent that the GOP needs to build if it wants to win national elections.
Essentially, as the title says, the group wants to help bring the GOP into the 21st Century, dropping staunch opposition to social issues that have held the GOP back in gaining moderate and youth support, such as gay marriage and abortion, and focusing on the actual fiscal, domestic, and international problems the country faces.
Founded on three principles, Concord Fifty-One is focused on advocating: 1) fiscal conservatism; 2) energy advancement; and 3) strong national defense.
Many in the GOP see the group as a welcomed change.
This is not your father’s College Republicans, always in lockstep with the party platform. These Republicans make no bones about being frustrated with GOP candidates’ propensity of focusing on social issues, which they believe is a major liability to many voters in their generation who don’t see gay marriage, abortion and other issues as central to their core beliefs.
It’s a bold move that’s been largely welcomed by party elders who have struggled to engage the youth vote.
“I think the Republican Party looks at us as an incredible asset for the broader, longer-term political movement,” Swift said.
Dan Conston of the Congressional Leadership Fund said the party welcomes groups like Concord 51.
“Republicans are well-suited to compete and win on the congressional battlefield but if we’re going to win a national election again we need to shift our tone, tactics and targeting to reach younger and more diverse voters. We’ve become the decidedly uncool party for younger voters and we saw its impact,” Conston said. “It’s a good thing to have other like minded groups committed to broadening our base and focusing on the key few issues that affect Americans most.”
Currently the group has about 300 dues paying members, but is becoming an active voice in the conservative world. Concord 51 board member Andrew Fadale recently published a piece in Politico, and group members are expanding the reach of the PAC everyday. Membership ranges from $16 a year to “elite membership,” which requires an annual pledge of $1,500.
You can learn more about Concord 51 on their website. I highly recommend that you do.
[h/t to @cdohertyk]