Indianapolis Monthly

Left Hook

ON THE NIGHT Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election, Brandon Evans felt like he’d been “punched in the stomach.” Up to that point in his life, the community engagement manager at IndyGo had only dabbled in political activism. But Trump’s victory touched off something deep inside.

A couple weeks later, he reached out to Peter Hanscom, the campaign manager for Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly at the time. Commiserating over coffee, Hanscom suggested that Evans check out the Indiana Young Democrats. Evans followed his advice.

In the last few years, Evans and a collective of similarly energized young Democrats have transformed IYD from a small group into a well-organized activist force. Since 2017, IYD has grown from 50 members in eight counties to 300 members in 20 counties. It scored its biggest victory to date last year, when it won the bid to bring the Young Democrats of America biannual convention to Indy. The gathering arrives this month, bringing nearly 1,000 young Democrats from across the country to a state currently dominated by Republicans.

Winning a convention is one thing. Elections, quite another. Currently, the GOP holds all statewide offices in Indiana, as well as supermajorities in both houses of the state legislature. “We are

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