Last Friday, Freedom Foundation Oregon Outreach Coordinator Jason Dudash urged attendees of the Salem YMCA’s Youth & Government banquet to apply the lessons he’s learned during a career in politics and his recent successes battling the state’s public-sector unions to their own daily struggles.
“Set realistic expectations, crush them and then raise them,” Dudash said. “You can’t fight every battle. Figure out what you’re truly passionate about, what you love or what you hate, and then fight for or against that.”
The Youth & Government program is an intensive three-day educational experience. High school students from all across the state convene at the State Capitol to participate in a mock legislative process. The students elect leadership, appoint committees, draft legislation and attempt to work the process to get their bills passed.
The experience ends with a banquet dinner hosted at Willamette University.
Dudash was invited to speak at the event by YMCA staff, along with State Rep. Denyc Boles of Oregon House District 19. The banquet was attended by about 100 students, community leaders, YMCA staff and even some union members.
Dudash started by providing a brief description of the multitude of roles he’s held in the political realm. The list included managing state House of Representatives races, being a legislative aide in the Capitol, working for a private consulting firm and now his current role at the Freedom Foundation.
He then gave the students five guidelines to help promote success in their future endeavors.
At the conclusion of the evening, Dudash was met by a small horde of students interested in learning more about the work done by the Freedom Foundation and how they could get involved.
The importance of individual liberty and government accountability strikes a very special chord that stretches across generations.