Towards a vibrant future: re-establishing a national YCL

Towards a vibrant future: re-establishing a national YCL


This piece is a contribution to the Pre-Convention Discussion for our 32nd National Convention. During Pre-Convention Discussion, all aspects of the party’s program, strategy, and tactics are up for consideration and debate. The ideas presented here are those of the author or authors alone, and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Communist Party USA, its membership, or their elected leadership bodies. — Editors

In 2019, the CPUSA’s national convention laid down a pivotal resolution: the facilitation of a national Communist youth organization. Since then, local YCL clubs have cropped up around the country, and have proven themselves to be a vital and highly-engaged component of local organizing. To galvanize young people towards a socialist future, it is our responsibility as young Communists to seize upon the pervasive anti-capitalist sentiment within social justice-minded youth and direct it into a thoughtful, scientific Marxist-Leninist understanding of the world, and into action. To further reignite the spirit of solidarity and activism, the Young Communist League must be formally re-constituted on a national level.

The creation of nationwide guidelines for membership, member conduct (in person and online), conflict resolution, and leadership and organizational structure would all benefit and spur the development of YCLs nationwide. The formation of a centralized body will serve as a catalyst for coordination, enabling different YCL clubs to learn from each others’ efforts, resolve internal conflicts, and synchronize projects in alignment with Party districts and clubs.

To fulfill our commitment to nurturing a national communist youth organization, we propose the convening of a YCL re-founding constitutional convention in 2025. This timeline offers a clear trajectory towards establishing a National YCL. In the vein of the CPUSA’s Club Guidelines, which are meant to be “enabling, not disabling,” the creation of YCL structure and bylaws should be undertaken by YCL leaders and members based on an analysis of their club’s past successes and failures, and with a focus on utility, clarity, and flexibility, i.e. the ability to be adjusted to suit the individual needs and conditions of a given club.

The core of our proposal lies in recognizing the central role that youth have in addressing pressing societal challenges. The youth’s unwavering focus on climate change stands as a beacon of hope in the face of the existential threat of global warming. By centering young people in the fight against climate change, we can imbue the movement with the urgency it so desperately needs.

Moreover, the areas of work championed by young leftists, and young Communists in particular, present fertile ground for advancing the CPUSA’s agenda: from solidarity with Palestine and other anti-imperialist organizing, to centering the struggles of women, Black, Brown, Asian, Indigenous, LGBTQ+, and other oppressed communities; from holding political educationals to organizing mutual aid efforts, from confronting capitalist-enabled crises in schools like mass shootings to advocating for LGBTQ+ rights and supporting labor movements affecting young workers — the potential for transformative change is immense.

Yet, to fully realize these endeavors on a national scale, the establishment of a national YCL body is an indispensable step we must take in order to create the necessary infrastructure for collaboration, resource-sharing, and strategic planning, amplifying the impact of and campaigns for youth-led initiatives across the country.

Regardless of who wins the presidential election in November, we Communists have a long road ahead of us as we continue to organize against fascism in the USA. It is our role to educate, agitate, and organize students and young workers, on our campuses, in our communities, and across the country. By convening a constitutional convention to formally constitute the Young Communist League nationally, we not only honor our past resolutions but also chart a bold path forward towards a more just and equitable society. Together, let us breathe new life into the spirit of youth activism, igniting a flame of hope and resilience that will illuminate the path towards a brighter tomorrow. The time for a National YCL is now.



    New York Young Communist League (YCL) is active in New York State.

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