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Eugene Young launches non-profit to empower communities with education, advocacy tools

In addition to his role as advocacy director for the Delaware Center for Justice, former Wilmington mayoral candidate Eugene Young is throwing his energy into launching a new nonprofit called Network Delaware.

Young says the idea for the non-profit came about in part from what he learned while out knocking on doors while running for mayor.

“I’d hear a lot of stories from men and women saying, I can’t get a job because I can’t get an expungement, or I can’t get a pardon," Young said.

He realized many Delawareans lacked knowledge about resources that could benefit them – like the free expungement and pardon clinic at the Wilmington Public Library every Wednesday morning.

That’s why he’s incorporating a door-to-door aspect into this non-profit, with volunteers starting to knock on doors in the next couple of weeks.

Young says another key part of his non-profit will involve training residents and individuals so they’re more familiar with the governmental process and are advocate for themselves and their communities.

“Once people have information and they’re taught how to properly advocate for their concerns and issues, now you have engaged citizenry," Young said. "And that’s what we want.”

In all, the venture will have six working groups, including a public policy think tank, an economic opportunity incubator, and an electoral politics committee to help train and persuade citizens to run for office.

“People are apathetic to the process," Young said. "And I can’t tell you how many times I’d knock on doors and people would shut the door in my face and say ‘you guys only come around when it’s election time.’ “


Young said that's why the door-to-door visits will take place outside an election season.

Young said many people he talked to would blame the education system on the mayor. They didn’t realize responsibility for that falls to local legislators and the governor, not the mayor.



Young said which communities to target first – and the specific strategies used to approach them – are still being decided.


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