Young Americans for Liberty

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Young Americans for Liberty
Young Americans for Liberty logo.png
TypeStudent Organization, 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4)
PurposePolitical Activism
Region served
United States
Cliff Maloney Jr.
Executive Vice President
Ty Hicks
Vice President of Mobilization
Justin Greiss
Vice President of Development
Sean Themea
AffiliationsStudents for Ron Paul, Campaign for Liberty, Youth for Ron Paul

Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) is a 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organization that was formed in 2008 at the end of Congressman Ron Paul's presidential campaign established with the goal of spreading the education of libertarian values, namely freedom of speech, and emphasizing the role of the Constitution in the American government. Strategic partners include the Cato Institute, Charles Koch Institute, Coalition for Public Safety, Foundation for Economic Education, FreedomWorks, the Goldwater Institute, Institute for Justice, and PragerU. YAL has expanded its political activism to include criminal justice reform.


During the 2008 Presidential election, Republican Representative Ron Paul stirred a large grassroots movement, especially on college campuses around the United States. As a result of this, students began to form organizations on campus under the banner of Students for Ron Paul.[1]

After the election, the movement continued and eventually splintered off to create Young Americans for Liberty, which expanded into a broader effort to support liberty.

Young Americans for Liberty has hosted several national events since its inception: Bringing Ron Paul to college campuses, protesting the War in Iraq, protesting the Transportation Security Administration — which received substantial recognition online, hosting political boot camps, promoting the Constitution, protesting the government to reduce the National debt of the United States, and pushing for members to attend CPAC.[2]

Meanwhile, to raise awareness about liberty-minded beliefs, each chapter performs a variety of events on campus, including fundraising for liberty-minded causes, hosting speakers, or tabling/protesting. For example, beginning in March 2011, Young Americans for Liberty groups protested U.S. military intervention in Libya.[3] Besides protests, bringing speakers that are essential towards the liberty movement are invited by Young Americans for Liberty groups, such as Ron Paul, Thomas E. Woods, Justin Amash, and Gary Johnson.[4][5][6]

National Conventions[edit]

Since 2009, Young Americans for Liberty has hosted annual National Conventions in Arlington, Virginia. The 2014 YAL National Convention was the organization's largest yet, with more than 300 students in attendance.[7] Speakers included Sen. Rand Paul, Ron Paul, and a video address by Glenn Greenwald.[8][9][10] The 2016 convention included speakers such as Reps. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) and Justin Amash (R-Mich.), Judge Andrew Napolitano, and Cato’s David Boaz.[11] The national conventions have rapidly grown in size since the beginning, with each having more attendees than the last. The 2009 convention had 60 attendees and the 2016 convention had 382 attendees.[12]

Notable activism[edit]

Visualize the Debt[edit]

In March–April 2011, Young Americans for Liberty held their largest event-to-date, reminding college campuses and their local communities of the massive federal debt. Over 70 Young Americans for Liberty chapters participated in the event, which received nationwide press. The event was designed to protest the federal government to push towards lowering the National Debt by presenting petitions to members of Congress.[13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20]

University of Hawaii Lawsuit[edit]

In April 2014 two students at the University of Hawaii filed a federal lawsuit after they were prevented from handing out copies of the US constitution.[21]

Operation Win at the Door[edit]

In February 2018, YAL launched Operation Win at the Door through its 501(c)(4) arm, Young Americans for Liberty, Inc. About 15 activists campaigned in Galveston, Texas for Mayes Middleton for state representative, defeating the incumbent. There are plans to scale up to 30 more state house races in the coming months.[22]

YAL has run campaigns in Kentucky, Georgia, Texas, Nevada, and South Carolina. Currently, there are campaigns occurring in Missouri, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Tennessee.

On November 5th, president Cliff Maloney Jr. announced that Operation Win at the Door has knocked over a million doors.


CPAC 2010[edit]

During the February 19, 2010 CPAC panel, 2 Minute Activist: Saving Freedom Across America, Students For Liberty's Alexander McCobin opened his remarks by thanking the American Conservative Union for welcoming GOProud as a co-sponsor of the event. California Young Americans for Freedom chairman Ryan Sorba followed with less than kind words for McCobin, Students For Liberty, Young Americans for Liberty's Jeff Frazee, and the American Conservative Union condemning the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) for inviting GOProud.[23][24][25][26][27][28]

Free cigarettes[edit]

In 2011, the University of North Texas chapter of YAL protested a potential outdoor smoking ban on campus by handing out cigarettes in an effort to get students to sign a petition opposing the ban.[29] When university officials reprimanded them, the group claimed they would seek legal aid and that restrictions on handing out the cigarettes was a violation of their First Amendment rights.[30] The group collected 206 signatures for the petition.[31] The university implemented the smoking ban at the beginning of 2013.[32]

Milo Yiannopoulos[edit]

In a Facebook post perceived by YAL chapter leaders as an official blacklisting of Breitbart News Tech Editor Milo Yiannopoulos in May 2017, YAL National Field Director Ty Hicks urged chapter leaders not to invite the professional provocateur to speak at their events. This came as a result of the YAL chapter at UCSB defying a regional field director's instructions to prohibit Milo from promoting presidential candidate Donald Trump when he spoke at the university, which she believed could jeopardize the national organization's 501(c)3 non-profit status. The event proceeded with Milo asking audience members to address a cardboard cutout of Trump, and chapter members wearing pro-Trump clothing as they carried Yiannopoulos into the event on their shoulders.

YAL claimed the staffer's Facebook post did not constitute an official YAL position.[33]


  1. ^ George Dance, "Ron Paul Helps Launch Young Americans for Liberty," Nolan Chart, Dec. 7, 2008, Web, May 15, 2011.
  2. ^ "National Events". Young Americans for Liberty. 16 March 2011. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
  3. ^ "Libertarians Protest War in Libya". Student Free Press. 23 March 2011. Archived from the original on 27 March 2011. Retrieved 25 March 2011.
  4. ^ "Fall 2009 Report". Young Americans for Liberty. 16 March 2011. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
  5. ^ "Spring 2010 Report". Young Americans for Liberty. 16 March 2011. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
  6. ^ "Fall 2010 Report". Young Americans for Liberty. 16 March 2011. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
  7. ^ "Rand Paul speaks to young libertarians". USA Today. 31 July 2014. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  8. ^ "Rand Paul: MSNBC has 'partisan cranks and hacks'". CNN. 30 July 2014. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  9. ^ "Glenn Greenwald Speaks at Young Americans for Liberty Convention". CNN. 11 August 2014. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  10. ^ "Dr. Ron Paul addresses the 2014 YAL National Convention". YouTube. 6 August 2014. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
  11. ^ "Fed up with today's politics? #BeTheNext leader and change it". The Huffington Post. 2016-07-19. Retrieved 2016-11-19.
  12. ^ Boyer, Matthew (2016-08-11). "2016 YALCON Report: Our best event yet | Young Americans for Liberty". Retrieved 2016-11-19.
  13. ^ "National Debt Event". Young Americans for Liberty. 16 March 2011. Retrieved 31 March 2011.
  14. ^ "Campus group protests ballooning national debt". JConline. 29 March 2011. Retrieved 31 March 2011.
  15. ^ "Display to present U.S. national debt issue". Utah Statesman. 30 March 2011. Archived from the original on 1 April 2011. Retrieved 31 March 2011.
  16. ^ "Master the balancing Act". Augusta Chronicle. 28 March 2011. Retrieved 31 March 2011.
  17. ^ "UC San Diego students call for awareness of the national debt". KUSI News. 30 March 2011. Retrieved 31 March 2011.
  18. ^ "Grace students join national debt protest". Journal Gazette. 29 March 2011. Retrieved 31 March 2011.
  19. ^ "Congress doing little to slow debt, student group says". Polifact Georgia. 24 March 2011. Retrieved 31 March 2011.
  20. ^ "National debt clock to be erected in Gautier". WLOX ABC News. 28 March 2011. Retrieved 31 March 2011.
  21. ^ Reilly, Clarke (2014-04-26). "Hawaiian University Sued For Blocking Students From Passing Out Copies Of The Constitution". Huffington Post. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  22. ^
  23. ^ Andrew Sullivan "The Weekend Wrap", [1], The Atlantic, February 22, 2010
  24. ^ Michael C. Moynihan, "You Know the Lowlights. Here Are a Few Highlights from CPAC…Seriously", [2], Reason, February 21, 2010
  25. ^ Mike Madden, "CPAC crowd boos homophobe off stage", [3],, February 19, 2010
  26. ^ Vita Brevis, "CPAC Civil War", [4], Daily Kos, February 19, 2010
  27. ^ "CPAC speaker booed for APPLAUDING gay group invite", [5], The Daily Caller, February 19, 2010 Archived 26 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  28. ^ William Upton, "Fear and Loathing at CPAC", [6], The American Conservative, February 22, 2010
  29. ^ Heinz, Frank (2011-11-28). "UNT Students Hand Out Free Cigarettes to Protest Smoking Ban". Retrieved 2011-12-06.
  30. ^ Ryan, Rebecca (2011-11-29). "Organization protests smoking ban". North Texas Daily. University of North Texas. Archived from the original on 5 April 2012. Retrieved 2011-12-06.
  31. ^ Smajstrla, Ann (2011-12-01). "SGA fails to pass smoking ban referendum". North Texas Daily. University of North Texas. Archived from the original on 8 December 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-06.
  32. ^ "UNT's Smoke-Free Campus Policy Overview". University of North Texas. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  33. ^ Mark Schierbecker (May 30, 2016). "Young Americans for Liberty backtracks after staffer says it has blacklisted Milo Yiannopoulos". The College Fix.

External links[edit]