UF law student to help shape national Democratic platform

Graham urged 23-year-old to plunge deeper into politics


Published: Tuesday, January 27, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 27, 2004 at 1:06 a.m.

A University of Florida law student has been named to an exclusive committee which will ultimately write the Democratic platform for the national party.

Ryan Koslosky, 23, earned enough votes over the weekend from state Democratic leaders to become one of seven people selected to be on the temporary Standing Platform Committee. Koslosky was the only student and is believed to be the only person from Alachua County in at least two decades.

The honor also gives him entrance into the Democratic Party Convention scheduled for July 26-29 in Boston.

"This is a very high honor, especially for a young person," said Chuck Floyd, chairman of Alachua County's Democratic Executive Committee.

A Merritt Island native, Koslosky moved to Gainesville as a freshman a little more than four years ago to pursue a degree in finance, which he earned with highest honors in 2002.

He has since started law school at UF.

His interest in politics stems from an internship Koslosky landed in the Washington, D.C., office of U.S. Sen. Bob Graham.

He served on a taxation and finance legislative policy group.

"I learned more in two months in D.C. than I had during my entire time at the university," Koslosky said.

At Graham's urging, Koslosky immersed himself in local politics, joining the Alachua County Democratic Executive Committee and helping out on a slew of campaigns, including Gainesville City Commissioner Warren Nielsen's re-election bid last year, Bill McBride's run for governor in 2002 and Karen Thurman's campaign for U.S. Congress.

He also has served on the national platform committee for the College Democrats of America since 2001.

Koslosky hopes to bring a student perspective to higher-ranking Democrats nationwide.

He plans to push for more academic freedom in the classroom and an expansion of educational grant programs.

Koslosky also said he wants to bring many of what he called Gainesville values to the national party including the importance of education and tolerance.

"People here don't condemn others," Koslosky said. "People are very tolerant of other people's views."

Janine Young Sikes can be reached at 337-0327 or sikesj@gvillesun.com.

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