For the Week of 1/12/2018
Democrats in statehouses across the country are fighting to move America forward. In case you missed it, here are some statehouse highlights from this week:
Once again, district maps drawn by North Carolina Republicans have been thrown out by federal judges. The maps, drawn to replace racially gerrymandered maps previously drawn by state Republicans and deemed unlawful, were tossed out for excessive partisanship that favored Republican congressional candidates. The judges ordered the General Assembly to approve another set of districts by Jan. 24 and threatened to hire a redistricting expert to draw lawful boundaries if the legislature won’t. However, the state’s congressional lines aren’t the only ones on the chopping block – the legitimacy of two dozen legislative districts are also being weighed by a separate three-judge panel. The DLCC is closely monitoring the legal situation on the ground and it is our hope that fair maps will be in place ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.
State Democrats in at least six states are continuing to lead the resistance and the new battlefront is net neutrality. Legislators in California, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Washington have introduced bills that would prohibit internet providers from blocking or slowing down sites or online services with other states considering similar legislation. When Washington and the Trump administration threaten to undo protections, state Democrats are more than ready and willing to step up and stand up for consumers.
3. California lawmakers will request $10 million in state funds to help Salvadorans facing deportation in wake of Trump action
After the Trump administration called for an end to temporary protections for more than 250,000 Salvadorans living in the United States, California Democratic Assembly members Miguel Santiago and Wendy Carrillo wasted no time in stepping up. The lawmakers are planning to introduce legislation this week to request an additional $10 million be added to the state’s legal defense fund for immigrants facing deportation. Last year California legislators approved $65 million in a state budget plan to expand legal services for immigrants in response to Trump’s call to increase deportations. For Assemblywoman Carrillo, who won a special election in December, this will be her first piece of sponsored legislation as a member of the chamber and as an immigrant from El Salvador, the issue is personal. The DLCC is proud to support our diverse legislators and we will continue to fight to bring more underrepresented voices to statehouses nationwide.
After a blue wave swept the Virginia 2017 elections, newly elected Democratic Delegates are wasting no time and are already working to improve the Commonwealth. So far, a dozen bills have been introduced by Democrats with the goal of enfranchising Virginians and protecting voting rights. Bills to allow early voting and no excuse absentee voting would expand ballot access and encourage turnout. Other bills address redistricting challenges in the state and would develop a set of criteria for drawing congressional and state legislative districts to ensure that no party is favored or disfavored when lines are drawn. With problems stemming from district lines complicating critical election outcomes in HD-28, Democrats are already working to ensure the rights of every voter are protected before the next election. The DLCC is proud of our successful work in the Virginia elections and we look forward to flipping the chamber in 2019..
Of the 33 seats that were flipped from red to blue in contested legislative elections, 21 were flipped by Democratic women. As more women are inspired to run for local office to protect their communities from an extreme right-wing agenda coming out of Washington, the DLCC is looks forward to continuing our support of phenomenal women candidates as we fight to retake majorities in statehouses across the country. The winning momentum we saw at the state level in 2017 will only get stronger as voters see more representation than ever on the Democratic ticket and enjoy the resulting progressive and responsible legislation advanced by state Democrats.
- DLCC Highlights Women to Watch in Early 2018 [DLCC Press Release]
- How major spending by large and small Democratic groups may swing the 2018 midterms [Mic]
"We feel like we, at the state legislative level, led the wave. Everything is on the table...We need to prepare to have big levels of support from grassroots activists across the country…The states are really the only firewall we have right now against Trump."
DLCC Executive Director Jessica Post spoke with Bustle’s Erin Delmore about our commitment to electing more women to state legislatures nationwide. Democrats flipped 33 state legislative seats from red to blue over the course of the year, and are only 13 seats away from flipping seven chambers. As Americans become more and more troubled and disaffected by the Trump administration and federal Republicans, it is up to state Democrats to lead the resistance and move our nation forward one state at a time.
1/16/18: ELECTION DAY - Iowa HD-06 Special Election
1/16/18: ELECTION DAY - South Carolina HD-28, HD-99 Special Elections
1/16/18: ELECTION DAY - Wisconsin SD-10, AD-58, AD-66 Special Elections
1/23/18: ELECTION DAY - Pennsylvania HD-35 Special Election
2/6/18: ELECTION DAY - Missouri HD-39, HD-97, HD-129, HD-144 Special Elections
2/12/18: ELECTION DAY - Minnesota SD-54, HD-23B Special Elections
2/13/18: ELECTION DAY - Florida HD-72 Special Election