Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee

The Friday Five - July 13, 2018

The Friday Five - July 13, 2018

For the Week of 7/13/2018

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:

1.    Why Democrats think health care may finally be a winning issue

While Republicans have been peddling extreme policies and refusing to jump off the “Trump Train,” Democrats at all levels of government have been strategizing to protect and advance critical policies representative of American values. State Democrats have been the most successful, passing legislation to ban conversion therapy for LGBTQ youths, protect voting rights, expand Medicaid and make sure everyone has access to quality and affordable health care, safeguard a women’s right to choose, and more, while flipping 44 seats from red to blue in the process. This November, voters will go to the polls with these issues on their minds – and the DLCC is working to make sure voters everywhere know they can trust Democrats to deliver on these issues and work to move America forward.

2.    States Matter: How the DLCC is Driving the Blue Wave

DLCC Executive Director Jessica Post sat down with NGP VAN to talk about how the DLCC is driving the blue wave – and creating the cutting-edge technology to do it. With state Democrats only 17 seats away from flipping eight chambers from red to blue and about 800 elected officials on the ballot this cycle who will have a role in redistricting, it is critical for state Democrats to be armed with the tools they need to win this November. State legislatures affect everything from voting laws to health care, schools to environmental protections, and everything in between. By winning back state legislatures, the DLCC is rebuilding the Democratic Party – and our democracy – from the ground up. Check out dlcc.org/flipeverything for more on how the DLCC plans to keep winning seats and chambers this November.

3.    In State Legislature races, it's 'The Year of the Women' in Massachusetts

As we saw in Virginia last year, Democratic women everywhere are stepping up and running for their state legislatures – and Massachusetts is no different. The “first they marched, now they’re running” mantra has taken the Bay State by storm, with over 100 women on the ballot this year, a recent high. Galvanized to run for office to fight back against detrimental Republican legislation and protect their communities from the disastrous policies peddled by the Trump administration. The DLCC is featuring many fantastic women candidates on our Spotlight Races page, including Massachusetts’ own Tram Nguyen, and is committed to helping our legislative leaders and in state partners across the country achieve the same success we did in Virginia last year when we elected 11 new woman leaders to the Virginia House.

4.    Maine Legislature Goes Into Recess With Issues Still Unresolved

For decades, Maine has operated as the crown jewel of public campaign finance systems in America. Candidates who demonstrate real, grassroots support by collecting $5 donations from voters in their districts receive public matching funds to run their campaigns – so they can focus on issues, instead of special interests. But now, Republicans have found a way to tear this system down for partisan gain – by blocking a bill to release the public matching funds. The DLCC has just pledged $55,000 in funding for Maine Democrats, to make sure our candidates get the support they need even if the GOP blockade works. DLCC Board member and Speaker of the Maine House Sara Gideon has repeatedly called on Republicans to fix the error and stop wasting taxpayer money. With Democrats only 17 seats away from flipping eight chambers from red to blue – including the Maine Senate – the DLCC is committed to making sure our legislative leaders and in-state partners have every tool they need to win this November.

5.   It’s not easy to become a voter in Florida

A recent report by the Center for American Progress said Florida could increase voter turnout by as many as 570,000 votes – just by increasing ballot access. The DLCC is committed to securing Democratic majorities in state legislatures nationwide so Democrats can continue to work tirelessly to ensure every American’s right to vote is protected. In Florida, the DLCC has already won critical special elections since 2016, and now Democrats are just five seats away from flipping the Florida Senate from red to blue. You can check out some of the great candidates running to flip the Florida Senate at races.dlcc.org.

- State Democrats Announce the 17 seats Needed to Flip 8 Chambers This Fall [DLCC Press Release]
- Dem redistricting group picks targets, unleashes Obama [POLITICO]
- Under-the-Radar Races Could Upend Power in State Capitols [Bloomberg Government]
- States Matter: How the DLCC is Driving the Blue Wave [NGP VAN]

"The National Democratic Redistricting Committee is proud to work with the DLCC this cycle. Together, we are shining a spotlight on the states and making sure people don’t lose sight of the importance of the state legislative races across the country. It is after all in the state legislatures that laws are passed that have the most direct day to day impact on the lives of our fellow citizens...We need even more people to stand up for our values and our rights, and to use consistently the most powerful tool that we all have as citizens – the vote."
-- Former Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr.

This week the DLCC convened nearly 300 legislators and partners at its annual meeting to go over its strategy for winning this fall and lay the groundwork for flipping more seats and gaining more legislative chambers in 2020 – ahead of critical redistricting. Former Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. who heads up the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, gave the keynote address at the annual meeting, and underscored the importance of state legislatures and the work of the DLCC. Check out dlcc.org/flipeverything for more on the DLCC’s plan to flip 17 seats and win back eight legislative chambers this November.

7/17/18:   Runoff Elections in Alabama

7/24/18:   Runoff Elections in Georgia

8/2/18:   Primary Elections in Tennessee

8/7/18:   Primary Elections in Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, and Washington