For the Week of 11/3/2017
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:
DLCC Executive Director Jessica Post sat down with Soledad O’Brien for a new Matter of Fact segment to discuss the DLCC’s work to change the power balance in the states. Check out the video to hear about how the DLCC is helping state Democrats revamp their ground game, recruit talented local candidates, and defend American values in statehouses nationwide.
While the gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia are getting a lot attention, Democrats running for the legislature will be the ones passing bills and implementing an agenda. In Virginia, voters are looking down-ballot to see who will have their back when it comes to health care – and it’s the Democrats. This coming Tuesday, Virginians will decide whether they’ll give Democrats the chance to expand health insurance in their state, potentially securing coverage for over 400,000 of the state’s uninsured. By electing more progressive voices to the House of Delegates, there is a chance to not only enact important policies protecting birth control access, women’s health options, and more, there is a chance to expand Medicaid and provide access to affordable and quality health care for the state’s most vulnerable. The DLCC has been an active force on the ground, supporting our Spotlight Race candidates and other targeted races. We look forward to building on state Democrats’ winning momentum in next week’s election.
The DLCC has been working to elevate legislative elections and strengthen Democratic power in statehouses nationwide for over two decades. Now, with our GOP-controlled federal government in a self-induced gridlock, Democratic enthusiasm and national attention is shifting down-ballot as Americans look to the states as a first line of defense against Trump and Republican extremism. Virginia is a purple state with a history of supporting Democrats statewide and nationally, but due to Republican gerrymandered districts, Republicans have tight grip of the Legislature. However, the DLCC made sure to invest early in Virginia which has resulted in a high-watermark of candidates running for the House of Delegates, more staff on the ground, and more voter outreach. This Tuesday, the DLCC is excited chip away at Virginia Republicans’ statehouse majorities ahead of critical 2020 redistricting.
Since the DLCC and Nevada Democrats flipped control of the Nevada Legislature last November, state Democrats have led the way on progressive policy reforms. Now, in a desperate attempt to steal power, Republicans are operating outside of the usual electoral process and are attempting to recall three women state Senators – none of whom have been accused of malfeasance or wrongdoing – simply because they are members of the Democratic caucus. Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval has spoken out against his party, saying he didn’t think there was a “legitimate reason” for the recalls and that they would set a “dangerous precedent.” The DLCC has created a recall committee called Our Votes, Our Voice to run a "decline to sign" campaign to educate and ask voters to not sign a recall petition through mail, field, and digital ads. They have been active in field efforts to talk with voters about what Republicans are trying to do and will closely monitor the signature verification process. If you signed a petition and would like to have your name removed visit www.stoptherecalls.org or call 702-580-4952.
North Carolina Republicans have a long and storied record of using their power in the statehouse to gerrymander districts, pass controversial laws, radically undermine other branches of government, and more. Now, they are coming for the judges. In an acceptance speech honoring him for his 33 years of service as judge, recently retired Wake County Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens spoke out against a recent proposal from Republican legislative leaders that would force judges in North Carolina to run for election every two years, abandoning the eight-year election cycle for most state judges, and opening up the judiciary branch to partisan attacks. Stephens called the proposal “a deliberate attack on the independence of the judiciary,” “an affront to the rule of law,” and “an attempt to compromise the integrity of the separation of powers contemplated by the North Carolina Constitution.” Critics of the proposal contend Republican lawmakers are seeking retribution against a system that has overturned key pieces of their legislative agenda deemed unconstitutional by the current judicial system. The DLCC is closely monitoring redistricting lawsuits in the state and is looking forward to supporting state Democrats in 2018 as they fight to restore the state to a full democracy.
- DLCC Releases 2017 Election Day Playbook -- DLCC Press Release
- Record number of Democratic women running for Virginia House of Delegates -- Associated Press
"We want our children to know that as our country is facing this moment of crisis, we are doing absolutely everything we can."
- DLCC Spotlight Race candidate for the Virginia House Kathy Tran
DLCC Spotlight Race candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates Kathy Tran was moved to put her name on the ballot this year after the birth of her fourth child. She wanted to make sure that in the Trump era of Republican extremism, rampant bigotry, and dangerous rhetoric, she was doing everything she could to defend her community and show her children what it means to take a stand. Kathy is running to flip a longtime Republican-held seat and would be the first Asian-American woman elected to the Virginia Legislature.
11/7/17: ELECTION DAY - Virginia House of Delegates
11/7/17: ELECTION DAY - New Jersey
11/7/17: ELECTION DAY - Washington LD-45 Special Election (Democrat Manka Dhingra)