FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 13, 2017
National Communications Director
DLCC Calls for DNC to Elect Chair Deeply Committed to Winning Statehouse Elections
Open letter to committee members comes just ahead of DNC candidate forum in Phoenix
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee Executive Director Jessica Post released the following open letter to members of the Democratic National Committee. The letter calls on members to use candidates’ commitment to winning state legislative elections as a key criterion when deciding who to support to lead the Democratic Party.
Members of the Democratic National Committee:
The upcoming election for Democratic National Committee chair is one of the most crucial in the party’s history. We teeter on the precipice of an almost certainly disastrous Trump presidency, and strong national Democratic Party leadership is essential to electing candidates at all levels of government who will stand up to the GOP’s extremism. Several excellent candidates seek to lead our party, and the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee feels that each brings many strengths to the position. But as we fight to strengthen the Democratic Party at the state level and prepare for the 2021 redistricting that will impact control of the U.S. House through the end of the next decade, DLCC requests that DNC committee members consider the following crucial priorities when they elect the new party chair in February.
1. Democrats must rebuild Democratic strength in state legislatures as a prerequisite for the electoral wellbeing of our party. Democratic majorities not only support progressive policies that impact Americans in their daily lives, but also implement laws that expand voter participation – which can help Democrats get elected at every level of the ballot.
2. Democrats must increase the number of Democratic majorities in key redistricting states. In some 37 states, legislators will redraw maps for state legislative and congressional districts in 2021. Electing Democrats to control state legislative chambers will give our party map-drawing pens. If Democrats control the next round of redistricting, not only will we impact which party wins majority control at the state and federal levels for the coming decade, but it will also deny Republicans the ability to gerrymander voters out of a voice in their government.
3. Democrats must increase the number of Democratic legislators in every state to build the party’s success in gubernatorial, U.S. House, and U.S. Senate elections. The new DNC Chair must understand how important state legislators are to providing the experience and leadership needed to supply the Democratic candidate pipeline for higher office.
4. Democrats must provide extensive resources to state legislative elections to support expanded infrastructure, training, organizing efforts, and candidate recruitment. These investments must be made in partnership with statehouse leaders to win state legislative majorities specifically, not just in states with competitive Senate and gubernatorial races. The only way to rebuild Democratic strength in state legislatures is to invest heavily in electoral efforts at this level of the ballot immediately – and for years to come.
Democratic legislative elections provided a bright spot for our party in last fall’s election, but the progress that remains to be made in statehouses is daunting. We urge members of the Democratic National Committee to elect a Chair that is not only up for this task, but also deeply committed to it.
Executive Director, Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee
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