For the Week of 4/21/2017
This year, Tax Day held more significance than usual for many Americans. On Saturday, April 15th, voters in almost every state took to the streets in a “Tax March” to demand President Trump release his tax returns. Meanwhile, Democratic legislators in at least 26 statehouses are working to pass legislation that will require Trump to release his tax returns if he wants to be listed on state election ballots in 2020. DLCC Board members like House Democratic Leader Stacey Abrams, Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang, and Senate Democratic Leader Jim Ananich have sponsored similar legislation in Georgia, Illinois, and Michigan, respectively. DLCC stands with our legislators as they remain dedicated to leading the resistance against Trump and the GOP at the state level.
While Trump has only been in office a few short months, the #TrumpEffect is being felt by both parties. While Republicans are being hindered at the ballot box, Democrats tout steady levels of electoral overperformance, an increase in candidate recruitment, and a huge boost in fundraising. ActBlue, an online Democratic fundraising tool, has processed more than four times the number of donations it handled during the comparable period in the 2016 election cycle. Similarly, just since the beginning of 2017, DLCC has received support from double the number of individual grassroots donors that contributed in all of 2015. As enthusiasm from the progressive community finds and outlet in state legislative elections, DLCC is continuing to arm the Democratic Party with the tools needed to rebuild in the Trump era.
The election of Donald Trump has served as a call to arms for women across the country. Now, emboldened by the rapid implementation of Republicans’ anti-woman agenda at the state and federal level, Democratic women are running for office in record numbers. This year in Virginia, more than half of the 76 House of Delegates candidates running in 48 GOP-held seats are women. As Virginia Democrats welcome a record-breaking surge of new and diverse House candidates, fair pay legislation has been introduced in at least 40 states, while Democrats in Nevada, New York, Colorado, New Mexico and beyond are fighting to protect women’s healthcare and reproductive rights. These Democratic women candidates, some recruited and trained by progressive organizations participating in DLCC’s Combine, will bring underrepresented voices to state capitols nationwide and help further statehouse Democrats’ resistance to Trumpism
While Republican state legislators across the country are attacking voting rights to disenfranchise Americans, state Democrats are fighting to increase voter participation. This year, roughly 20 Republican-leaning states are considering voter ID laws that have been shown to disenfranchise minorities and the poor while targeting Democratic-leaning communities. However, in Nevada, DLCC Board member and state Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford has proposed legislation that would allow 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote. “Early pre-registration is one way of getting youth and teens more engaged in the civics process early on,” said Leader Ford.
While America was watching GA-06, down-ballot Democrats claimed victories in three other special elections Tuesday night. Also in Georgia, Democratic state Senate candidate Christine Triebsch won the highest percentage of the vote share (24%) in the crowded eight-way race for SD-32. Triebsch will advance to the May runoff, where she will face Republican Kay Kirkpatrick. In Alabama, Representative-elect Prince Chestnut beat his Independent opponent in a landslide in the race for state House District 67, garnering almost 96 percent of the vote. However, Democrats are excited about an obscure local Virginia Court Clerk race that puts the #TrumpEffect on full display. Democrat Jackie Smith beat Virginia GOP Delegate Jackson Miller, the Republican House majority whip who outspent Smith 6-1. While Democrats have performed well in Prince William County in presidential election cycles, Republicans have previously tended to win local seats in off-year elections. The race gave Republicans a preview of the #TrumpEffect blowback they will face this November as a record number of Democratic candidates run for the Virginia House of Delegates.
*DLCC's Quote of the Week*
"[The DLCC is] sort of like the cool, struggling indie label amidst the lumbering, bumbling majors like the DNC..."
Thanks for the shout out, Daily Kos! Given the explosion of grassroots support we’ve seen from across the country, we certainly don’t think we’re struggling. But DLCC does rely on our ever-expanding network of grassroots donors and volunteers to provide state Democratic caucuses and targeted state legislative campaigns across the country with the tools they need to win. By expanding Democratic strength in statehouses nationwide, DLCC is working to protect and advance state progress and rebuild the Democratic Party from the ground up.
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