For the Week of 12/7/2018
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:
On Monday, DLCC Executive Director Jessica Post stood alongside Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, House Democratic Leader David Toscano, and Democratic Senate Leader Dick Saslaw to announce a major $1 million investment in regaining Democratic majorities in both the Virginia House and Senate in 2019. With only four seats between Democrats and a new trifecta of state power, this early investment - one of the largest in the DLCC’s history - will make sure Virginia Democrats have the support, tools, and resources needed to win on Virginia’s gerrymandered maps. With redistricting just around the corner, it is crucial that Democrats unite to safeguard the next decade of elections.
2. Republican-led Wisconsin legislature approves bills to diminish executive power after Democratic election wins
In Wisconsin, leaders of the Republican-controlled legislature are rushing through a series of measures and policies aimed at stripping power from newly elected Democratic leaders. So far, Republicans have passed a measure to limit early voting, make it harder to enroll for Medicaid, and prevent the incoming Democratic Attorney General from being able to fulfill the duties laid out for him in the Wisconsin Constitution. These measures are specifically designed to subvert the will of Wisconsin’s voters. The DLCC is committed to holding Republicans accountable for their shameful power grabbing shenanigans. We must work to elect more state Democrats in 2020 who will stand up for all Americans in their state legislatures.
The California General Assembly returned to Sacramento this week, and Democrats are amped up and ready to govern after winning supermajorities in both chambers in the 2018 midterms. The DLCC’s newest Board Member, Assembly Assistant Majority Leader Rob Bonta, called the Trump administration’s moves targeting immigrants, “an attack on California’s health and well-being.” Whether it’s extending health care coverage to more Californians, enacting measures to combat climate change, or protecting California’s workers, California Democrats have continued to lead by example. It is more important now than ever for Democrats at the local and state levels to be outspoken advocates for decency, and to push for legislation that helps all Americans.
Last month Democrats knew we were entering a tough fight to flip as many state legislative seats as possible, and now that states are officially certifying the results, we are seeing just how close many of these races were. Take Iowa, for example, which officially certified results on Monday. In nine state legislative races in Iowa, the winner was decided by a margin of 500 votes or fewer. With results outstanding in HD-55, Democrats flipped at least seven Iowa House seats from red to blue, and came 548 votes away from flipping the entire chamber to Democratic control. These numbers are an important reminder to us all that every vote counts. We’ll be redoubling our efforts in Iowa for the 2020 elections.
5. ‘Keep fighting for something that you believe in’: Meet the 19-year-old who is headed to the New Hampshire State House
The New Hampshire General Court is welcoming their newly elected members this week, and 19 year-old Cassandra Levesque is among the new legislators. Rep. Levesque gained national attention after she worked with legislators in 2017 to end child marriage in New Hampshire, and was present when New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu signed the bill into law this past June. Electing Rep. Levesque into office was a part of the DLCC’s winning playbook of electing Democrats of all ages and backgrounds who are committed to making a difference in their communities.
- Democrats’ Next Target: Virginia’s General Assembly [Rewire.News]
- Virginia Democrats Get $1 Million Pledge as Party Targets 2021 Redistricting [Community Idea Stations]
- The DLCC Announces $1 Million for Virginia in 2019 [DLCC Press Release]
- GOP Legislators Shamelessly Attempt to Limit Democrats’ Power [DLCC Press Release]
"[Wearing this traditional dress from my community] was to honor my ancestors, those that have gone before me, and the future generation... [The attention is] exciting, but it’s an indicator that people want more of that. More representation that looks like them ― that they can relate to."
-- North Dakota State Representative Ruth Buffalo
This week State Representative Ruth Buffalo made history when she was sworn in as the first Native American woman Democrat to serve in the North Dakota state legislature. At her ceremony, Rep. Buffalo wore a traditional Native American dress and held an ornate fan made with eagle feathers given to her by her clan brother hours earlier. Rep. Buffalo pulled off an upset victory against a Republican incumbent who openly supported legislation aimed at suppressing the votes of Native American communities in North Dakota. The DLCC is excited to see this historic moment in North Dakota, and is looking forward to the ideas that Rep. Buffalo brings to the North Dakota House.