For the Week of 1/25/2019
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:
With post-2020 redistricting right around the corner, it is crucial that Democrats join together to regain majorities in state legislative chambers nationwide if we are to safeguard the next decade of democracy. Exhibit A: Wisconsin. Wisconsin Republicans have racked up million in legal fees to defend their gerrymandered maps – $3.5 million to be exact – and are dumping the bill on Wisconsin taxpayers. We cannot allow Republicans to continue to get away with rigging the system, especially at the expense of taxpayers. By electing Democratic state lawmakers committed to creating fair maps, we can ensure voters are picking their representatives – not the other way around.
2. Federal judges choose Va. redistricting map favorable to Democrats; six GOP House districts would get bluer
In a victory for fair elections, federal judges selected a new map for the Virginia House of Delegates – one that requires fixing 26 districts gerrymandered by Virginia Republicans. Redrawing these 26 districts will enfranchise voters – many of whom are from minority communities – and help to restore the power of the ballot box in Virginia. In 2021, state legislators in Virginia and 34 other states will redraw legislative and congressional districts across the country. It is critical that we elect state Democrats who will stand up for our democracy and fair maps. This November, Virginia Democrats are only two seats away from flipping the Virginia House and two seats away from flipping the Virginia Senate. The DLCC has already announced an initial early investment of $1 million to create a new trifecta of Democratic power in Virginia, and keep the Commonwealth moving forward.
In 2018, Democrats saw historic numbers of talented and diverse candidates running at every level of the ballot. The DLCC worked to recruit, train, and support first-time candidates reflective of the communities they aim to represent. This resulted in over 900 Democrats of color winning election to statehouses across the country – a step forward in the fight to change the faces of power in state capitals. In North Carolina, where Democrats picked up ten seats in the state House and six seats in the state Senate (and broke GOP supermajorities in both chambers), there is a sharp contrast in representation. Every single Republican legislator – in both chambers – is white, while all legislators of color serving in the Legislature are Democrats. The DLCC knows that if our state governments are to serve all people, a diverse chorus of voices must be heard in state capitals.
Colorado state legislators are back to work in the most diverse legislature in state history. There are more LGBTQ lawmakers, more Latinx lawmakers and, in the Colorado House, more women lawmakers than men for the first time ever. The 2018 election saw a historic number of women step up to run for state legislatures nationwide and their victories have changed the makeup – and priorities – of legislative chambers from coast to coast. With over 1,200 Democratic women elected in 2018 alone, the DLCC is committed to empowering the next generation of women leaders. Working alongside partners like EMILY’s List and Run for Something, the DLCC looks forward to further closing the representation gap in state legislatures in 2019 and 2020.
In the face of the longest government shutdown in history and a president content in holding American families hostage, state Democrats took action to protect their constituents. In Connecticut, the Democrat-controlled state Senate just passed a bill that will allow federal employees to obtain interest-free loans from state banks and credit unions. The DLCC helped Connecticut Democrats regain their majority in the state Senate in 2018. With this new trifecta of Democratic power, Connecticut Democrats will be able to prioritize their constituent’s interests, well-being, and needs – something federal Republicans could certainly learn from.
- Stu Lourey Wins DFL Ticket to Senate District 11 Special Election [WDIO]
- In two weeks, five states advance LGBTQ rights. [NBC News]
- Democratic N.H. Lawmakers Consider Legislation To Give Benefits To Furloughed Federal Workers [NHPR]
- Maine legislator proposes bill to help furloughed federal employees [News Center Maine]
- R.I. Senate considers shutdown relief bills [The Brown Daily Herald]
"We're saying that here in New York, women's health matters. We're saying here in New York, women's lives matter. We're saying here in New York, women's decisions matter."
-- DLCC Board Member and New York Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins
After the DLCC and New York Democrats regained the majority in the New York Senate last November, Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and New York Democrats got right to work passing legislation to move the Empire State forward. This past week, state Democrats passed a series of measures codifying abortion protections and expanding reproductive health rights for women and their health care providers.
2/5/19: Minnesota SD-11 Special Election
3/5/19: Rhode Island HD-68 Special Election
3/12/19: Pennsylvania HD-114 Special Election
4/2/19: Pennsylvania SD-37 Special Election