For the Week of 9/28/2018
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:
With the clock ticking down until Election Day, Arizona Democrats are knocking on doors, rousing the community, and talking to voters to help fuel Democrats’ efforts to retake both chambers in the state legislature. With Democrats only down six seats in the state House and three seats in the state Senate, 2018 could be the year Democrats retake the entire Arizona Legislature - something the state hasn’t seen in over a half of a century. Charlie Fisher, the executive director of the Arizona Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee said, “We feel like we are more competitive in more districts than we've ever been." Earlier this year, tens of thousands of Arizona educators participated in walkouts, rallying for six days to protest state Republicans’ education policies and now more than 20 Democratic educators, including the 2016 Arizona Teacher of the Year, Christine Marsh, are running for the state legislature. With the help of the DLCC, Arizona Democrats have doubled their fundraising from last election cycle and have been able to bolster their field programs. The DLCC looks forward to working with our caucus and in-state partners over the next 39 days to turn Arizona blue.
From construction company executives to educators, nurses to veterans, women are standing up and running for the New York Legislature in record numbers. This year, almost half of the Democrats’ nearly 200 candidates for the legislature are women, more than three-times the number of GOP women running for New York’s legislature this year and an increase from two years ago. And by achieving greater gender parity in the state government, elected officials will be able to pass better legislation that addresses a wider array of issues. As Democratic Assemblywomen Nily Rozic says, “There’s a direct correlation between women candidates who run and the issues that are discussed and advocated for.” The DLCC is proud to have helped elect Sen. Shelly Mayer earlier this year in a special election and looks forward to helping elect more Democratic women to the state Senate, like Anna Kaplan. With the disbandment of the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC), New Yorkers can finally have the true Democratic majorities they voted for and representation that will act as a check on the Trump administration’s extremist and biased policies.
This November, Michigan voters have a chance to alter the course of politics in the state by passing a ballot measure that would put redistricting in the hands of citizens and end gerrymandering in the state. Michigan is one of the most gerrymandered states in the nation, and despite Democrats earning more votes in state House races statewide in both 2014 and 2016, Republicans still held on to their majority in the chamber. Republicans’ gerrymandered districts not only to silence the voice of voters, they also create an undemocratic environment where politicians are choosing their voters, not the other way around. Republicans are desperate to hold on to power and are doing everything they can to discredit the ballot measure and even their own constituents. If our elections are going to be free and fair, we must make sure our maps are drawn without bias. The DLCC is dedicated to ensuring every vote counts and the next decade of elections is protected from partisan corruption.
Good news out of Wisconsin this week as the state Elections Commission unanimously agreed to allow local clerks to reinstate the voter registrations of about 21,000 Milwaukee voters who were cut from the voter rolls last year. The purge was criticized by many voting rights advocates and condemned as a partisan move by Republicans looking to thwart the blue wave headed for the Badger State this November. With Democrats only two seats away from flipping the state Senate and the Assembly in our sights as well, the DLCC has included Wisconsin on its list of top targets and has helped build digital programs and has invested significantly in polling and research.
A review of New Hampshire Republicans’ actions – or lack thereof - on gun control legislation this year underscores the importance of electing state Democrats in order to make progress on critical issues facing our nation. Following mass shootings this year, New Hampshire’s Republican-controlled legislature chose to actually expand gun access rather than enact legislation that would protect their constituents. In fact, the only firearms-related bill to pass was a bill that removed the prohibition on carrying a loaded firearm in a snowmobile, aircraft, off-road vehicle or stationary motor vehicle. After multiple special election victories in the state earlier this year, Democrats are only three seats away from flipping the state Senate and Democrats’ momentum could also flip the state House. Democrats nearly doubled their midterm primary turnout record, and voters remain fired up and ready to break Republicans' grip on the state government in November.
- DLCC Releases September “State of Play” Memo [DLCC Press Release]
- After primaries, Democrats have historic vote lead [NBC News]
- Early Voting Begins as Midterms Season Enters Its Final Phase [TIME]
- Democrats are unusually motivated to vote — and the Supreme Court is among their top concerns [The Washington Post]
“I think it’s people finally realizing that state legislatures are no longer the minor leagues...More and more New Yorkers are realizing how local government can play a role on their day to day lives and so to counteract what actions are being taken or not taken in Washington, D.C. we’ve seen a response at the state level in multiple ways."
-- New York Assemblywoman Nily Rozic
We could not have said it better ourselves! With voting rights, our children’s education, health care access, reproductive rights, environmental protections, equal rights, and more decided in the halls of state capitols nationwide, the DLCC is committed to electing strong leaders who are dedicated to moving our state forward on the issues that impact Americans’ everyday lives. You can learn more about this cycle’s candidates to watch by visiting races.dlcc.org.