By Christine Brown 2/1/22
Last month, the Senate failed to pass federal voting rights when 50 Republicans and 2 Democrats voted against them. The Atlantic states one success however: we changed the conventional wisdom about the filibuster (Read here). Shaw and I have often said that it is easier to get good people in office than to lobby the electeds who have a vested interest in the status quo.
Right now many of us are working hard on the 2022 elections to protect and expand our majorities in the House and Senate. This is important work and must be done.
But let’s think ahead to 2024 for a moment.
The disgraced ex-president’s coup attempt only failed because people at all levels, but especially the state and local levels, refused to break the rules. And the radical Republican party is now going all in to either change those rules or replace those people or both.
Here’s a challenge for you. We can’t let the radical right demoralize us into inaction. There are 40 weeks until the election. We WON 2020 by choosing an action every week and following through.
So, while we fight for Congress, we must also devote some time and energy to the states. The good news is that small amounts of money and an influx of volunteers can make a big difference in these races. Everything we do now is also an investment for a coup-proof victory in 2024.
From Robert Hubell’s 1/24/22 newsletter: “For example, if Democrats can flip just two seats each in the Arizona Senate and House in 2022, they will gain control of state government in a critical swing state going into 2024. The amount of money necessary to swing a state election is a fraction of the amount of money necessary to flip a U.S. Senate seat or competitive House seat.”
TurnPurple2Blue.org has a lot of great ideas on how to support Democrats in state elections. Because one size never fits all, here’s another good one:
Listen to Hubbell’s interview with Melissa Walker, Director of Giving Circles for The States Project. The full interview is here: Today’s Edition Podcast, The States Project interview with Melissa Walker. Here’s a description: “The States Project is dedicated to flipping control at the state level in legislatures and governorships. The model of The States Project is for volunteers to form a circle of friends who join together to support specific races in “target” states. Strategic investments of small amounts of money can yield tremendous swings in political power at the state level.”
He suggests “ (to)… join with a group of friends, educate yourselves about a race, and set a collective goal for giving to a race. Indeed, if you join with a few friends to create a giving circle, it will be fun, rewarding, and educational.”
Thank you for working so hard the last five years. Pat yourself on the back for what we did accomplish- we overcame a coup attempt to win the Presidency and the Senate!
If you’re tired, take this inspiration from Melissa Walker:
“This is the first moment in my life where I feel like I will spend the rest of my life tending to democracy in a way that I didn’t know was necessary.”
For right now, I tell myself that I can’t get tired and I won’t get tired . . . I think about how tired the civil rights leaders must have been after being beaten and waking up in hospital beds and facing that darkness . . . and I know that if those folks kept going, who am I not to keep going . . . “
Listen to Melissa’s inspiring two-minute closing remarks in her own voice, here: “I will spend the rest of my life tending to democracy / Melissa Walker.”