May 6, 2018
An event last week at my local Democratic Volunteer Center
Republican house seats won’t flip themselves. The only way for Democrats to actually win elections in contested districts this November is if concerned citizens actually do the hard work of convincing the electorate to get out and vote. Candidates like TJ Cox in California’s 21st Congressional District and Andrew Janz in the 22nd and hundreds more across the nation are on tight budgets. These candidates are showing that they won’t be corrupted by corporate influences by refusing to take donations from corporate PACs but that does make running an effective campaign just that much harder. The Democrats’ lack of funding combined with Republicans being bankrolled by very wealthy donors means that our candidates need all the help they can get. If we want to see Republicans like Devin Nunes and David Valadao ousted from their seats, we Democrats need to step to the plate and volunteer for progressive candidates in whatever capacity we can. If you care about winning back the house, senate, and state legislatures and governorships, find your local Democratic party office and get involved by phonebanking, writing postcards to voters, or even traveling to the districts themselves. Democratic victories in November are not foregone conclusions. The disaster that is the Trump presidency was able to happen because not enough Democrats were able to put in the time and effort to ensure victory in elections. Let us make sure that the 2018 midterms are not a repeat of 2016.
By Rohin G. February 26, 2017
Former Labor Secretary and new DNC chair, Tom Perez
Photo Credits-Wikimedia Commons
On Saturday, February 25, former labor secretary Tom Perez narrowly beat progressive congressman, Keith Ellison for the post of chair in the Democratic National Committee. Many staunch progressives, including myself, who had supported Congressman Ellison for DNC chair were disappointed by the results of the day’s vote. Not only had our favored candidate lost the race to become chair of the DNC, the delegates present also voted down a resolution which would ban corporate lobbyist donations to the party. Tom Perez was the Secretary of Labor during President Obama’s second term and led the civil rights division of Justice Department during Obama’s first term. Although Perez is considered by many to have been one of the most progressive members of the Obama administration, many also consider him to be a member of the Democratic Party’s establishment wing.
Although the results of the DNC elections are disappointing to many progressive activists, there has been significant progress in the DNC. Although the delegates voted not to ban lobbyist donations to the party, new chair, Tom Perez has expressed concern over the “corrosive influence of money in politics”. Perez has also praised the small dollar fundraising practices used by Senator Bernie Sanders’ primary campaign, stating in an interview with the Huffington Post, that he wanted to look into implementing fundraising practices that draw upon small donations instead of donations by large corporations and super-PACs. Chairman Perez has also been an advocate for empowering activists and protesters against President Trump’s agenda. Perez has supported a strategy by the DNC that involves working in all states and not just during election years. This strategy based on local parties will help reduce that harmful effects of President Trump’s policies and help the Democratic party stay relevant with voters across the country.
Probably the Best thing for progressive activists that the new chair, Tom Perez has done so far, is naming Congressman Keith Ellison as deputy chair. Now, a staunch progressive is at the table to make decisions at the DNC. This morning, Perez and deputy chair, Ellison held a joint press conference. In showing a sign of party unity, they wore each other’s campaign pins. In addition to this, Tom Perez stated that he supports healthy primary contests for incumbent democratic candidates, opening the door to more progressive candidates. It is quite clear that chair Tom Perez is ready to work with progressive members of the Democratic Party. Although progressive activists’ top candidate lost the race for DNC chair, this DNC is one of the most progressive we have seen. So, fellow progressives, stay strong and keep fighting for a better America.
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) Photo Credit, Wikimedia commons.
Dear Fellow Democrat,
As a fellow democrat and concerned citizen, I want what is best for our country and our party. I am a student in the 8th grade in Palo Alto, CA and am concerned about the direction of our country yet I see some amazing grassroots energy everywhere. In the era of President Trump, how do we enact a progressive agenda? How do we protect the rights of the LGBTQ community or the Muslim community or those who are undocumented or seeking asylum the US? How do we protect and restore our environment or ensure all have access to education and healthcare? And how do we make the Democratic Party win elections and pass legislation again? On Saturday, you will vote on who will lead our party. The election for DNC chair is a question of who will lead us in standing up to the racist and bigoted agenda of President Trump and his team.
I believe that as a party we need to stop taking money from lobbyists and large corporations. We need to stand up for the American people and represent them and not just for the wealthy. While you have been excellent advocates for all Americans, many politicians, even in our own party have become far too connected with special interest lobbyist dollars which are essentially bribes. Congressman Keith Ellison is the best candidate to lead our party back to victory and empower our activists and lawyers to stand up and fight back against the extreme and dangerous agenda of the Trump administration. He has been a vocal proponent of progressive policies such as universal health care and campaign finance reform in congress for years. Congressman Ellison helped organize efforts to successfully defeat harmful voter id. laws in Minnesota. He has shown that he knows what it takes to connect with working class voters in midwest. Keith Ellison can unite our party and has been endorsed by people from many different segments of the Democratic Party. He has drawn endorsements from prominent civil rights leader, Congressman John Lewis. Congressman Ellison has also been embraced for his steadfast progressive values by Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren as well as many progressive activists. Congressman Ellison is also supported by many more moderate democrats including senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer and former leader of senate democrats, Harry Reid. It is because of his broad support, skill at winning elections and organizing, and staunch progressive values that Congressman Keith Ellison is the right candidate to become chair of the Democratic National Committee. Keith Ellison deserves your vote to become chair of the DNC.
This Letter was originally sent to Congresswoman Anna Eshoo and Senators Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein.