We know climate change is real, it’s here, and there’s little time for us to prevent it from turning into a devastating disaster – one that will wreak havoc on some of the most vulnerable communities across our country and the planet.
We need legislation like the Green New Deal and progressive leaders like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to mitigate the worst impacts climate change, create good jobs, and promote environmental justice.
As the U.S. House is set to vote on a congressional anti-hate resolution originally proposed to admonish Rep. Ilhan Omar (MN-5), Democracy for America (DFA) announced that it is endorsing Omar and her strongest supporters in Congress -- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Ayanna Pressley (MA-7), and Rashida Tlaib (MI-13) -- for reelection in 2020.
These are DFA's very first 2020 election cycle endorsements. The endorsements were made in response to the tremendous acts solidarity and support all four have shown each over the first two months of the new Congress, and the direct political threats leveled against Omar, Ocasio-Cortez, and Tlaib over the last week.
DFA backed all four members of Congress -- frequently referred to as The Squad -- in their competitive 2018 primaries. The grassroots organization has more than 19,036 members spread across their four congressional districts.
Chief Executive Officer Yvette Simpson on DFA's endorsement early 2020 endorsement of Omar, Ocasio-Cortez, Pressley, and Tlaib:
"Back in 2018, we proudly backed Representatives Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayana Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib in their competitive primaries back because we knew they were exactly the kind of bold, unapologetic, progressive fighters our country needs.
"In just two months, through the battles they've waged, the enemies they've garnered, and the national conversations they've transformed, these four leaders have not only pushed forward bold ideas like the Green New Deal and Medicare for All, they've repeatedly proven how essential their unique voices and perspectives are in Congress.
"That's why, today, we're making the reelections of Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib Democracy for America's very first endorsements of the 2020 election cycle.
"We're also endorsing these four progressive women of color today because the last week's politically-motivated, racially-tinged, and anti-Muslim attack on Rep. Ilhan Omar has made it clear that their opponents on the right -- in both the Republican and Democratic Parties -- will stop at nothing to tear them down.
"Representatives Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib have no illusions about the forces they're up against or the families and communities they're fighting for -- and neither does DFA. We're honored to be fighting alongside them and, with today's endorsements, we're making it clear, once again, that DFA members have the Squad's back every step of the way." -- Yvette Simpson, CEO, Democracy for America
Democracy for America is a member-driven, people-powered progressive PAC with more than one million members nationwide committed to taking on income inequality, money in politics, and structural racism. Since its 2004 founding, DFA members have raised and contributed more than $63 million and made more than 25.4 million volunteer calls to help successfully elect 1008 progressive candidates nationwide.
In response to continued Democratic efforts to pass a resolution condemning antisemitism in light of recent comments made by Representative Ilhan Omar, Democracy for America (DFA) released the following statement:
"The Democratic Party is united in its opposition to antisemitism. Full stop.
"At the same time, everyone paying attention knows that the particular resolution being pushed right now, not to hold Republicans accountable for the countless times they have stood silently as the President white-washed neo-nazis, but instead to tell a newly elected Black, Muslim, refugee Congresswoman to sit-down and shut-up.
"Rather than uniting against the real threat posed by the rise of antisemitism, Islamophobia, trans-hate, and white supremacy being enabled by the Trump administration every day, Democratic congressional leaders continued effort to push this resolution as a response to Omar's comments plays directly into the hands of right-wing forces in the United States and abroad, looking to divide Democrats and ignore essential questions about American foreign policy.
"If Congressional Democrats are serious about standing up to hate, let's do it with comprehensive congressional action that condemns antisemitism, Islamophobia, anti-Black racism, xenophobia, as well as the disgusting physical and verbal threats that Rep. Omar herself has faced in recent weeks." -- Charles Chamberlain, Chair of Democracy for America.
DFA's statement comes a day after the grassroots progressive political action committee expressed its outrage against the coordinated attack on Omar on Twitter and sent an email encouraging its members to contribute to her reelection in response.
This morning, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal is introducing the Medicare for All Act of 2019 on Capitol Hill alongside dozens of congressional co-sponsors and grassroots leaders from across the country including Democracy for America's Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Yvette Simpson.
DFA CEO Yvette Simpson released the following statement on the launch of Jayapal's Medicare for All Act:
"The Medicare for All Act is a bold, comprehensive healthcare plan rooted in the simple idea that healthcare is a human right, not some sacred cash cow for the insurance industry or Big Pharma.
"Congresswoman Jayapal's bill establishes a new gold standard in the fight for a practical, cost-efficient way to provide a single standard of quality health care to everyone.
"Democracy for America and its members are looking forward to working with Congresswoman Jayapal and the more than 100 co-sponsors of this bill to elevate the stories of the millions of Americans whose lives would be immeasurably improved with the passage of the Medicare for All Act. This bill is about prioritizing the needs of people and putting their lives and health above private and special interests.
"We will also be making sure that every 2020 presidential candidate knows that we and other progressives will be measuring any Medicare for All plan they put forward against the elegant, visionary and thorough plan Jayapal has put forward today." — Yvette Simpson, Chief Executive Officer, Democracy for America
Democracy for America's Chief Executive Officer Yvette Simpson issued the following statement following Sanders' announcement:
"In 2016, Senator Bernie Sanders rewrote the playbook of presidential politics and inspired a nationwide, grassroots movement that has helped transformed the range of the politically possible ever since.
"Blessed with a diverse field of candidates committed to inclusive populist reforms, we're looking forward to seeing how Sanders and the movement behind him make the case for 'political revolution' in a very different 2020 contest.
"To win in 2020, Democrats need a leader committed to a visionary, progressive agenda who can win the enthusiastic support of the New American Majority of people of color and progressive white voters. With Sanders joining Warren, Harris Gillibrand, and a number of others, we're more confident than ever that Democrats will find the candidate we need to defeat Trump and start delivering the kind of economic, social, and racial justice needed to improve real people's lives." -- Yvette Simpson, Executive Director, Democracy for America
In late 2014 and early 2015, Democracy for America (DFA) worked with MoveOn.org to encourage Senator Warren to run for President in the 2016 election. In late 2015, following an endorsement vote of its grassroots progressive members, DFA endorsed Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic Presidential Primary -- the first presidential primary endorsement ever.
Last December, DFA released the results of its first 2020 Presidential Pulse Poll and made it clear that its presidential endorsement was "up for grabs."
Following the last week of shocking news in Richmond, VA, including the latest allegations of sexual assault levied against Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, Democracy for America (DFA) is urging Virginia Democrats to push for the replacement of the state's entire executive leadership team without undoing the elections of 2016, 2017, and 2018.
Full Statement from DFA's Chief Executive Officer Yvette Simpson:
"Virginians need to clean house. Gov. Ralph Northam, Attorney General Mark Herring, and Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax need to go, and each needs to be replaced with Democrats who Commonwealth voters can be confident have lived their shared progressive values.
"Let's be clear: Sexual assault and racism have no place in our politics, government, or anywhere.
Last week, following the public confirmation of his appearance in a racist yearbook photo, we called on Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam to resign and, when Attorney General Mark Herring shared that he had also worn in blackface, we felt it was clear that he needed to go as well.
After hearing the horrifying revelations about his past actions, we're calling on Lt. Gov. Fairfax to resign too, despite having once been of his most ardent, early supporters.
The one silver lining of the last week's very dark cloud is that the Commonwealth is blessed with a deep and diverse Democratic bench of Black, brown, and LGBTQ women and men capable of leading the Virginia that has rejected the Party of Trump repeatedly over the last three elections.
"We urge the leadership of the Democratic Party of Virginia to identify the individuals best suited to fill these needed vacancies on Virginia's executive leadership team, and organize a swift transition of power that ensures that the will of Commonwealth voters is not undone by these necessary resignations." – Yvette Simpson, CEO, Democracy for America
This evening, Stacey Abrams became the first Black woman to deliver an official response to the State of the Union. In response to Abrams' historic speech, Yvette Simpson, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Democracy for America, issued the following statement:
"Tonight, Stacey Abrams delivered a passionate future-focused speech that spoke to our shared progressive values, common struggles, and stands in stark contrast with the hate-filled, fear-mongering sack of lies Donald Trump delivered minutes before.
"While Trump worked overtime to sell his accountability-free, me-first agenda, Stacey Abrams demanded accountability for an unnecessary and immoral government shutdown that held federal workers and their families hostage to build a multi-billion dollar monument to racism on our Southern border.
"In what was both a statement of principles and a call to action, Stacey Abrams did what Democrats will need to do now through 2020 and made it crystal clear that the Democratic Party of the future is the party of inclusion, diversity, opportunity, and justice for all." -- Yvette Simpson, Executive Director, Democracy for America
DFA says Trump’s SOTU speech “reminded us why he isn’t fit to lead a golf tournament,” let alone U.S
In response to tonight's State of the Union Address, which marked the second time in US history an address has ever been delayed, Yvette Simpson, Executive Director of Democracy for America, issued the following statement:
"In his speech tonight, Donald Trump reminded us why he isn't fit to lead a golf tournament, let alone the most powerful country in the world. Obsessed with the sound of his own voice, he continues to lie incessantly, spew hate, breed division, and embarrass all of us on the international stage. We deserve so much better.
"With Donald Trump at the helm, the state of our union is more fractured than it's been in our lifetimes.
"One of the night's few saving graces is knowing that the progressive leaders who suffered through Trump's speech from the House floor are backed up by a grassroots movement led by the New American Majority of Black, brown, and progressive white voters who ready for bold, inclusive populist reform.
"With every lie he told, fear he tried to exploit, and failure he attempted to spin tonight, Donald Trump has made the difficult task of beating him in 2020 a little easier by encouraging the countless Americans he has harmed to work even harder for the more just and equitable America we know is possible." -- Yvette Simpson, Executive Director, Democracy for America
This evening, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam publicly confirmed that he appeared in a racist photo on his individual page in his 1984 Medical School yearbook.
Charles Chamberlain, Democracy for America's Chair, issued the following statement calling for Northam's immediate resignation:
"After his refusal this evening to be completely transparent about his past actions, it's clear that Ralph Northam has no business remaining Governor of Virginia.
"Whether it happened yesterday or thirty-five years ago, the Democratic Party of 2019 has no place for people in positions of power with a history of racist actions. Ralph Northam should resign from his office immediately." -- Charles Chamberlain, Chair, Democracy for America
Joint Letter Calling on Conference Committee to Protect Families and Children and Restore America’s Faith in Government
January 29, 2019
We write to you today seeking your solidarity and support to enter in to the DHS conference committee process with clear eyes. The next 3 weeks we are tasked with operationalizing our values and addressing the fall out caused by a reckless Administration that has put profits before people and rhetoric before the lives of immigrant children.
The Department of Homeland Security is tasked with critical functions. However, under the auspice of the Trump Administration, a number of agencies housed at DHS have abused their authority and the fidelity of public resources. There is a documented pattern of Immigration and Customs Enforcement overspending and abusing the transfer authority to quietly move funds around, a practice that Customs and Border Protection has indicated it would like to replicate. Funds are being reallocated internally not to make our nation safer, but to build desert camps to inhumanely house infants and to prosecute immigrants who are part of the fabric of our community. These agencies have promulgated an agenda driven by hate – not strategy. We call on our colleagues at the negotiating table to adhere to the following guidelines critical to protecting families and children and restoring Americans’ faith in government:
Cut, do not increase funding. Stop funding family separation and child detention. A Republican controlled Congress has already sharply increased DHS spending without clear justification. The deal reached by the Conference Committee should not allocate any additional funding to this department or to the ICE and CBP agencies. The upcoming FY2020 budget process will be a critical opportunity to take up conversations about reforms to the agency. In the meantime, not another dollar.
No transfer authority. The Trump Administration continues to use DHS funding as a slush fund (through transfers or reprogramming) to increase detention programs and invest in ineffective policies. The conference committee should prohibit transfers and reprogramming authorities.
Stronger accountability. Strong report language is critical to ensuring safeguards to rein in DHS. However, report language is not enough. The final budget package must be accompanied by stringent oversight mechanisms, and critical obligations should be in statutory text not just report language. DHS has a failed track record of missing Congressional deadlines, including when recently required to report on deaths in custody, list ICE detention facilities, and implement PREA mandated protections against sexual assault in custody. For these reasons, the DHS should be taken up as a separate appropriations bill and accompanied by strong statutory language that saves lives and increases accountability.
As a nation, we need comprehensive immigration reform driven by justice and data. Let us be clear that that process will not play out during the Conference Committee’s narrow DHS deliberations. The sole focus of this Conference Committee is to put forward a short term spending package for 7 months. But a budget is a statement of our values. With the world watching and the lives of families at stake, we should not compromise our values at the negotiating table.
Alexandria Ocasio Cortez
New York 14th
Today, Senator Kamala Harris officially launched her 2020 Presidential exploratory committee.
Democracy for America's CEO Yvette Simpson issued the following statement on Harris' announcements:
"Senator Kamala Harris' announcement today underscores the transformational opportunity the 2020 presidential election already represents for our country. With the wide range of identities, backgrounds, and life experiences, the 2020 Democratic field not only reflects our country's future, it stands in stark contrast to the politics of bigotry, hate, and division that drives Donald Trump's Republican Party.
"Democrats will reclaim the White House in 2020 if we put forward a nominee who connects with the New American Majority of black, brown, and progressive white voters and strengthens that connection by advocating for a bold, inclusive populist vision for the country that can energize those who've never felt heard before.
"Black women have long been the backbone of the Democratic Party, and having a progressive trailblazer like Senator Harris in this race will play a crucial role in ensuring our voices are heard loud and clear in this primary." -- Yvette Simpson, Chief Executive Officer, Democracy for America
Last month, DFA released the results of its first 2020 Presidential Pulse Poll and made it clear that its presidential endorsement was "up for grabs."
Tonight, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand officially launched her 2020 Presidential exploratory committee, while former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro formally announced that he was a candidate for President in 2020 on Saturday.
Democracy for America's CEO Yvette Simpson issued the following statement on Gillibrand and Castro's announcements:
"Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and former HUD Secretary Julián Castro's entrances into the 2020 race for President over the past week have inched us closer to a historically diverse field of Democratic candidates.
"To beat Donald Trump, Democrats need a nominee committed to bold, inclusive populist ideas and convincing the American people that they can and will change the lives and circumstances of those who need it most.
"We look forward to seeing how Gillibrand, Castro, and other candidates like them work to engage and win the support of progressive voters." -- Yvette Simpson, Chief Executive Officer, Democracy for America
Last Month, DFA released the results of its first 2020 Presidential Pulse Poll and made it clear that its presidential endorsement was "up for grabs."
DFA on Trump Border Speech: U.S. has “a national security disaster in the Oval Office,” not a crisis
In response to Trump's speech on the government shutdown and the self-created crisis at the U.S.- Mexico border, Democracy for America released the following statement:
"America doesn't have a national security crisis on our southern border, we have a national security disaster in the Oval Office.
"The bizarre rant Donald Trump delivered tonight was not only a dangerous escalation of white supremacist fear-mongering, it was a crystal clear indication that there is no limit to the lies he's willing to tell or the American families he's willing to hold hostage to pursue his racist agenda.
"Americans sent a historic, progressive wave to Washington last November, because they wanted leaders in Congress committed to fighting for an inclusive populist agenda, standing up to Donald Trump, and stopping the monument to bigotry, hate, and division he's obsessed with constructing on our southern border.
"As they fight to get more than 800,000 federal workers back to work and stand strong against a senseless border wall being built, Democrats are being the kind of leaders America needs. It's time for Congressional Republicans to quit their cowering, find their backbones, and join them." -- Charles Chamberlain, Chair, Democracy for America (DFA)
Democracy for America's Executive Director Charles Chamberlain issued the following statement following Warren's announcement:
"Our country needs a 2020 Democratic nominee defined by bold, inclusive populist ideas and a vision for the future of the country that wins the support of the New American Majority of people of color and progressive white voters.
"Senator Elizabeth Warren's formal entrance into the 2020 race for President today helps launch what we believe will be a vibrant discussion of bold, inclusive populist ideas in the Democratic Primary, and we look forward to the wide array of progressive candidates that we expect to join her in it in the year ahead." -- Charles Chamberlain, Executive Director, Democracy for America
In late 2014 and early 2015, Democracy for America (DFA) worked with MoveOn.org to encourage Senator Warren to run for President in the 2016 election. In late 2015, following an endorsement vote of its grassroots progressive members, DFA endorsed Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic Presidential Primary.
Earlier this month, DFA released the results of its first 2020 Presidential Pulse Poll and made it clear that its presidential endorsement was "up for grabs."
DFA-endorsed Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is shaking things up again.
This time, she's leading the fight for a Green New Deal: a transformative plan to put our country on the path towards a clean energy future by investing in renewable energy, a national smart grid, public works projects, and tens of millions of green jobs.
This proposal is a win-win for our environment and economy, and it’s our greatest opportunity to avert the worst impacts of climate change. That’s why 35 members of Congress and more than 300 local officials from 40 states have stepped up to support it. Will you?
Add your name right now to join DFA and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in supporting a Green New Deal today.Take Action!
Today, Democracy for America (DFA) released the results of its first 2020 Presidential Pulse Poll with Bernie Sanders leading with over a third of DFA members encouraging him to run for president. He is followed by Joe Biden, Beto O'Rourke, Elizabeth Warren, and Kamala Harris.
Top five results from the DFA poll (members asked to pick top three):
- Bernie Sanders, 36.14%
- Joe Biden, 14.88%
- Beto O'Rourke, 12.34%
- Elizabeth Warren, 7.89%
- Kamala Harris, 6.95%
See the full results here: http://poll.democracyforamerica.com/results
The poll, which ran from Thursday, November 29th through midnight (ET) Friday, December 14th, is the first DFA has conducted of its membership regarding the 2020 presidential election.
DFA members cast a total of 94,163 votes for potential candidates in this Presidential Pulse Poll, with each member being able to rank order their votes for up to three potential candidates on their ballot.
Ahead of 2020, DFA is committed to pressuring presidential candidates to be progressive leaders, providing opportunities for those running on inclusive populism to connect with its members, and conducting multiple Presidential Pulse Polls prior to any potential endorsement vote. The next DFA Presidential Pulse Poll is likely to occur in the first half of 2019.
"These results make clear that, while Bernie Sanders' has a strong early lead, no single potential presidential candidate has full command of the Democratic Party's progressive base heading into 2019," said Yvette Simpson, incoming Chief Executive Officer of Democracy for America. "With more than 14 months before Iowa, we expect these results to change as grassroots progressives hear the messages the candidates are running on, see the campaigns executing on the ground, and watch them construct the broad-based coalition of the New American Majority of people of color and white progressive voters it will take to beat Donald Trump."
"Let's be clear: Progressive support in the 2020 Democratic Primary is up for grabs and so is Democracy for America's endorsement," said Charles Chamberlain, DFA's current Executive Director and incoming Chair. "Unlike 2016, no candidate has support strong enough for the Democratic Party establishment to clear the field, which means progressives will have an excellent opportunity over the next year to kick the tires on a wide range of different candidates and find the best one to take on Trump. With a clear majority of the top five candidates being champions of Medicare for All, these results illustrate that Americans are eager for bold, progressive candidates who will fight for the multiracial inclusive populism America needs in 2020 and beyond."
Republicans are hoping that the threat of a holiday season shutdown will be enough to convince moderate Democrats to cave on border wall funding. And Trump has even floated the idea of sweetening the deal by offering some sort of protection for Dreamers in exchange.
The Trump administration's treatment of immigrants and refugees at the border has been morally reprehensible. Democrats must not be complicit in it by providing any sort of funding that would enable it to continue. Period, full stop.
No matter what kind of deal Trump tries to make or what kinds of threats he poses, our message to Trump and the Senate must be loud and clear: No wall. No more detention beds. No more border agents.
If you’re with us, add your name now to urge the U.S. Senate to do the right thing and refuse to support funding for Trump’s border wall this December.Take Action!
The largest television operator in the United States, Sinclair Broadcast Group, is nothing more than a front for pro-Trump propaganda disguised as local news.
For example, this week Sinclair required 200 of their stations to run a horrific segment supporting the use of tear gas against refugee women and children on the border. Here's just a small preview of the piece, featuring long time Trump surrogate Boris Epshteyn:
"The fact of the matter is that this is an attempted invasion of our country."
This is the type of disinformation millions of Americans hear when they tune into their local news right now. All they want are objective updates on their community, local sports teams, and more -- but instead, they’re getting corrupt, pro-Trump propaganda that would make even Fox News blush.
We’re launching a new campaign demanding that Sinclair advertisers end their relationships with this propaganda network. Add your name here and together, we’ll send a message to these advertisers now:Take Action!
In January, Democrats in the U.S. House will introduce a new bill to strengthen our democracy by expanding voting rights in a few key ways, including:
- Restoring the Voting Rights Act, which was weakened by the Supreme Court in 2013;
- Establishing automatic voter registration, making it easier for every single eligible American to vote;
- Take away partisan state legislatures’ ability to gerrymander, and give redistricting power to independent commissions.
To pass this bill would be a MAJOR achievement in strengthening every American’s right to vote and ensuring fair elections. In my home state, we were successful in expanding voting rights through a ballot initiative this past month. But in state after state, voting rights are in desperate need of protecting.
It’s time that we give democratic power back to the people. Join Rashida Tlaib and Democracy for America in becoming a co-signer of the "Strengthen Democracy" bill today.Take Action!
Katie Porter just won her race for Congress in California's 45th Congressional District, delivering, over a week after election, yet another victory in the long-held Republican stronghold of Orange County.
DFA's Executive Director Charles Chamberlain on Katie Porters's stunning victory in California's 45th District:
"Katie Porter was counted out of the race for California's 45th District over and over again, both by Republicans and Wall Street-wing Democrats intent on using her as some misguided cautionary tale about the 'dangers' fighting for a bold, inclusive populist agenda, like Medicare for All.
"After a long fought campaign, Katie Porter's victory tonight is not only another example of the political transformation that's come to Orange County, California, it's a reminder of what kind of change is possible when Democrats stand up for progressive values and run campaigns that are committed to earning the support and delivering the votes of the New American Majority of Black, brown, and progressive white voters.
"Democracy for America was honored to support Katie Porter early on in her campaign, and we know that the fight she waged for every single vote throughout this campaign directly reflects the fight she'll wage every day in Congress for the families that call the California's 45th home." -- Charles Chamberlain, Executive Director, Democracy for America
Today, Democracy for America's (DFA) Jim Dean announced his decision to step down from his role as Chair of the national grassroots progressive group, and make former Cincinnati City Council member and history-making 2017 mayoral candidate Yvette Simpson its next Chief Executive, effective January 1, 2019.
As a part of the transition, Dean will move into the special advisor role his brother, Gov. Howard Dean, held prior to November 2016. DFA's current Executive Director, Charles Chamberlain, will move in to the role of Chair.
DFA Chair Jim Dean on his decision to step down and appoint Yvette Simpson DFA's new Chief Executive:
"After an election year defined by historic firsts and the profound impact women of color played in delivering them, I couldn't be more excited about Democracy for America's future with Yvette Simpson as its new Chief Executive.
"Having the opportunity to work closely with the grassroots to help push our country in a more progressive direction has truly been an honor and one of the greatest thrills of my life, but I also know that we won't be able to achieve the kind of change our country needs if we don't let a new generation of bold, visionary progressive leaders, like Yvette, lead the way.
"With Yvette as its Chief Executive and Charles as Chair, I am certain that DFA will not only continue fighting to deliver inclusive, populist political change up and down the ballot, but also that the folks DFA will be working with to lead those battles will be the progressive people of color, women, and young Americans who make up the New American Majority." -- Jim Dean, Chair, Democracy for America.
Over Dean's 14 years as its Chair, Democracy for America has helped elect over 1,000 progressives into office up and down the ticket, from President of the United States to Cook County Water Reclamation Commissioner.
Simpson will take over leadership of DFA in 2019 as its Chief Executive after serving as the organization's Federal Electoral Manager during the second half of 2018. In her work as DFA's Federal Electoral Manager, Simpson worked with DFA to recruit and support a strong, diverse slate of federal candidates in this year's midterm election -- including many of whom will be sworn in as newly elected members of Congress in January.
Yvette Simpson on joining DFA as it's new Chief Executive:
"I am incredibly excited to take the helm of an organization that has been supporting candidates at every level for nearly 15 years, and that is poised to do even more in the future to advance progressive, diverse leaders and issues across the country.
"We know that the future is female and that our country is becoming more diverse. The leadership of our country, from City Hall to the White House, needs to reflect the life experience and strategic vision of these changing demographics. Representation matters, particularly within political and movement organizations.
"Through Jim Dean's leadership, Democracy for America has built a powerful track-record of identifying and training strong grassroots leaders early and using people-power and partnerships to get those candidates over the finish line. I've seen the impact of that support, both as a candidate and while recently working directly with federal candidates on DFA's behalf, and it's a reputation we will be building on in 2019, 2020, and beyond." -- Yvette Simpson, incoming Chief Executive, Democracy for America.
Simpson, who makes history as the first woman of color to play an executive leadership role at DFA, has joined the organization as it celebrates a history-making 2018 election, looks forward to supporting a strong slate of inclusive populist candidates in local and state elections in 2019, and can't wait to defeat Donald Trump and elect a progressive President in 2020.
Democracy for America is a member-driven, people-powered progressive PAC with more than one million members nationwide committed to taking on income inequality, money in politics, and structural racism. Since its 2004 founding, DFA members have raised and contributed more than $62 million and made more than 25 million volunteer calls to help successfully elect 1,006 progressive candidates nationwide.
Additional Biographical Information about incoming DFA Chief Executive Yvette Simpson:
Yvette Simpson is a lawyer, MBA, and former Cincinnati City Council President Pro Tempore. She is the Founder & CEO of Yvette Simpson, LLC. In that capacity, Yvette served as the Federal Electoral Manager for Democracy for America (DFA) during the second half of 2018 and, in January 2019, will become the grassroots progressive organization's Chief Executive. She will be the first woman to serve as a Chief Executive at DFA and the first woman of color to play an executive leadership role at the organization.
Yvette grew up in public housing in Cincinnati, and was raised by her grandmother. She was the first in her family to graduate college, earning her BA in Political Science and her BS in Communications from Miami University (OH) in 2000. She earned her JD from the University of Cincinnati in 2004, and her MBA from Xavier University.
Yvette's passion for service started in 2008 when she served as a member of the Ohio Voter Protection Team as a Legal Observer. She later served on the Steering Committee for the Women's Fund, which researched barriers to women in public service. Since that time, she has volunteered and supported local and state campaigns, serving as the Vice Chair of the State Central Committee for the Ohio Democratic Party.
Yvette ran for Cincinnati City Council in 2011 and was elected and re-elected in 2013 for a four-year term. She served as President Pro Tem from 2013-2017. In 2017 she ran for Cincinnati Mayor, winning her primary by 11 points. She made history, as the first Black woman in Cincinnati's 200-year history to win a Mayoral primary. While she ultimately didn't win the general election, she won in 15 of 26 wards. During her years of service, Yvette worked on many economic and social issues, and was a strong advocate for people of color, the poor, women, and children.
Yvette is very active in her community, having served on several boards and committees, including the YWCA, Urban League, Cincinnati Youth Collaborative, and the UC Law Legal Access Program, among others. She was named a Forty under 40 by The Cincinnati Business Courier, was named YWCA Career Woman of Achievement in 2014, and currently serves on the She the People Summit Steering Committee.
Yvette brings her experience, passion, advocacy, and commitment to changing the world to her role at DFA, whose mission is to advance the voices and power of progressives and the New American Majority in our democracy.
Headlined by a night of historic "firsts" and the return of Democratic control of the U.S. House after the crushing loss of 2016, future generations will likely remember Election Night 2018 as a critical progressive pivot point in our country's political history.
Led by the people of color, women, millennials, and white progressives who make up the New American Majority, the 2018 election results delivered a clear repudiation of Donald Trump, pulled the country back from the brink of Democratic collapse, and decisively pushed it toward the kind of multiracial inclusive populist agenda we need to address the challenges we face and move the country forward.
DFA's Top Five Takeaways from the 2018 Election Results:
- While Democrats' successful flip of the U.S. House shifts power in Washington, the historic night of "firsts" and the boost it gives to building a more reflective democracy will have an even longer lasting impact. These history-making trailblazers will not only bring new, vital perspective to Congress, they are also set to be leaders in the fight for the bold inclusive populist reforms, like Medicare for All, that drive the New American Majority.
DFA-endorsed historic "first" House winners include: Veronica Escobar (TX-16, one of Texas' first Latina Congresswoman), Deb Haaland (NM-1, one of the first Native American women elected to Congress), Jahana Hayes (CT-5, Connecticut's first Black Congresswoman), Joe Neguse (CO-2, Colorado's first Black Member of Congress), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14, the youngest woman ever elected to Congress), Ilhan Omar (MN-05, the first Somali-American and Muslim woman), Ayanna Pressley (Massachusetts' first Black Congresswoman), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13, the first Palestinian-American & Muslim woman), and Lauren Underwood (IL-14, the youngest Black woman ever elected to Congress).
- The incoming Democratic Caucus in both the House and the Senate is set to be the most progressive in a generation. In addition to flipping control of the House, the 2018 election represents a rapid expansion of the number of leaders who are ready to help lead the fight for multiracial inclusive populism in Congress. Not only is the House gaining a new generation of progressive visionaries like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib from blue districts, but the latest data from the Progressive Change Institute shows that 64% of the Democratic Freshman Class support inclusive populist economic priorities like Medicare for All, a Medicare Public Option, and/or Social Security Expansion.
Moreover, while we were tremendously disappointed that Democrats were unable to retake the Senate, after losing members like Sen. Joe Donnelly and Sen. Claire McCaskill and gaining the new voice of DFA-endorsed Jacky Rosen, the new Senate Democratic Caucus is likely to be even more ideologically united in their approach to confronting Donald Trump than before.
- Racism, left-bashing, and trying to score points by backing alleged attempted rapists for the Supreme Court are not winning strategies for Democrats. In a last-minute effort to save his limping campaign, Senator Joe Donnelly aired ads attacking the "radical left" and fully embraced Trump's monument to bigotry on our Southern border. Senator Claire McCaskill acted similarly by closing out her ultimately losing campaign by throwing a wild punch at "crazy Democrats." Even more perplexing, former Governor Phil Bredesen effectively tanked his chances of winning a Republican-held Senate seat in Tennessee with the wholly unnecessary announcement that he would have voted for alleged attempted rapist Brett Kavanaugh for the U.S. Supreme Court if he'd been in the Senate -- afterward, his fundraising fell off a cliff and he went on to lose his race by nearly 11 points.
Conversely, while he came up shy of victory, DFA-endorsed candidate Beto O'Rourke's Medicare for All-embracing, pro-Immigrant rights inclusive populist campaign got much closer (2.6 points) to giving Ted Cruz an upset loss in deep-red Texas than any of the anti-progressive Senate Democrats who lost.
- Expanding the electorate is paving the way for the future success of Democrats. Overall, Democrats' success in the 2018 election was led by a number of candidates who rejected a dated establishment playbook and focused their campaign strategy on expanding the electorate and increasing midterm voter turnout, rather than continuing to target an ever-dwindling number of right-leaning, overwhelmingly white, regularly voting so-called "swing voters."
The impact of this change in targeting is most directly seen in the massive increase in voter turnout Democrats saw in 2018 across the country. According to early data from the United States Elections Project, 2018 saw the highest voter turnout in a midterm in over 50 years, with a projected 114 million votes cast representing a more than 31% turnout increase over the last wave election in 2014. This massive spike in turnout was particularly pronounced in states like Georgia (a staggering 16.4 points over 2014) and Florida (a more than 10-point increase over 2014) where the top of the tickets featured dynamic leaders who were themselves from the New American Majority and ran campaigns focused on turning out a statewide coalition of Black, brown, and progressive white voters.
While the Gillum race appears ready for a recount and Abrams is still fighting for the votes necessary to secure a run-off, the work these two campaigns put into transforming and expanding midterm election turnout undoubtedly got them closer to victory in states that have never elected a Black governor and haven't seen a Democratic Gubernatorial victory in at least 15 years. Moreover, even with races still unsettled, the down-ticket impact that Gillum and Abrams's electorate-expanding efforts had in Georgia and Florida is undeniable. For example, DFA-endorsed candidate Lucy McBath's shock win in Georgia's 6th Congressional District likely has ties to the exceedingly strong, electorate-expanding campaign that Abrams ran throughout the state, as do the upset victories of a number of DFA-endorsed Georgia State House candidates like El-Mahdi Holly (GA-HD-111) and Mary Robichaux (GA-HD-49).
In Wisconsin, DFA-endorsed Governor and Lt. Gov candidates Tony Evers and Mandela Barnes also ran a strong grassroots campaign focused on turning out sporadic midterm voters and centering the New American Majority. One of the most important features of their victory over one of the progressive movement's most elusive white whales, Scott Walker, was the massive Democratic landslide in Madison's Dane County. The key Democratic stronghold likely secured Evers and Barnes' victory by supplying nearly twice the number of Democratic votes as it did in 2010 and nearly 50,000 more votes than either 2014 or the Walker recall in 2012.
- Voter suppression, the rise of white nationalism, and our culture of white supremacy are a drag on progressive change, but they aren't stopping it. While there is much to celebrate about the 2018 election, there's little doubt that massive levels of voter suppression held back the gains of many electorate-expanding candidates across the country -- from purging voters of color from the rolls and closing polling locations in Black and brown communities to passing voter ID laws specifically designed to make it harder for non-white voters to be counted. For example, despite nearly doubling turnout over 2014 and massively increasing the number of new voters and voters of color, Stacey Abrams's opponent's efforts to use his power as Secretary of State to construct hurdles to voting and the counting of ballots undoubtedly held back her chances of an outright win.
At the same time, times are changing. While this cycle exposed the culture of white supremacy that still plagues our politics, the primary victories of Stacey Abrams and Andrew Gillum -- and the massive spike in participation they inspired among the New American Majority of Black, brown and progressive white voters -- showed meaningful forward momentum. In Florida, for example, 150,000 of the votes cast for Andrew Gillum in August's gubernatorial primary. came from voters who either were voting for the first time or had not voted in the previous three elections. Similarly, the victory of Second Chances Florida's Amendment 4, which finally ends a vicious Jim Crow-era law that kept more than 1.4 million Floridians from the ballot, only moves us closer to the day when an inspiring, inclusive populist candidate of color like Andrew Gillum will win a statewide race in the Sunshine State. Meanwhile, in this election, Steve King, a long-time advocate of white nationalism, was forced into the fight of his political life by DFA-endorsed inclusive populist J.D. Scholten. In previous cycles, King prevailed handily with 61.6% of the vote in 2014 and 61.2% in 2016. In 2018? He barely squeaked by with 50.4%.
While there are still a number of races left to call and lessons we will learn from 2018 in the weeks and months ahead, it's important for us to honor the people who really made these monumental victories happen: the grassroots.
Over the last two years, a wave of grassroots leaders and organizers took the despair they felt in 2016 and turned it into a movement that firmly rejects the politics of bigotry, hate, and fear that Trump has used to turn the country against itself and unrelentingly worked to elect a new generation of leaders committed to an inclusive, populist progressive vision for the United States.
If there's one clear message from Democratic victories in 2018, it's that the future of the Democratic Party lies with the candidates, campaigns, and voters of the New American Majority leading the fight for multiracial inclusive populism into 2020 and beyond.
More than any group of insiders or highly paid consultants in Washington, the grassroots understands the change that needs to happen, the fights we need to wage, and the battles we need to win. We are proud to call many of those leaders DFA members and we can't wait to continue working with them as they help deliver the change our country needs.
Key Facts about DFA's work and results during the 2017-18 election cycle:
- Over the 2017-18 cycle, DFA raised and spent more than $8.2 million in support of progressive candidates across the country -- including more than $1.1 million raised directly from DFA members for DFA-endorsed candidates.
- DFA generated more than 3.5 million grassroots voter contact calls via its DFA Dialer distributed calling platform -- the largest number of grassroots calls in a single election cycle that DFA has ever generated in its nearly 15-year history.
- DFA backed 299 progressive candidates running all across the county -- the largest number of primary and general election endorsements in the organization's history.
- DFA provided direct support to the broadest range of candidates ever --backing an unprecedented 7 folks running for governor, 11 folks running for Senate, 44 for U.S. House, and 243 running for local office
- DFA delivered on its commitment to building a more reflective democracy and fighting for racial justice by throwing its weight behind its most diverse slate of candidates ever -- 139 of the candidates DFA supported during the 2018 cycle are people of color, 157 are women or non-binary, and numerous others are poised to bust historic barriers to representation in Congress and Governor's mansions across the country.
- As of Friday, November 9th, 139 DFA-endorsed candidates won election to office during the 2017-18 election cycle -- likely the largest number of targeted wins in a single cycle since DFA's 2004 founding. This includes four special elections that took place during 2017-18, the 2017 off-year elections, and the 2018 general election. At publication, at least 6 races were outstanding.
This afternoon, Lucy McBath declared victory in her race for Congress in Georgia's 6th Congressional District. McBath's win over Rep. Karen Handel comes less than two years after Handle beat Democrat Jon Ossoff in a 2017 Special Election that remains the most expensive congressional race in U.S. history.
Inspired by the surge of grassroots momentum behind her campaign, Lucy McBath was Democracy for America's final endorsement of the 2018 election.
DFA Executive Director Charles Chamberlain on Lucy McBath's declaration of victory in Georgia's 6th:
"No one should be surprised by Lucy McBath's stunning victory in Georgia's 6th Congressional District even though she was outspent nearly 8-to-1 in the closing weeks of this race or because she was running against a right-wing candidate who, just in June 2017, won the most expensive congressional race in U.S. History.
"From the very start of her race Lucy McBath wasn't running as just another candidate for Congress, she was running as a 'Mother of the Movement,' and a relentless champion for racial, social, and economic justice.
"Democracy for America was honored to stand with Lucy McBath in this election, not only because the movements behind Lucy and Stacey Abrams were mutually empowering, but because we knew Lucy would bring to Congress the passion and vision Democrats need to take on a gun manufacturing industry that profits from death and a fringe right administration that thinks a poverty-level minimum wage is acceptable.
"Lucy McBath wasn't the kind of candidates DC insiders thought Democrats needed to win Georgia's 6th District, and we couldn't have been more excited to stand with her in proving them wrong." -- Charles Chamberlain, Executive Director, Democracy for America
Donald Trump FIRED Attorney General Jeff Sessions -- and there's reason to believe that the new acting AG, Matt Whitaker, will try to interfere with the Mueller investigation.
Here's what we know so far about Matt Whitaker:
- Whitaker opposed the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Trump from the beginning. At the time, he wrote in The Hill that "hollow calls for independent prosecutors are just craven attempts to score cheap political points and serve the public in no measurable way."
- Since then, he has consistently and harshly criticized the way Mueller has handled the investigation, accusing him of crossing "red lines" in terms of the scope of the investigation and recently penning an op-ed for CNN entitled "Mueller's investigation of Trump is going too far."
- In the past, Whitaker has suggested ways for the administration to sabotage the investigation, including slashing Mueller's operating budget and undermining his investigative authority.
It couldn't be more clear: Matt Whitaker has absolutely zero business overseeing this crucial investigation into the Trump administration. And if he is allowed to take on that role, there is a very real chance that he will destroy the investigation and set up a constitutional crisis.
We can't sit back and let a partisan Trump crony take over the Mueller investigation. Sign our petition and tell Matt Whitaker to recuse himself from the Trump/Russia investigation, effective immediately.Take Action!
Democracy for America Executive Director Charles Chamberlain responded this evening to the news that Donald Trump has effectively fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions and temporarily replaced him with Matt Whitaker, an administration official who has openly discussed dismantling the Special Prosecutor's Trump-Russia investigation.
"The forced resignation of Attorney Jeff Sessions and the appointment of Matt Whitaker as his temporary replacement is a transparent attempt by Donald Trump to decapitate the Trump-Russia investigation and escape justice.
"Matt Whitaker, who has openly discussed defunding and defanging an investigation critical to our democracy, has no business overseeing a probe critical to ensuring that anyone involved in the Trump campaign and administration, who worked with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election, is held accountable.
"Unless Whitaker quickly makes it clear that he will recuse himself from the Trump-Russia investigation, he is triggering a constitutional crisis that demands an immediate congressional response." - Charles Chamberlain, Executive Director of Democracy for America
Thanks to a final round of absentee votes in Milwaukee, Tony Evers and Mandela Barnes finally ended Wisconsin's nearly decade-long Scott Walker nightmare.
DFA's Executive Director Charles Chamberlain on Scott Walker's defeat by Tony Evers and Mandela Barnes:
"Tonight, the people of Wisconsin finally ended the career of a Governor who relentlessly attacked working families, repeatedly mortgaged the future of his state for his personal political gain, and ultimately functioned as little more than an errand boy for the wealthy and powerful interests who financed his campaigns.
"While the opportunity that Tony Evers and Mandela Barnes gave to Wisconsinites to finally retire Scott Walker was undeniably part of their appeal, they also ran a bold, inclusive populist race for Governor and Lieutenant Governor that gave voters an affirmative, visionary agenda they could be proud to get behind.
"Democracy for America was honored to support Evers and Barnes in their respective races and we look forward to joining them as they fight to deliver for Wisconsin working families while cleaning up the wreckage Scott Walker has left behind." -- Charles Chamberlain, Executive Director, Democracy for America
Mike Levin just won his race for Congress in California's 49th Congressional District -- a long-held Republican stronghold currently represented by longtime Democratic bête noire Darrell Issa.
DFA's Executive Director Charles Chamberlain on Mike Levin's huge victory in California's 49th District:
"From the very start, Mike Levin ran a campaign focused on a bold, inclusive populist agenda and committed to earning the support of the New American Majority of Black, brown, and progressive white voters that are transforming California's 49th District.
"Mike Levin's victory tonight is a testament to the unabashedly progressive vision he put forward throughout this campaign and the thousands of grassroots activists who turned the despair they felt in 2016 into a people-powered movement that forced Darrell Issa's retirement and now has replaced him with a leader committed to fighting for Medicare for All, robust gun violence prevention legislation, and real action on climate change.
"Democracy for America was honored to endorse Mike Levin early in his campaign and we can't wait to continue fighting alongside him as Democrats take the majority in the House." -- Charles Chamberlain, Executive Director, Democracy for America
Jahana Hayes (CT-05) just won her race for Congress in Connecticut's 5th Congressional District to become the first Black woman to represent the Nutmeg State in the U.S. House.
DFA Chair (and Connecticut resident) on Hayes' history-making victory in the CT-5:
"As an award-winning teacher and now Connecticut's first Black woman elected to the U.S. House, the voice and life experience that Jahana Hayes will be bringing with her to Washington is more important than ever before. Once a teenage mother and resident of public housing, Jahana Hayes knows what it's like to live life on the margins and she's fearlessly brought those experiences and the lessons learned from them to the very center of her campaign.
"An inspiring champion for bold inclusive populist ideas like Medicare for All, comprehensive immigration reform, and robust gun violence prevention legislation, Democracy for America was honored to stand with Jahana throughout this race and we look forward to continue to fight alongside her in Washington." -- Jim Dean, Chair, Democracy for America
VICTORY: DFA cheers as Deb Haaland (NM-1) becomes one of the first Native American women in Congress
Deb Haaland just won her race for Congress in New Mexico's 1st Congressional District and has become, along with Sharice Davids (KS-3) first Native American woman ever elected to the U.S. House.
DFA Chair Jim Dean on Deb Haaland's historic win in New Mexico:
"With her victory tonight, Deb Haaland not only made history as one of the first Native American women to be elected to Congress, she's ensured that New Mexicans have an unrelenting champion for racial and economic justice with deep ties to the grassroots fighting for them in Washington.
"Deb Haaland intimately and personally understands the war on women, immigrants, the environment, and native peoples being waged by this administration and the voice she'll bring to Congress about a whole range of issues is something they've never before had to contend with.
"We were honored to stand with Deb Haaland in this campaign and we look forward to fighting alongside her as she pushes to deliver on a big, bold inclusive populist agenda including Medicare for All, robust civil rights protections, and a federal jobs guarantee. -- Jim Dean, Chair, Democracy for America
Lauren Underwood just won her race for Congress in Illinois' 14th Congressional District making her the country's youngest Black Congresswoman and the first Black member of Congress from the IL-14.
Democracy for America endorsed Underwood in her race for Congress in August. Following its endorsement, DFA recruited 197 volunteer leaders to Underwood's campaign that helped deliver more than 54,259 targeted grassroots voter calls using its DFA Dialer calling program.
DFA's Jim Dean on Lauren Underwood's historic win in Illinois's 14th Congressional District:
"Lauren Underwood's victory tonight isn't just an historic moment for Illinois's 14th District, it's a huge win for a Congress that desperately needs the voice of young women of color in a whole range of policy discussions.
"A nurse and healthcare policy expert, Lauren Underwood understands that healthcare is a human right. A champion for common-sense gun laws, comprehensive immigration reform, and robust action to address climate change, Democracy for America was honored to support Lauren in her race for Congress because we knew the voice she'd give to the New American Majority of Black, brown, and progressive white voters in Washington is critical to our country and the Democratic Party's future." -- Jim Dean, Chair, Democracy for America
According to projections from multiple networks, Democrats are on pace to win the Congressional seats necessary to seize the majority of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Statement from Democracy for America's Jim Dean on Democrats taking back control of the House:
"The flip of the U.S. House to Democratic control is a direct repudiation of Donald Trump's white nationalist agenda, a clear mandate for multiracial inclusive populism, and a testament to the leadership of the New American Majority of Black, brown, and progressive white voters who made it possible.
"While votes are still being counted in a number of races, we're particularly excited about the historic number of 'firsts' that were critical to helping Democrats recapture the House, including the congressional victories of the first Muslim and Native American women, the first Palestinian-American and Somali-American, and the numerous candidates who are breaking critical glass ceilings in their state's congressional delegations.
"These newly elected members of Congress will not only make the House and the Democratic caucus more diverse than ever before, their bold leadership will ensure that Democrats deliver on the inclusive populist progressive agenda that motivated a historic turn out of new and long-ignored voters driving victory on Election Day.
"Make no mistake: Tonight's House flip isn't simply a response to the massive distaste Americans have for the toxic stew of of bigotry, hate, and division Donald Trump has served up over the last two years.
"The New American Majority of Black, brown, and progressive white voters turned out in huge numbers because they finally had candidates who spoke to their needs, built the people-powered campaigns necessary to reach them, and put forward a bold vision for the country that included critical solutions like Medicare for All, a federal jobs guarantee, and real criminal justice reform.
"Voters have given Democrats in the House a mandate to demand accountability from an out-of-control White House and push forward a bold, inclusive populist agenda whenever and wherever they can. We hope they continue look to the grassroots to help them deliver." -- Jim Dean, Chair, Democracy for America
During the 2018 cycle, Democracy for America:
- Raised and spent more than $8.2 million in support of progressive candidates across the country -- including more than $1.1 million raised directly from DFA members for DFA-endorsed candidates
- Generated more than 3.5 million grassroots voter contact calls via it's DFA Dialer distributed calling platform -- the largest number of grassroots calls in a single election cycle that DFA has ever generated in its nearly 15-year history.
- Backed 299 progressive candidates running all across the county -- the largest number of primary and general election endorsements in the organization's history
- Provided direct support to the broadest range of candidates ever --backing an unprecedented 7 folks running for governor, 11 folks running for Senate, 44 for U.S. House, and 243 running for local office
- Delivered on its commitment to building a more reflective democracy and fighting for racial justice by throwing its weight behind its most diverse slate of candidates ever -- 139 of the candidates DFA supported during the 2018 cycle are people of color, 157 are women or non-binary, and numerous others are poised to bust historic barriers to representation in Congress and Governor's mansions across the country.
This evening, Veronica Escobar won her race in Texas' 16th Congressional district, becoming the first Latina member of Congress elected in Texas
DFA Chair Jim Dean on Veronica Escobar's historic election in Texas' 16th Congressional District:
"Throughout her career, Veronica Escobar has long fought for racial and economic justice in El Paso's border community and now, as Texas' first Latina member of Congress, she'll have the opportunity to take that fight to Washington.
"Democracy for America endorsed Veronica Escobar early in her race for Congress because we knew she understood, first-hand, the dangerous crossroads the country faces and was committed to ensuring that every community that calls Texas home -- Latinos, African-Americans, Asians, and LGBTQ Americans -- has a leader standing up for them.
"A passionate advocate for Medicare for All, humane immigration reform, and policies that protect and expand Social Security, Veronica Escobar will be a fierce champion for multiracial inclusive populism in Congress. We couldn't be more honored to have stood with her in this race and we look forward to fight alongside her in the months and years to come." -- Jim Dean, Chair, Democracy for America
Joe Neguse (CO-2) just won his race for Congress in Colorado's 2nd Congressional District, helping make him the Mile High State's first Black member of Congress.
DFA Chair Jim Dean on Joe Neguse's history-making win in Colorado's 2nd Congressional District:
"Voters in Colorado's Second District have a history of trail-blazing picks for the U.S. House, and tonight's election of Joe Neguse, making him Colorado's first Black member of Congress, is no exception.
"Democracy for America was honored to stand with Joe Neguse early on his race for Congress because we knew that he'd be an unbridled champion for big, bold inclusive populist reforms like Medicare for All, comprehensive gun violence prevention legislation, and a $15 minimum wage.
"At the same time, in the face of the unrelenting assault on our country's core progressive values, its more important than ever to have young leaders of color like Joe in the halls of Congress As a millennial, person of color, and the son of immigrants, Joe Neguse will help bring a critical, missing lens to Colorado's congressional delegation that the entire country will be well served by having." -- Jim Dean, Chair, Democracy for America
Ilhan Omar (MN-05) just won her race in Minnesota's 5th Congressional District to become, alongside Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), one of the first Muslim women in Congress. She'll also be the first Somali-American in the U.S. House.
DFA's Jim Dean on Ilhan Omar's history-making victory in Minnesota's 5th congressional district:
"With her victory tonight, Ilhan Omar not only becomes the first Somali-American and one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, she's also set to become one of the House's strongest champions for the kind of bold, inclusive populist reforms that have brought millions of new voters to the polls all across the country.
"Democracy for America was honored endorse Ilhan earlier in her successful run for the state legislature, we are proud to be one of Ilhan Omar's earliest endorsers in her race for Congress and we look forward to fighting alongside her for years to come." -- Jim Dean, Chair, Democracy for America
Rashida Tlaib just formally won the race for Congress in Michigan's 13th Congressional District to become the first Palestinian-American and one of the first Muslim women in Congress.
Democracy for America (DFA) endorsed Tlaib in May 2018 during an extremely competitive multi-way Democratic primary, offering on-the-ground staff support, including digital strategy and voter targeting planning. Later, Democracy for America members named her the winner of the 2018 Grassroots All-Stars competition, where members vote for the most exciting races to watch nationwide, resulting in a commitment by DFA to raise $20,000 for her campaign.
DFA's Jim Dean on Rashida Tlaib's election to Congress in Michigan's 13th:
"While Rashida Tlaib is breaking an important glass ceiling tonight as the first Palestinian American and one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, Democracy for America members are also excited to see her heading to Congress tonight because we know the kind of unrelenting champion for bold, inclusive populist ideas she's going to be in the U.S. House.
"Rashida Tlaib isn't going to Congress to support Medicare for All, criminal justice reform, or a $15 minimum wage, she's going to Congress to fight for those ideas and work hand-and-hand with the grassroots to get it done. We were honored to stand with Rashida early in her campaign and we look forward to fighting alongside her for racial and economic justice for years to come." -- Jim Dean, Chair, Democracy for America
Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) just won her race for Congress in Massachusetts' 7th Congressional District to become the first Black woman to represent the state in the U.S. House.
Democracy for America supported Pressley in her primary challenge of nine-term incumbent Democrat Mike Capuano in what was one of the biggest Democratic primary upsets of the 2018 cycle.
DFA on Pressley's history-making general election victory:
"When Democracy for America decided to back Ayanna Pressley in her successful primary challenge of a nearly 20-year Democratic incumbent, we did so because of her bold track record of transformative leadership in the City Council and because we believed that it was positively critical that Democrats seize every opportunity we have to elevate and empower the next generation of progressive women of color.
With her victory tonight, Ayanna Pressley has not only made history as the first Black woman ever elected to represent Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives, she's ensured that Democrats have the voice of a young, Black progressive woman helping lead the fight for inclusive populist reforms like Medicare for All, criminal justice reform, and a $15 minimum wage.
We were honored to stand with Ayanna Pressley throughout her people-powered race for Congress, and we look forward to continuing to work alongside her as she shows what the leadership of the New American Majority of Black, brown, and progressive white Americans is capable of in the months and years ahead. -- Jim Dean, Chair, Democracy for America
On Sunday, Democracy for America completed its 3 millionth voter contact call of the 2018 election cycle using its DFA Dialer distributed calling tool.
Even before Election Day, this is the largest number of grassroots calls in a single election cycle that DFA has ever generated in its nearly 15-year history.
The DFA Dialer, which DFA has deployed in every election since 2010, allows grassroots volunteers to make targeted persuasion and Get-Out-the-Vote calls to voters in races featuring DFA-endorsed candidates critical to helping build progressive power, up and down the ballot, all across the country.
It's also notable that DFA is breaking its record for grassroots activity during a 2018 election cycle in which it has also:
- Backed 299 progressive candidates running all across the county -- the largest number of primary & general election endorsements in the organization's history
- Provided direct support to the broadest range of candidates ever --backing an unprecedented 7 folks running for governor, 10 folks running for Senate, 44 for U.S. House, and 243 running for local office
- Delivered on its commitment to building a more reflective democracy and fighting for racial justice by throwing its weight behind its most diverse slate of candidates ever -- 139 of the candidates DFA supported during the 2018 cycle are people of color, 157 are women or non-binary, and numerous are poised to bust historic barriers to representation in Congress and Governor's mansions across the country.
Democracy for America Electoral Director Annie Weinberg on DFA's 3+ million calls and epic levels of grassroots action ahead of Election Day 2018:
"The volume of grassroots activity and action we've seen a wide range of different races all across the country this cycle is not something that I've ever seen before.
"We're incredibly proud of the record-breaking, over 3 million grassroots voter contact calls we've made so far this cycle and will make over the next 27+ hours before polls begin closing.
"We're also grateful for the bold candidates -- led by women and people of color -- whose runs have helped build this wave of people-power; the campaigns who were willing to run better targeted campaigns to expand the electorate and center the New American Majority; and the tens of thousands of individual volunteers who turned the despair they felt in 2016 into action over the last two years.
"We've got a lot of work still left to do to ensure that no voter gets left behind, but the grassroots energy we're seeing at DFA and across the country should give all of us reason for a lot of hope." -- Annie Weinberg, Elector Director, Democracy for America
Today, Democracy for America (DFA) made Lucy McBath (GA-06) its final 2018 endorsement for the United States House of Representatives.
A fearless advocate for gun violence prevention who believes that healthcare is a human right, McBath is running a strong race for Congress in a district could play a critical role in helping Democrats' efforts to retake the House and DFA-endorsed candidate Stacey Abrams win Georgia's race for Governor.
Democracy for America is a member-driven, people-powered progressive political organization with 1 million members across the country and a total of 28,538 in Georgia.
Chair Jim Dean on DFA's endorsement of Lucy McBath for Congress:
"A wife, mother, businesswoman, and champion for social justice, Lucy McBath is running a campaign for Congress rooted in progressive values and driven by the belief that every voter in Georgia's Sixth Congressional District deserves a leader who will fight for them in Washington.
"Democracy for America is excited to endorse Lucy McBath because she knows that healthcare is a human right, every child deserves access to high-quality public education, and no one can comfortably live on the current minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. A leader in the fight for gun violence legislation ever since her own son was shot and killed, Lucy McBath intimately understands what it's like to fight for change from the outside and we know she'll be a vital grassroots ally once in office.
"We're also excited to stand with Lucy McBath because we know that her success in Cobb, DeKalb, and Fulton Counties will add a critical boost to Stacey Abrams' chances of a history-making victory in Georgia's race for Governor. The strong, people-powered campaigns that Lucy McBath and Stacey Abrams are running are already inspiring an unprecedented number of Black, brown, and white progressive voters to turn out in a midterm election in Georgia, and we can't wait to help both do even more over the next eight days." -- Jim Dean, Chair of Democracy for America
As a part of its work in the 2018 election cycle, DFA intends to raise and spend more than $12 million in support of progressive candidates, make more than 2 million voter contacts, and support more than 250 candidates nationwide -- like McBath -- in running inclusive populist campaigns committed to turning out the New American Majority of people of color and progressive white voters in November.
Democracy for America is a member-driven, people-powered progressive PAC with more than one million members nationwide committed to taking on income inequality, money in politics, and structural racism. Since its 2004 founding, DFA members have raised and contributed more than $54 million and made more than 21.9 million volunteer calls to help successfully elect 917 progressive candidates nationwide.
November 6th is not only set to be the most important election of our lifetimes, the unprecedented number of women and people of color who are running this fall has all but ensured that it will be a new high water mark for the range of life experiences represented in our country's corridors of power.
However, while we celebrate the historic diversity of the candidates we have on the ballot this November, we also refuse to silently ignore the volume and range of explicit and implicit racist attacks almost every single candidate of color has faced in this election.
While people of color running for elected office have always faced hurdles to victory defined by the strength of structural racism and our country's long-standing culture of white supremacy, 2018 has taken it to a new level.
Here are just a few examples:
- Stacey Abrams, running for Governor of Georgia, has not only faced racially tinged attacks on her personal struggle with debt while supporting her family, she has also stared down, along with her supporters, white nationalist protesters talking up "armed resistance" if she's elected.
- While the vile white nationalist robocalls and casually racist comments made by his bigoted opponent have grabbed headlines, Andrew Gillum, running for Governor of Florida, has also faced outright lies about Tallahassee's declining violent crime rates as Republicans struggled to find a racist dog-whistle that might not be so easily called out.
- On the federal level, right-wing activists have gone into overdrive to smear Michigan's Rashida Tlaib and Minnesota's Ilhan Omar, who are likely to become the first two Muslim women in Congress, with absurd charges of anti-semitism. Meanwhile, national Republicans have been silent about the desperate, race-baiting ads Ammar Campa-Najjar's federally-indicted Republican incumbent opponent has run against him in California.
At the same time, candidates of color have also been running in an environment where many of the mainstream media sources essential to our Democracy seem ill-equipped, unable, or unwilling to properly contextualize the depth, breadth, and nuance of the racism they face.
The open letter to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Stacey Abrams's campaign manager Lauren Groh-Wargo released this week underscores the more obvious examples of uneven treatment that candidates of color face in the mainstream media. More subtle are the ways in which, for example, the media's focus on Abrams's hardly atypical struggle with debt, as the Huffington Post's Emma Roller has pointed out, plays into dangerous stereotypes of race and poverty.
Even more profound is the degree to which the media's failure to adequately cover the explicit and implicit attacks candidates of color face by their right-wing opponents is its own insidious kind of bias. The Root's Jason Johnson notes that, while an anti-racist yard-sign put in a GOP supporter's lawn was covered by Georiga's local media as a hate crime, "pro-Kemp Klansmen" who have attacked Abrams received "no coverage from the Georgia press."
In 2018, candidates of color, at every level of office, are facing a level of racialized partisan vitriol that white supremacy in our culture and mainstream media is still leaving far too many unable to see and act on.
This has to change.
As a predominantly white-led, multi-issue progressive political organization, we believe that the first step in fighting back is recognizing what is happening to candidates of color, publicly calling it out, and encouraging others in the progressive movement to join us in taking action against it.
White supremacy thrives in darkness, whether in an explicit racist attack against a candidate of color or less visible in a small editorial decision made behind a desk in a noisy newsroom. It cannot if we commit to shining a light on it whenever we see it and taking action to dismantle it.
Whether they're deploying a dog whistle or a fog horn, no candidate should be able to get away with leveling explicit or implicit racist attacks without being called to account. The progressive movement's white leaders have a particularly important obligation to ensure that racist attacks aren't ignored or swept under the rug by a media and political culture that regularly ignores, gas-lights, and mocks campaigns, candidates, and supporters of color who point out the same thing.
Still, dismantling our culture of white supremacy requires more than sunlight, it also demands real and robust support for leadership on the national, state, and local level who more accurately reflect our country's range of lived experiences.
In 2015, after seeing the racial blind spots within the progressive movement's presidential debate, Democracy for America (DFA) pledged to ask every candidate we might support about their own commitment to addressing the problems of structural racism and white supremacy.
Three years later, we're not only backing a slate of candidates who are rock solid in their commitment to racial justice, but it's also the most diverse collection of candidates DFA has ever endorsed. That kind of focus doesn't come out of nowhere: It's rooted in a committment to building a reflective democracy with the candidates we recruit and invest in, the campaign staffers they hire, and the voters whose needs and values we encourage those campaigns to prioritize and center. In 2019 and 2020, we will be doubling down on that work, working to elect the New American Majority of Black, brown, and white progressive leaders, and urging other members of the progressive political community to join us.
Even before election day, there is much to celebrate about how far progressive candidates of color and the movement behind them have come in 2018. Yet, we refuse to ignore or forget the cesspool of bigotry and hate they will have had to crawl through to win. Our communities, our country, and the diverse people our leaders serve deserve better.
The change our country needs isn't going to come through the ballot box alone, the fight against the normalization of white nationalism and for racial and economic justice is bigger than one election. However, if keep our eyes open and our minds focused on the fight ahead, DFA believes that 2018 can and will be remembered as a key pivot point in our fight for a more just, reflective, and equitable democracy.
How does DFA Dialer work?
The system will dial numbers for you. As you're connected with each voter, you'll see their information and a script show up on the web page. You'll record responses and then move on to the next voter.
How do I log in to DFA Dialer? When will I start talking to voters?
- Start at dfadialer.com
- Click on the photo of the candidate you’d like to call for.
- On the next screen, enter your name, email, phone number, and zipcode to log in. (If this is your first time suing the DFA Dialer, please check the box indicating this is your first time.
- On the next screen, scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Let’s get started.”
- The next step is connecting your computer and phone to the Hubdialer:
- Dial the phone number on your screen
- When prompted, enter the dial in code on your screen into your phone
- Enter the confirmation code you hear into the box on your computer screen
- Click “Start Calls.” You will be connected to voters as soon as they pick up the phone
Who will I be calling? What do I need to say?
You'll be calling likely supporters and encouraging them to vote in this election. You do not need to be an expert on the candidate(s) you're calling for -- the script will have the information you need.
Will I see a script before I start talking to voters?
Yes. Once you log in, you will be given an opportunity to review the script and get comfortable with it. You can take as much time as you need on this screen before you begin taking calls.
Will people be able to see my phone number or Caller ID?
No, the Caller ID that shows up will be for the campaign headquarters, not your own name and number.
Is this long distance? Will I be charged for these calls?
If calling from a cell phone (unless you have unlimited minutes) it will count as “minutes” used. Landline phones may be charged if you typically get charged for long distance (usually people have unlimited long distance calling on landlines, so if they can normally call a number outside their area code without a charge they should not be charged for calling hubdialer either).
Do I need to have a computer? Can I use just my tablet or smartphone?
You need to have a phone to make calls (either mobile or landline phones), AND ALSO a computer or tablet to follow along on the phonebanking website. iPads work, and other tablets that connect to the internet will also.
Do I need to commit to the full shift? Can I take breaks?
We encourage volunteers to commit to a full shift of calls, although it is possible to end earlier if you have schedule conflicts that might otherwise prevent you from signing up at all. If necessary, you can take short breaks during the shift.
What if my plans change?
If you can’t make your scheduled shift, please email [email protected] to let us know. Remember, the dialer will be open 3pm - 8 pm in the candidate’s local time, so you can definitely log in to make calls later on the day of your scheduled shift.
How can I sign up for more shifts?
Sign up to make calls for Mike Espy here:
I’m having trouble logging in…
If you’re a first time caller, make sure you check the the checkbox on the login form that says “This is the first time you’ve signed into HubDialer.” If you have logged in to the dialer before, and are still having trouble, please close your browser then follow the steps at the top of this page to access the site and log in.
I’m getting an error message that says I am outside the available times for the campaign. What does that mean?
You may be calling before 3pm or after 9 pm in the candidate’s local time zone. If that’s not the case, email [email protected] to let us know! Or, go back to dfadialer.com and select a different candidate.
I’m getting an error message that saying the campaign has ended. What should I do?
That means our volunteers have finished calling all the voters a campaign has given us! We encourage you to return to dfadialer.com, and find another candidate to make calls for until we get a new list of voters.
My confirmation code expired. What do I do now?
Just refresh your page to get a new call in number and code.
I’ve logged in, but now I’m just hearing hold music. What’s going on?
The dialer is calling voters and screening out voicemails, disconnected numbers, etc. When a live voter answers, you’ll be connected, and a script will appear on your screen.
How do I code in my results after the call?
On the script you will see checkboxes to enter in the information, click the box to select the result. Make any additional notes in the “notes” box. Once you’re done, click “next call” to go on to the next call
Why won’t it call another voter?
The system will not move you onto the next call until you have submitted your information and clicked “next call.” The hold between calls can be one minute or more. If you are hearing music, the system is dialing so be patient. If you’re not hearing music, or you’ve been on hold longer than three minutes, try hanging up your phone and then logging out and logging back in again.
I’m getting a lot of wrong or disconnected numbers. Why is this happening?
Sometimes the information in the voter file is out of date - people have moved or changed phone numbers since the last election. Making a note of the wrong and disconnected numbers is important, because it saves time during the final days of the election.
Voters are grumpy. Do these calls even help?
They do! Several studies have shown that a direct, live conversation with a voter is the best way to get them to vote. Door-to-door and phone contact is more effective than TV ads, direct mail, or robocalls.
Today, Democracy for America (DFA) announced its endorsement of Mike Espy in Mississippi's non-partisan special election for U.S. Senate this November.
DFA's endorsement of Espy comes just days after the U.S. Senate Senate, in an overwhelmingly Republican vote, approved the nomination of accused sexual assault perpetrator Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States.
Chair Jim Dean on DFA's endorsement of Mike Espy for U.S. Senate:
"Mike Espy is running a strong grassroots campaign for U.S. Senate in Mississippi that may be even more surprising and transformational than Doug Jones' victory in Alabama last year.
"Not only will Espy's victory by critical to ending the fringe right's control of the U.S. Senate, it will be a powerful reminder as we head into 2020 that progressives can win everywhere if we stand up for an inclusive populist political agenda and build campaigns that prioritize, energize, and mobilize the new American majority of Black, brown, and progressive white voters.
"Democracy for America is excited to support Mike Espy in his race for U.S. Senate because we know he's committed to the fight to make sure Mississippi and the country work for everyone, not just the wealthy and powerful. Mike Espy knows that a great country like ours doesn't lock kids up in cages when they're fleeing violence or deny folks access to health care simply because they can't afford it.
"Rooted firmly in our shared progressive values, Mike Espy is running a bold, grassroots campaign committed to welcoming in the leadership of community members who have long been ignored in Mississippi, and we're excited to be fighting alongside him." -- Jim Dean, Chair, Democracy for America
Mike Espy on receiving DFA's endorsement:
"I am grateful to Democracy for America for their endorsement, and I look forward to working with their members here in Mississippi to keep our momentum going and win this election in November." -- Mike Espy
DFA is a national progressive political organization with 3,429 members in Mississippi and more than 1 million members across the country.
Today, DFA also endorsed Jacky Rosen for U.S. Senate in Nevada. Victories by Rosen and Espy, along with a win by DFA-backed Beto O'Rourke in Texas, may be critical to helping Democrats flip control of the Senate and halt the Trump administration's efforts to appoint more unfit, fringe right-wing individuals to government and judicial positions.
As a part of its work in the 2018 election cycle, DFA intends to raise and spend more than $12 million in support of progressive candidates, make more than 2 million voter contacts, and support more than 250 candidates nationwide -- like Espy -- in running inclusive populist campaigns committed to turning out the New American Majority of people of color and progressive white voters in November.
Democracy for America is a member-driven, people-powered progressive PAC with more than one million members nationwide committed to taking on income inequality, money in politics, and structural racism. Since its 2004 founding, DFA members have raised and contributed more than $54 million and made more than 21.9 million volunteer calls to help successfully elect 917 progressive candidates nationwide.