The Diversity Declaration

Government of the People, by the People, and for the People

Filtering by Category: 2018

Results from the New Jersey Primaries: Prospects and Challenges for Progressive Candidates

Diversity Declaration tracked two New Jersey House primaries on June 5 that highlight prospects and challenges for progressive candidates in the 2018 midterms:

NJ-2: As the New York Times wrote: “Jeff Van Drew, a state senator, won the Democratic primary. Mr. Van Drew, a conservative Democrat with a pro-gun record who voted against same-sex marriage in 2012, nonetheless won the backing of powerful South Jersey Democrats early on and was able to fend off a challenge from some progressive candidates.”

NJ-3: Andy Kim, an Obama Administration national security official endorsed by former VP Joe Biden, and the founder of www.risestronger.org, secured the Democratic nomination, running unopposed. He now must wage an uphill battle going into November’s general election, against wealthy Republican incumbent Tom MacArthur. NJ-3 has 12,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans, and Cook’s Political Report has shifted its rating of the district to the left this year, though NJ-3 voted for Trump in 2016 after voting twice for Obama. MacArthur has a vast personal fortune to fund his own campaign. 

http://observer.com/2018/04/cook-shifts-tom-macarthur-district/

www.andykimforcongress.com

May Democratic Primaries

The May Democratic primaries saw victories by a group of female diversity candidates, adding to the momentum that the Diversity Declaration is working to encourage.  All these candidates face significant challenges and need exceptional mobilization of support to win.

Georgia: Stacey Abrams, 44, is the first African-American to win a primary for governor.  If elected, she would be the state’s first woman governor and the first African-American woman governor in the U.S.  Georgia hasn’t had a Democratic governor in 20 years. Abrams’ opponent will be one of two Trump-style Republicans; Trump won Georgia by a five percent margin in 2016.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/stacey-abrams-wins-democratic-nomination-for-governor_us_5b045d41e4b003dc7e471586)

 

Idaho: Paulette Jordan, 38, is waging an uphill battle be the nation’s first Native American governor, in a staunchly conservative, Republican state.

https://www.vox.com/2018/5/16/17357906/idaho-governor-results-paulette-jordan-democratic-primary

 

Texas: Lupe Valdez, 70, won the primary as the first Latina and openly gay person nominated by a major party in the race for governor of Texas.  The Republican incumbent governor is favored to win in November, and Republicans have long controlled the state, but Valdez has a history of overcoming long odds.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/lupe-valdez-win-texas-democratic-primary-governor_us_5afcac91e4b06a3fb50d613c?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=hp_fb_pages&utm_source=main_fb

 

Gina Ortiz Jones, 37, won the primary for a House seat. If elected, she would be the first lesbian, Iraq War veteran and Filipina-American to represent Texas in Congress. Her district leans Republican and her two-term incumbent opponent has a much larger war chest so far.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/gina-ortiz-jones-congress-texas_us_5b043424e4b003dc7e46b984

 

Do you like hearing about candidates like these inspiring women?  Do you want to help us others like them elected?  It's easy and fun!  We are tracking several Congressional races closely, and will be focusing on some key races in 'swing' districts within the next few weeks.  We'd love to hear from you on any races YOU are tracking, and will cross-post information so please follow our Facebook page and e-mail or message us with your thoughts!

Motivation Monday: Challenges for Diversity Candidates in Maryland and New Jersey

Diversity candidates for upcoming Democratic primaries, in increasingly diverse districts with significant immigrant populations, face tough challenges - even from within the Democratic Party.

Aruna Miller's strong showing in Maryland's 6th district has made her the preferred target of GOP attack ads.  In New Jersey's 2nd district, a conservative, white, male Democrat has the full backing of the Democratic Party establishment, who sees in him its best chance of recapturing a seat held by a Republican for two decades.  Progressive activists in New Jersey see the Party turning its back on viable candidates more in line with the values it claims to represent, in service of trying to take back the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Washington Post and Politico offer some insight into how things are shaking out in both Maryland and New Jersey.

Democratic Primary is Two Months Away but the Republicans have Already Picked Out Their Favorite Candidate to Attack | Washington Post

How Progressives Got Steamrolled in New Jersey | Politico 

 

Urging Our Senators to Commit to Diversity in Hiring

On February 15, we joined about a dozen other organizations signing onto letters sent by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies to Senator Menendez, recently reinstated as Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senator Cardin, recently appointed Ranking Member on the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

The letters urge the Senators to:

  1. Apply the Rooney Rule and interview at least one person of color for their staff director and general counsel roles;
  2. Commit to hiring diverse candidates throughout their offices to ensure that the demographics of their offices reflect the demographics of their constituents; and
  3. Commit to hiring at least one person of color for their staff director or general counsel position. 

County Council Candidates Talk About Racial Equity and Immigrant Rights

Montgomery County, Maryland is one of the most diverse counties in the United States.  Yet, the County Council has traditionally represented only a fraction of the county's communities.  Local elections matter and it's important to hold our representatives at ALL levels of government accountable to ALL our communities.  That's why your Diversity Matters team decided to check out yesterday's County Executive Forum on Racial Equity and Immigrant Rights.  This grassroots-hosted event raised questions to an all-white, mostly male panel of candidates that they may not usually have to face.  The excellent moderators asked the panelists tough questions about discrimination in housing and zoning, dealing with distrust between police and communities, and how they would handle the Trump administration's aggressive ICE raids and targeting of undocumented immigrants.  We are not endorsing any particular candidate in this county election, but were glad to see candidates pushed to consider what more they could do to reach out and engage the very large immigrant communities that have not had a strong voice in local government.  Candidates were also asked how historical wrongs against the African American community, who have literally had their graves paved over by developers, could be addressed.
 

We felt all of the candidates could do much more to address these questions but hats off to the event organizers for making sure we were at the table.  We encourage all our supporters to take a look at upcoming local events in your community, and bring your voice to the room.