So far reports are that voter registration has soared, early voting has started in some states with large voter turnout, and while I don’t usually rely to much on polls, they do say that voters are motivated to vote in the midterm elections. While the list is again shorter than usual it is not because less inspiring things are happening but because I don’t have as much time to write in between canvassing, texting, phone-banking, and postcard writing (all of which I accomplished this week). I hope this little list gives you motivation to keep going until November 6th and onward.
🚶🚶🏿🚶🏼ELECTION PARTICIPATION Georgia Gov. re-opened voter registration in four Georgia counties where Hurricane Michael forced their election offices to close. Georgia is setting records for early voting. Requests for mail-in ballots in Chicago and some suburbs have surpassed 2014 totals already, with time still left to apply to vote by mail. Hours before the voter registration deadline Maryland hit a record high for active registered voters at 3,992,451, surpassing the previous record of 3,977,637, with 2,189,543 Democrats and 1,018,851 Republicans. More than 4.3 million Americans have already voted early in the midterm elections and signs point to a huge increase in turnout from the last midterm elections; more than 800,000 people in Florida, nearly half a million Californians, more than 200,000 people in Tennessee and Arizona, and more than 100,000 in Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, have voted. With 481,111 state residents now on Vermont’s voter rolls about 92.5 percent of the state’s voters are registered. #VOTE
AND #GOTV Let America Vote has now knocked on 40,000 doors in Georgia. Gov. Bill Walker of Alaska (I) suspended his campaign and announced he was throwing his support behind his Democratic challenger. La Crosse Municipal Transit (WI) will offer free bus service on Election Day. OpenProgress.com sent out hundreds of thousands of texts and emails to get voters enthusiastic about democratic candidates and excited to vote. Just a few examples of those working to bring a #BlueWave2018 in New York, Maryland, Washington, California, Tennessee, Texas, Nebraska, Alabama, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
💵 ELECTION FUNDRAISING Democrats raised a total of $46 million from small donors during the 2018 election, compared with just $15 million for their Republican opponents with Democrats in the 69 most competitive House races out-raising their Republican rivals by more than $78 million thanks to online small donor donations.
🧕🏻STANDING UP FOR IMMIGRANTS Denver finally received their criminal justice funds from the Dept. Of Justice as ordered by the courts after they challenged the denial of funds over sanctuary city policies. #NoOneIsIllegalOnStolenLand
⚖️ECONOMIC JUSTICE Starting with WAGES AND BENEFITS The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled that a ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage will remain on the November ballot. HEALTH CARE Vermont is taking steps to require short-term health insurance plans to cover the 10 “essential” benefits mandated by the ACA, which include coverage for maternity and newborn care, prescription drugs, mental health and substance abuse treatment, and hospitalization. Wisconsin governor has stalled effort to put Medicaid recipients to work, while it may be for political reasons, everyday someone does not lose their insurance, no matter the reason, is a good day. Virginia announced that starting on November 1, 2018, the state will accept applications for expanded Medicaid coverage. CONSUMER PROTECTION The U.S. Supreme Court refused to review a California state court ruling holding three paint companies responsible for lead paint contamination in homes built before 1951. A federal court allowed student loan borrower protections to take effect that make it easier for defrauded students to get their federal loans forgiven and prohibit colleges from forcing students to resolve complaints through arbitration, in an blow to for-profit colleges and Ed. Secretary Betsy DeVos who tried to stop it. #HealthCareForAll
👨🏿⚖️SEEKING SOCIAL AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE The Washington Supreme Court ruled that life sentences for juveniles convicted of aggravated murder is unconstitutional. Tennessee can no longer revoke people’s driver licenses because they cannot afford to pay traffic tickets, Rhode Island approved medical marijuana use for people who suffer from severe autism. The Florida Supreme Court ruled that Florida’s Republican governor cannot make “midnight appointments” to name three new justices to the Florida Supreme Court after his term has ends at midnight and before the swearing in of whomever is elected Governor. #BailReform
🌎SAVING THE ENVIRONMENT An Idaho fish and game commissioner resigned over a mass email he sent in which he described killing an array of African animals on a hunting trip complete with pictures of himself. A federal court ruled that a group of young Americans suing the federal government over lack of action to fight climate change can proceed with their lawsuit. Solar and wind energy now generate more than 20 percent of electricity in 10 states, according to a new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. SodaStream announced the launch of the ‘Holy Turtle, a massive ocean contraption designed to clean plastic waste from open waters. #ThereIsNoPlanetB
👩#MeToo And WOMEN’S RIGHTS Sherwood Food Distributors will pay $3.6 million and enact a series of nondiscrimination measures as part of a settlement it reached with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission over claims that the company rarely hired women at one of its facility. Rosebud Restaurants Inc.agreed to pay $160,000 to settle a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of female employees.
🗽BECAUSE MONUMENTS AND NAMES MATTER A judge declined to punish a University of North Carolina graduate student who admitted to splashing red ink on a Confederate statue.
🏳️🌈LGBTQ PROGRESS Lakewood City Council (OH) and Eau Claire (WI) banned gay conversion therapy on minors. Two women in Austria became the first to wed after winning a lawsuit to legalize same sex marriage. #LoveIsLove
🤰🏽WOMEN’S RIGHT TO CHOOSE Queensland’s parliament voted to decriminalize abortion. #MyBodyMyChoice
🕫🗳️FAIR AND ETHICAL VOTING The Justice Department charged a Russian woman with conspiracy to interfere with the 2018 U.S. election, the first criminal case accusing a foreign national of interfering in the upcoming midterms. Federal judges appointed a special expert to help redraw Virginia’s state legislative districts. A North Carolina court ruled the government board that oversees the state elections is unconstitutional, striking down a law put in place by the Republican led General Assembly to limit the authority of the Democratic Gov. Four Directions, a Native American voting rights group is working to ensure that all Native Americans in North Dakota can vote despite the recent Supreme Court decision, and will help place an official at every reservation polling place to get necessary documents regarding addresses to every voter. #StopGerrymandering
💓STOPPING THE SPREAD OF HATE A white Missouri woman who tried to prevent a black man from entering his apartment complex was fired by her employer on Sunday after a video of the incident went viral. #NoHateInMyState
👩🎓BREAKING BARRIERS Judge Gloria Clark Reno was elected to lead the St. Louis County Circuit Court, making her the first African- American presiding judge of the 21st judicial circuit.
ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST A republican member of a North Carolina county elections board resigned after posting on social media that Democrats plan to legalize pedophilia. A top official at the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development who had been announced as a candidate for the Interior Department’s top watchdog position has resigned from the administration over the backlash due to her complete lack of experience.