The election is finally over, but many of us are still figuring out how we feel about the results.
Democrats, Marylanders, progressives, and Trump resisters won some major victories. We flipped the House. This was far from an inevitable outcome, and its implications are huge. Republicans can no longer force through their legislative agenda which means, for one, that the ACA is safe and millions of folks will continue to have access to needed healthcare coverage. Democrats are at the same time newly positioned to play offense in critical arenas. We can now meaningfully investigate and expose Trump’s numerous misdeeds, a critical first step in putting an end to his Administration altogether.
From May through last weekend, 120 of us in Indivisible Baltimore, Sister District Maryland, and Be the Change knocked over 13,000 doors in Pennsylvania.
Nationally, we also won 7 governorships, expanded Medicaid in three states, and restored voting rights to Florida residents with felony convictions. We elected our first Native American and Muslim women to Congress, and our first openly gay man as governor. We defeated some of the Trumpiest candidates on the ballot – Dana Rohrabacher, Kris Kobach, Scott Walker, and others.
In Maryland, we kept and grew our legislative super-majority. Although Larry Hogan remains governor, the General Assembly retains power to enact progressive legislation (paid sick days! automatic voter registration!) over his veto, and to temper his efforts to move the state rightward. Baltimore County, Anne Arundel County, and Howard County all elected Democrats to their county executive seats, which will have positive ripple effects in Baltimore City and throughout the entire state. And we passed Election Day Registration by a decisive 2-1 vote margin.
There were painful disappointments as well. Many of us spent countless hours knocking doors and making calls to support Scott Wallace, Tina Davis, and Helen Tai in PA and Ben Jealous and Robbie Leonard here at home, and we lost each of those races. At the federal level, we handed over several key Senate seats, weakening our ability to use the filibuster and similar tactics. It was devastating to see progressive superstars like Andrew Gillum and Beto O’Rourke fall to candidates who have made their careers spewing racism and reactionary vitriol (one other superstar, Stacey Abrams, still has a shot at a win).
In short: our blue wave wasn’t big enough to wash Trump’s GOP into oblivion, but it did succeed in eroding its power and regressive policy in ways that are immediate and lasting. Individually and collectively, we were a part of that sea change.
Because we control the House, Baltimore’s own Elijah Cummings will chair the House Oversight Committee, and you better bet that Rep. Cummings will be hearing from us about making White House investigations a priority.
From May through last weekend, 120 of us in Indivisible Baltimore, Sister District Maryland, and Be the Change knocked over 13,000 doors in Pennsylvania. Together, we were the biggest and most consistent source of volunteers for the Wallace, Davis, and Tai races. Although we weren’t able to carry our candidates over the finish line, we forced the GOP to pour unprecedented amounts of cash into those races, preventing it from saving seats elsewhere. That House takeover belongs in part to us.
We were also leaders in lobbying to put EDR on the ballot in the first place, and to rallying the votes to make it law. Along with automatic voter registration, which we helped pass last spring, EDR will allow more Marylanders to vote in 2020 and beyond. Our work is expanding opportunities for people – particularly poor people, people of color, and young people – to make their voices heard against those who seek to silence them.
And our successes are a strong foundation on which we can achieve additional progress. A concrete example: Because we control the House, Baltimore’s own Elijah Cummings will chair the House Oversight Committee, and you better bet that Rep. Cummings will be hearing from us about making White House investigations a priority.
Let’s take some time to process together, share in the highs and lows, and begin to figure out what’s next. This wave has a ways to go before it reaches the shore, but we’re proud to be riding it with all of you.
Monisha, Sid, Dave, and Alexandra