Republicans are out of touch, and now they have the data to prove it. Earlier this week, Politico released details of a survey funded in part by Karl Rove’s PAC. Here are our three key takeaways from the research (not that we expect them to change the GOP’s attitudes toward women).
1. Republicans “fail to speak to women in the different circumstances in which they live.”
Republicans’ research found that women “believe that ‘enforcing equal pay for equal work’ is the policy that would ‘help women the most.’” Women still make just 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man, adding up to over $430,000 in lost compensation on average in a lifetime. By repeatedly voting against policies to ensure that women receive equal pay, the report warns, “Republicans who openly deny the legitimacy of the issue will be seen as out of touch with women’s life experiences.”
2. Republicans are “stuck in the past.”
The women polled for the report described Republicans as “intolerant” and “lacking in compassion.” In an effort to change this image, the GOP wants to, in the words of the study, “pursue policy innovations that inspire women voters to give the GOP a ‘fresh look.’” Suggestions included “strengthening enforcement against gender bias in the workplace.” The only problem? We’re still waiting for Republicans to join us in supporting the Paycheck Fairness Act!
3. The GOP isn’t changing their position; they’re changing the subject.
When it comes to addressing the issues that matter to women the most, Republicans are quick to change the subject. The research concludes that when it comes to tough issues like reproductive health, Republican leaders should “deal honestly with any disagreement on abortion, then move to other issues.” But Republicans aren’t moving on – they’re committing time and taxpayer money to restricting access to reproductive health care. That’s time they could be spending on policies that help working families, like raising the minimum wage, expanding access to paid sick leave, and making childcare more affordable.
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Washington, DC – DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement on tonight’s primary results:
“I would like to congratulate all of the Democratic candidates who won their primary contest tonight, including the next governor of Florida, Charlie Crist, and the next lieutenant governor of Florida, Annette Taddeo. Over the course of this campaign, Charlie and Annette have embraced policies that will help Florida’s middle class families, a stark contrast to the current governor, Republican Rick Scott, who is beholden to special interests and radical Tea Party ideology.
“After overseeing the largest Medicare fraud in history, it is ironic that as governor, Scott has notably failed to secure federal funding for Medicaid expansion. He has cut over $1 billion from Florida’s public schools, and oversaw tuition hikes at Florida’s colleges and universities while making cuts to the Bright Futures scholarship program. His climate change denialism ignores the serious risks that rising sea levels and severe weather pose to Florida’s communities and our economy. Scott has offered the Hispanic community little more than platitudes and pandering. To add insult to injury, he refuses to answer the most basic questions, let alone face Florida’s toughest challenges.
“Charlie and Annette join Democratic candidates throughout Florida and across the country who are committed to expanding opportunity for all Americans. Republicans, especially those like Scott, have demonstrated that their priorities are instead focused on the select few. Come November, Florida voters will reject the failed policies of Rick Scott and welcome a new day for the Sunshine State.”
Washington, DC – DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement in celebration of Women’s Equality Day:
“Today we celebrate Women’s Equality Day, the 94th anniversary of the certification of the 19th amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote. Since our nation’s founding, the struggle to form a more perfect union has moved America forward. The 19th amendment is among the steps our nation has taken towards greater equality by ensuring that more Americans are able to make their voice heard.
“Unfortunately, Republican actions at the state and federal level threaten to undo the progress our nation has made. Last year, the Supreme Court gutted a key component of the Voting Rights Act. Republican governors and state legislatures have moved to restrict early voting periods and enact policies like voter ID that make it harder to vote. These policies disproportionately affect women, as well as young people and people of color.
“The right to vote is fundamental for women to elect officials who share their priorities. I am proud that the Democratic Party is fighting for paycheck fairness and to defend a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions. In light of Republican opposition to these policies, this anniversary is a reminder that the key to expanding opportunities for women is to empower women at the ballot box.”
ATLANTA, Ga. – Today, former Republican Vice Presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will visit three cities in the Florida panhandle as part of his tour to promote his new book, The Way Forward. Ahead of his visit, Steve Regenstreif, the chair of the Democratic National Committee’s Seniors Coordinating Council, released the following statement:
“Paul Ryan may call his book The Way Forward, but what it details is nothing more than a step-by-step formula for how to move our country backward. Ryan may claim he’s fighting for the poor and seniors, but even in his new book he’s pushing the same radical ideas that would gut the social safety net and weaken access to health care – all while providing more benefits for the wealthy and big corporations. Voters haven’t forgotten that. His new book tour is a national showcase of recycling the same failed ideas that Americans rejected when Paul Ryan was the GOP’s vice presidential nominee in 2012. If Paul Ryan got his way, both Medicare and Social Security would be on a fast track toward privatization – leaving the health and economic security of seniors to the whims of insurance companies and Wall Street. Floridians know better than to buy Ryan’s new rhetoric because the same old failed GOP record is hiding behind it. Seniors in Florida and across the country want leaders committed to them, not ideologues who believe the only way to save the safety net and boost the middle class is to gut the very programs that support them.”
Atlanta, GA— DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, DNC Secretary and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Georgia Democratic Party Chair DuBose Porter held a press conference at the DNC summer meeting in Atlanta today to discuss the DNC’s commitment to expanding the right to vote in 2014 and beyond.
In June, the DNC launched the Voter Expansion Project -- a permanent infrastructure within the Democratic Party that is focused on protecting and expanding the vote. The DNC’s Voter Expansion Project’s mission is to ensure that every eligible voter is registered, every registered voter is able to vote, and that every vote is accurately counted. Expanding the electorate is a priority for Democrats because we think our country is better off when more people participate unlike those on the other side of the aisle who know their best path to victory is if fewer people vote.
See below for excerpts as prepared for delivery:
DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz:
“There is a reason that we are in Georgia. A year ago, in Arizona, I promised that Democrats were committed to planting our flag in every corner of the country. We are here because the DNC is expanding the map, spreading the Democratic message, and we plan to turn Georgia blue.
Today’s Republican Party is so out of touch with the American people that they know their best path to victory is if fewer voices are heard, if fewer Americans exercise one of their most basic constitutional rights– and at the DNC we will work tirelessly to prevent them from getting what they want.
“We believe it is easier and more convenient for a citizen to participate in the electoral process when she understands when to vote, where to vote, what to bring with her to vote. That’s why we have provided all of the “rules of the road” for all fifty states and the District of Columbia in one simple location at IWillVote.com. And this week, we launched the Spanish language version of the site, VoyAVotar2014.com
“We’ve also already hired state voter Expansion Directors in places like Ohio, Texas, Colorado, and Florida. And just this week, the DNC and Georgia Democratic Party are announcing the hire of Georgia’s new Voter Expansion Director -- I’m thrilled that she’ll be joining our team.”
DNC Secretary and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake:
“This notion of getting more people involved in the process isn’t just a program for us or a tactic – it is one of the most fundamental values that we share as Democrats. It’s not just about strengthening our Party. It’s about strengthening our democracy.
“Our country is stronger when more voices are heard. The diversity of opinion is one of the things that make our country strong and vibrant and we will do everything in our power to make sure that no cynical partisan ploys can ever drown out any of these voices.
“Democrats are committed to expanding rights not taking them away – we want to empower people, to break down barriers and to expand opportunity for all Americans.”
Georgia Democratic Party Chair DuBose Porter:
“Make no mistake – it’s not just our Party that is diverse and growing – our state is, too. It’s up to us to us engage every single Georgian. As the Chairwoman said earlier, when more people are registered and vote, Democrats will win.
“While our Party has become more inclusive, the other side has been turning away folks left and right, including their own candidates at the ballot box. We have a governor who brags about fighting against the Voting Rights Act while he was in Congress. That is unacceptable. We’ve had Republicans in the legislature try to cutback early voting. That is unacceptable. We’ve seen attempts to intimidate voters by moving the polls to inside police stations. That is unacceptable.
“This culture of suppression has to stop. That is why the Voter Expansion Project is critical for the democracy in our state.”
Tech Partner NGP VAN Releases Platform of APIs, Users, and Network Effects
Washington, DC – Earlier this year, the Democratic National Committee launched Project Ivy, the fourth iteration of the Democratic Party’s investment in data and technology. The program builds on a decade of investments by the DNC and aims to give campaigns of all sizes the same tools that the Obama campaign built and so successfully utilized in 2012.
The DNC and key technology partner NGP VAN are launching a significant new innovation in Project Ivy’s program: a set of tools to allow developers and other technologists to build an ecosystem around the DNC’s voter file data and technology platform, VoteBuilder.
The DNC’s Developer Portal being launched today has two key elements:
- A new set of APIs (a series of technical specifications that detail how software interacts) for the DNC and NGP VAN platforms that will be made available to developers.
- An innovative ActionID login system that allows current users to seamlessly access new apps and tools created through the APIs.
The APIs are built on an easy-to-use RESTful architecture that allows campaigns and companies to pull and push information directly from VoteBuilder. The ActionID login systems will allow the hundreds of thousands of existing users of the NGP VAN tools to login to other apps created by the others in the ecosystem, with one simple secure login that they can take from campaign to campaign.
The Portal is now live at http://developers.democrats.org.
“This new developers’ platform allows Democrats to build new apps more easily and nimbly, enabling a 360 degree view of voters and a campaign’s interactions with them across all channels.” said DNC CEO Amy Dacey. “Simply put: our tools are helping candidates in 2014 while we’re laying the groundwork for the next generation of campaign technology in 2016 and beyond.”
“NGP VAN is focused on helping the DNC drive the innovation that will help Democrats maintain and build our technological edge,” said Stu Trevelyan, NGP VAN’s CEO. “We’re honored that so many Democrats use our tools to elect progressive candidates up and down the ballot. The tools we’re building will enhance Democrats’ ability to connect directly with voters, where they are, and in the ways they get their information.”
This release advances Democrats’ capabilities on one of the key trends in political technology: giving state parties and campaigns the ability to speak directly and more efficiently with voters. This technology will improve Democrats’ addressability– giving campaigns the ability to connect with specific individuals through online and TV ads and traditional methods like phone calls and door knocks.
The DNC and NGP VAN have already seen success with the APIs in recent months.
- The APIs are behind the recently released DNC Arbor Project to enhance efforts to register voters.
- The just released version of MiniVAN, the iOS and Android app that powers mobile canvassing, was rebuilt using the APIs.
- At a recent NGP VAN hackathon, in a few hours engineers built a new, free Open Virtual Phone Bank App which allows supporters to make calls to targeted voters without having to get a login to VAN.
Washington, DC – Today the DNC launched the Spanish website VoyAVotar2014.com as part of our Voter Expansion Project and commitment to increasing access to the ballot box for all Americans. VoyAVotar2014.com is the Spanish companion site to IWillVote.com, the DNC’s one-stop site for all the information Americans need to cast their ballot.
DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said on the launch of the new site:
“In early June, the DNC launched IWillVote.com as part of our Voter Expansion Project. The goal was to make it easier and more convenient for Americans to participate in the electoral process, by empowering them with the information they would need to exercise their right to vote.
“Democrats are committed to inclusion and diversity. That is why we have launched a Spanish language version of IWillVote.com, VoyAVotar2014.com, so that language does not pose an unnecessary barrier to electoral participation for those voters who are more comfortable getting information in Spanish.
“The Hispanic population in the United States continues to grow and it’s more important than ever to ensure that we can provide the information and resources for Hispanics to actively participate in our democracy and elect leaders that share their community’s priorities.”
You can follow the DNC’s new Spanish Twitter account at @DNC_Espanol
Washington, DC – DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement on the GOP’s New Shutdown Threat:
“We now have it confirmed – electing a Republican Senate majority would put us back on the road to another shutdown. It’s been a year since Republicans shut down the government and brought us to the brink of default, costing our economy $24 billion and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has said the GOP is ready to do it all over again.
“Instead of joining with Democrats to expand opportunity for all Americans by fighting for equal pay and a raise for millions of Americans, investing in infrastructure and education, and creating jobs, Republicans have recommitted to digging in their heels and causing rampant dysfunction that hurts middle class families.
“That’s the choice voters face in every race this November.”
I work for the Operations Team here at the DNC. That means that I spend a lot of time making sure things run smoothly at headquarters -- that people are where they're supposed to be so we can be the party that works for you. But being behind the scenes doesn't always give me the opportunity to interact with our supporters and hear why they're excited about the ideas that make our party what it is.
That's why I love these contests.
Seriously: One of the most rewarding parts of my job is booking the flights and hotels for supporters who've won the chance to meet our President. There is just something so gratifying in knowing I have a hand in someone's experience of a lifetime.
You'll have an amazing journey. You can travel with a guest, and the flight and hotel stay are on us. You don't have to worry about a thing -- I'll make sure it all runs smoothly.
Just chip in $3 or whatever you can to be automatically entered to win:
President Obama is so excited to meet you, and I'm so excited to help get you there.
Good luck, and I hope we talk soon!
WASHINGTON, DC – The Democratic National Committee and Republican National Committee today filed an Advisory Opinion Request with the Federal Election Commission to ask that they may each raise federal funds into a segregated account under a separate contribution limit, or alternately into a convention committee, solely to finance convention expenses for their 2016 nominating conventions that would previously have been paid for with federal funds. After filing the AOR (HERE), the committees released the following statement:
“Conventions are essential to the nominating process for both parties and to the next presidential election. With the loss of public funding for some aspects of these events, a staple of convention financing for decades, the two parties need greater flexibility to raise the resources to build necessary infrastructure and carry out essential operations. As one step towards achieving that goal, we are jointly requesting that the Federal Election Commission allow both parties to raise these infrastructure and operation funds under separate limits into a dedicated account with full disclosure requirements so both parties can continue to operate safe and seamless conventions that present their candidates and platforms to the electorate.”
Washington, DC – DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement on the 79th anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt signing the Social Security Act into law:
“Seventy-nine years ago, our nation made a promise to its citizens that in recognition of a lifetime of hard work, older Americans would be guaranteed the opportunity to retire with dignity.
“President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act on August 14, 1935 as the nation recovered from the depths of the Great Depression. While Republicans have seized on recent economic crises as an excuse to renege on our promises, Democrats believe they are evidence of the renewed significance of upholding the sacred trust between seniors and our country. Just last week, a leading GOP presidential contender, Sen. Rand Paul, advocated raising the Social Security retirement age by 5 years.
“Democrats will continue to oppose Republican efforts that jeopardize the retirement security of seniors, including safety net privatization that would subject their fortunes to the whims of the stock market. We remain committed to preserving and protecting Social Security for today's seniors and for future generations.”
Washington, DC – DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement on the 49th anniversary of President Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law:
“Forty-nine years ago today, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Building on our nation’s long history of progress on voting rights – including the Fifteenth Amendment, Nineteenth Amendment, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – the Voting Rights Act put in place important protections so that every American could exercise their right to vote.
“Unfortunately, these protections are under assault. Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court gutted a key component of the Voting Rights Act in the case of Shelby County v. Holder that enabled prior federal review to ensure non-discrimination before any new voting law went into effect. Since then, Republicans in numerous states have enacted voting law changes that could suppress the vote through discriminatory, burdensome voter ID requirements or restricting early voting periods.
“Democrats are committed to the legacy of the Voting Rights Act by fighting to ensure that every eligible voter can register, that every registered voter can vote, and that every vote is accurately counted. It is time for Congress to honor those who struggled for the civil rights movement by passing the bipartisan Voting Rights Amendment Act and restoring the promise of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.”
Washington, DC – Today, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and National Jewish Democratic Council Executive Director, Rabbi Jack Moline released the followed joint statement in response to Rand Paul’s claim in Iowa that he never proposed ending foreign aid to Israel:
Rand Paul can’t pretend that he never proposed ending the United States’ financial support for Israel. In 2011, Paul introduced a budget that would have eliminated all foreign aid for Israel; he even bragged about his position in multiple interviews and called such aid “welfare” to a wealthy nation. He has also expressed a belief that a nuclear Iran would not pose a real threat to Israel or the United States. Sen. Paul can claim that he wants to be a friend of Israel, but the consequences of his actions would threaten the security of Israel and its ability to defend itself.
This is part of a troubling pattern with Senator Paul – from Civil Rights to foreign policy, Paul has said one disturbing thing after another for years and now that he’s running for President, he’s trying to rewrite history. Voters are smarter than that and can see right through his deceit.
Washington, DC – DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement on the House GOP’s continued inability to govern:
“As has been par for the course for the House of Representatives under Republican control, Speaker Boehner and Republican leadership have wasted taxpayer time and money on legislation that does nothing to address the critical issues facing our nation.
“With Congress preparing to depart for the August recess, the Republican House used that time to vote to sue the President and on Republican infighting. Congress had an opportunity to take action that would help American families, by focusing on things like creating more good paying jobs, passing the paycheck fairness act or reforming student loans. We could have passed comprehensive immigration reform, or at least fulfilled President Obama’s request for additional funding to address the border crisis and take care of the unaccompanied children fleeing to our borders. Instead, Republicans scrambled to get the votes for any bill to address this crisis– no matter how far-right they made it – and in the end passed a piece of legislation that has no chance of becoming law and doesn’t adequately address the crisis at the border. In fact, their bill could make the situation worse by setting arbitrary deadlines for deportation hearings and weakening due process for children. They also voted to gut the Deferred Action program that is currently giving DREAMers relief from deportation.
“As members return home to their districts, House Republicans’ display of incompetence and misplaced priorities will be fresh in the minds of their constituents, only helping Democrats make the case this November that it is the Democratic Party who is on the side of middle class families.”
Washington, DC – DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement on the House GOP:
“Republicans can’t sue the President one day, accusing him of executive overreach, and then the next day cynically request he take action where they’ve failed to do so. There should be no doubt that Republicans are concerned only with scoring political points and shifting blame for their failed do-nothing Republican Congress.
“By ceding control of the House agenda to “Speaker” Ted Cruz, the far-right Republicans have shown their true colors. If they truly cared about finding solutions to our broken immigration system, they could pass the bipartisan Senate bill or fund President Obama’s border request. Instead, their priority is to round up and deport kids, hurt the immigrant community at all costs, and stand in the way of any progress on actual reform.”
Washington, DC—Today the DNC and the Democratic Party of Wisconsin announced the hiring of Lillian Cheesman as the Wisconsin Voter Expansion Project State Director. Cheesman joins a growing roster of Voter Expansion Project staff in key states as part of the DNC's ongoing commitment to increasing access to electoral participation.
“While Governor Walker and Republicans in Wisconsin continue to place unnecessary barriers between voters and the ballot box, Democrats are committed to ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to exercise their right to vote,” said DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz. “As our voter expansion operation continues to grow, so does our ability to involve more Americans in the election process and help Democrats up and down the ballot win in November. We are happy to welcome Lillian to our team.”
"We know there are more Democrats than Republicans in Wisconsin, and the difference between four more years of Scott Walker's failed policies or a new direction with Mary Burke comes down to turning out as many of those votes as we can on Election Day,” said Mike Tate, Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. “We're excited to have Lillian on our team to lead our voter expansion efforts and to protect access to the ballot in the face of Scott Walker's unprincipled attacks on the voting rights of veterans, seniors, and students."
Cheesman is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School and a member of the Wisconsin Bar. She currently serves as a Milwaukee County Election Commissioner. She is also a Statutory Committee Chair for the Milwaukee County Democratic Party and was a Voter Protection Team Volunteer for Organizing for America.
Washington, DC – DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement after Republicans in the House voted to spend taxpayer dollars to sue President Obama:
“Today's vote in the House of Representatives was a shameful display of political pandering and misplaced priorities. Rather than focus on economic policies that will create opportunity and ensure economic security for middle-class Americans, Republicans have chosen to sue the President for doing his job.
“There are pressing issues we should be acting on - including comprehensive immigration reform, raising the minimum wage, and renewing emergency unemployment insurance - which would be a far better use of taxpayers' time and money.
“Speaker Boehner is gravely mistaken if he thinks this will placate the swell of impeachment talk in his ranks. The far right of the Republican Party has not been swayed by rejection at the ballot box, scared by their fool's errand in shutting down the government, or chastened by jeopardizing the full faith and credit of the nation. This lawsuit will only serve to embolden Republicans' impeachment caucus, and emphasize the clear contrast in priorities between Democrats and Republicans for voters in November.”
Washington, DC – DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement in recognition of the 49th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid:
“Forty-nine years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed legislation creating the Medicare and Medicaid programs. These programs continued the Democratic Party’s commitment to ensuring that after working hard for decades, older American could live in dignity instead of being resigned to destitution or squalor.
“Under President Obama, Democrats have strengthened the Medicare program. The Affordable Care Act has helped add years of solvency to the Medicare program, closes the Medicare Part D prescription drug donut hole, saving seniors thousands of dollars, ends lifetime caps on benefits that hurt patients with chronic illnesses, and guarantees free preventive care. Additionally, cost-saving measures and programs to better coordinate care and eliminate waste from Medicare continue to address the program’s long-term costs and place it on more secure financial footing.
“But while Democrats have worked hard to bolster initiatives that ensure a secure economic future, Republicans are more interested in slashing the safety net. Medicare represents a promise made by our nation to its citizens that they would not be abandoned after a lifetime of contributing to programs like Medicare and Social Security. Democrats fully intend to keep that promise, and we will fight every Republican attempt to turn this American success story into a voucher program or end Medicare as we know it.”
Remarks as delivered
Thank you Hilary for that wonderful introduction and for your steadfast advocacy on behalf of the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization.
The NAACP is fortunate to have you as their voice of truth to policy makers and the Administration.
To Chairman Brock, your exemplary stewardship has ensured that the NAACP doesn't just survive, but thrives as the leading civil rights and social justice organization in the 21st century; and to President Brooks – congratulations! I know you will lead this organization through the next era of civic engagement and activism that our country still so desperately needs.
I look forward to working with you as you take up the mantel to lead the next chapter in the NAACP's history.
And I can't think of a better person for you to have received the gavel from than my good friend Lorraine Miller.
Lorraine is not just a friend and fellow DNC Member, she wears many hats. She's been a trusted adviser to me and many others throughout the years.
She brought her same work ethic, dignity and grace to the role of Interim President of the NAACP as she did to the role of Clerk of the U. S. House of Representatives, and she is one of the most selfless public servants I know.
Thank you Lorraine for your leadership and service.
And finally, while I'm delighted to be here in Las Vegas with all of you and NAACP Las Vegas Branch President Frank Hawkins, and Tri State Conference President of Idaho, Nevada and Utah Jeanetta Williams, you are both wonderful hosts - there's no place like home, so I would like to recognize the President of my home state conference – Florida and Miami-Dade Branch NAACP President Adora Obi Nweze, National Vice Chair Leon Russell and all the leadership and members from the great state of Florida.
As a card-carrying member of the NAACP West Hollywood chapter, I was proud to join all of you last summer in Orlando as we Stood Our Ground and reaffirmed our collective commitment to justice and equality.
So, I'm pleased that this year's conference theme is All in For Justice and Equality.
That's a helpful frame to look at the contrasts between the Democratic and Republican parties, particularly with the upcoming November election.
I think the question every NAACP Member, every voter and every American must pose to its leaders is "Are you all in?"
The Republican Party has chosen to promote and work for the privileged few while Democrats work to expand opportunity, justice and equality for all.
This couldn't be more telling than on the economic front where Democrats have time and again offered policies to help everyone reach that next rung of the economic ladder, while Republicans have dug in their heels and just said no.
As you all know, this year, we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer and of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
During Freedom Summer, hundreds of young volunteers descended on Mississippi with the goal of registering African-Americans to vote.
Participants faced opposition and violence, including the murder of three activists in Philadelphia, Mississippi. But they persisted because they knew that none of our civil rights is more fundamental to American democracy than the right to vote - they were all in!
Half a century later, we are still fighting to ensure that all Americans are able to exercise their right to vote.
A year ago, the U.S. Supreme Court gutted a key component of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Since then, the haste at which states have moved to enact voting restrictions is confirmation that the protections put in place by Section 4 are still necessary. It will require Congressional action to restore these protections. So ask yourself, is your Senator and Member of Congress ‘all in’?
If not, and they’re up for reelection, it’s time for them to be all out!
Recently, Republicans have made a concerted effort to suppress the vote. This decision is based on a narrow, short-term political calculation that Republicans can win elections by shrinking the size of the electorate.
In the meantime, Democrats are committed to ensuring that every eligible voter can register to vote, every registered voter can vote, and every vote cast is counted.
So, let’s be clear NAACP, as a Member of Congress, as Chair of the Democratic National Committee, as a parent raising the next generation, as a voter and as an American, I am all in for justice and equality!
To his credit, I know that Michael Steele has criticized Republicans’ voter suppression efforts like voter ID laws, but we need more Republicans who say something and stand up against their party.
Voter ID has been put forward as a solution to the virtually non-existent problem of voter impersonation. It disproportionately hurts women, young people, seniors and the African American community.
Even Rand Paul acknowledged to the New York Times that their voter ID push was offending people, but then went on Fox News and admitted that he was still in favor of voter ID laws. That's certainly not a sign that he's all in!
Eliminating same day registration or cutting early voting days and hours and eliminating early voting on the Sunday before Election Day when African American churches have had historical success with their “Souls to the Polls” programs. These are all voter suppression tactics to keep some of us from voting.
Just like the leaders of the Freedom Summer, who fifty years ago knew how important it was to register as many new voters as possible. At the DNC, we’re using our technology and data advantage of today to help campaigns and allies deploy their limited resources more efficiently to maximize voter registration efforts.
One new component is a data set that will help identify where we need to commit our resources in order to change electoral outcomes.
In other words, to turn red seats blue through registration and turnout of eligible voters who aren’t registered but should be.
For example, in one of my two home counties, Miami-Dade County, 90,000 eligible African Americans aren’t registered to vote. That’s why President Nweze is conducting a Freedom Summer down in South Florida to get them registered. And the DNC is ready to help!
We will estimate how many potential new Democrats need to register, how many net votes would be produced by registering new voters, and how difficult it will be to find potential voters in an area.
In practice, this data will help us know where to direct canvassing and voter registration drives to target the highest density of unregistered voters, and how many of our resources to commit in order to influence an electoral result.
The DNC is committed to the policies and issues that are important to the African American community.
Not only are we all in for justice and equality at the DNC, diversity and inclusion are fundamental values for our party and they shape everything from our platform to our tactics.
In 2012, I worked closely with the Democratic Convention Committee, CBC, CHC, CAPAC and other stakeholders to improve our diverse hiring practices.
As a result, for the very first time, we set a goal and exceeded it, that one-third of all convention expenditures went to firms owned by people of color.
Half of all convention expenditures were awarded to firms owned by people from diverse backgrounds, including people of color, women, veterans and the LGBT community.
There are 66 total executive committee members of the DNC, comprised of our national officers, representatives from allied groups/other Dem committees, caucus chairs, sub-committee chairs, and regional representatives.
- 54% of the Executive Committee are women.
- 43% of the Executive Committee are people of color.
- 24% of the Executive Committee are African American.
- 15% of the Executive Committee are Latino.
We also have the most diverse senior staff of any committee between the two Parties. The heads of the Chair’s office, Communications, Political, Voter Expansion, Party Affairs, Community Engagement and Secretary’s Office departments are all African American or Latino.
We know that it is not enough to just hire a few extra people of color and call that commitment. It is our policies that speak the loudest about our commitment. From the highest reaches of our decision making, the President of the United States, our Executive Committee members, our most senior staff, and with whom the DNC does business. Our commitment to diversity speaks volumes.
We believe the most effective way to ensure that we can advance this agenda is to make our voices heard at the ballot box in November and expand those voices into a chorus that will make a difference in who is representing us in Washington and our state capitals.
Washington, DC – DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement in response to President Obama signing an Executive Order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity:
“The Executive Order signed by President Obama today is an important victory for the LGBT community, and adds to their list of accomplishments under the Obama administration. As the President has said, ‘in the United States, who you are and who you love should never be a fireable offense.’
“The Democratic Party remains committed to extending these protections to all Americans, without exceptions. This will require Congressional action, and the time is long past due for our Republican colleagues to join us.”