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RFS feel-good update (8/14): 😍 A city council that could be all young women, majority women of color, & majority RFS alum 😍
Plus: Election updates, new endorsements, and ways to get involved
Hi all -
First, our big election wins last week! Congrats to Mai Xong (Warren County Clerk, MI), Tamera Carter (Lansing City Council, MI), Andrea Hendrick (Ottaway mayor, MI), Aaron Martinez (Novi mayor, MI), Jenna Yeakle (Duluth City Council at-large, MN) for winning their primaries and in Mississippi, state legislative candidates Fabian Nelson and Justis Gibbs and Pike County board candidate Justin Lofton for moving to runoffs.
Fun facts: If Fabian Nelson wins his run-off, he’ll be the first openly LGBTQ+ person in the MS state legislature; if Justin Lofton wins, he’ll be the first openly LGBTQ+ county supervisor in the state.
Election Days never stop coming — next Tuesday, we’ll be keeping an eye on Taylor Knuth’s campaign for Ogden City mayor in Utah, and looking ahead to two races in Alabama on 8/22.
There are also some excellent volunteer opportunities available:
Caroline Tanbee Smith is running for New Haven Board of Alders, Ward 9, CT. If elected, Caroline would be one of the first AAPI Alders elected in New Haven and one of very few openly LGBTQ+ Alders. Sign up here to volunteer.
Bryce Kaw-uh is running for Manchester Alderman, Ward 1, NH. Bryce has experience leading as the Chair of the Manchester Planning Board and is excited to push forward on more affordable housing as an Alderman. Sign up here to volunteer.
Michalyn Easter-Thomas is running for re-election to the Memphis City Council, District 7, TN. Since being elected, Michalyn has brought strong leadership and a fresh perspective to the council. Help Michalyn continue this work! Email here to volunteer.
We also made 51 new endorsements - incredible young leaders who are running across 21 states, 55% of whom identify as women or non-binary folks and 61% as people of color.
This class includes 17 alumni running again in 2024, because next year starts now, as well as amazing new leaders running this fall. Scroll through and find a few that inspire you.
In other RFS community updates:
Serving in the KY General Assembly is a part-time job — so KY Rep. Josie Raymond spent her time outside of session working as a substitute teacher in 17 different schools. Her reflections on what the legislature is doing to affect the students she worked with (and what they’re wasting their time one) is worth reading.
After this fall’s election, the St. Paul, MN, city council could be the entirely under 40, all women, a majority women of color, and a majority RFS alum after this fall’s election!
This is a beautiful and heartbreaking profile of OK State Rep. Mauree Turner, the first non-binary member of any state legislature — their leadership has never been more important, and never been lonelier.
Three RFS alum on the Sacramento city council — Mai Vang, Caity Maple, and Katie Valenzuela — are leading the fight to present a comprehensive housing policy, because young people get it; this can’t wait.
SC Rep. JA Moore makes the case for increasing funding for affordable housing funding and reforming zoning laws to lower housing costs and increase supply in the Lowcountry and around Charleston.
Just a reminder: Run for Something candidates are at the center of the VA state legislative election in just a few months. If Republicans hold the Senate and win the House, they’ll partner with Glenn Youngkin to pass a near-total abortion ban.
Travis County DA Jose Garza is kicking off his re-election campaign for 2024 - doubling down on his commitment to holding people accountable for violence, and proving that progressive prosecutors can succeed.
A fun new campaign tactic: Read-a-thons!! PA State Director Melanie Rose joined RFS school board candidates Benjamin Walker and Amelia McMillan (who are running to stop book bans!) for the event in Central York, PA.
In related reading:
The school board war in Temecula, CA, is more proof of how the Moms for Liberty & conservative attack on education can happen anywhere, in any kind of community.
Florida schools are navigating some serious bullshit as they try to deal with the conflicting laws coming out of the DeSantis administration and GOP state legislature.
Juan Ramiro Sarmiento, RFS press secretary, took a few minutes to talk with LGBTQ Nation about his story and why helping elect a more representative democracy will help pave the way for LGBTQIA+ Americans everywhere.
Gen Z is coming for state legislatures — we’re glad to see more organizations popping up to support young people running for office in a focused way (team work makes the dream work!) and proud to see so many of the electeds name-checked as role models for this work are RFS alum. 😎😎😎
Red states are moving to criminalize out-of-state abortions — because what happens in a red state never stays within that red state’s borders.
Secretary Hillary Clinton had a powerful essay on the loneliness epidemic and how our work is a key part of the solution to rebuilding trust in community and each other.
“Without a doubt, winning elections at every level is essential. We need to defeat the demagogues and election deniers so convincingly that there’s no room for dirty tricks. And it’s heartening that organizations like Run for Something are mobilizing candidates for school boards, county clerkships, and state legislatures across the country. We also need to strengthen voting rights and fight back against misinformation.”
Two upcoming events:
On Tuesday, August 15th, in Springdale, we’re hosting Unapologetically Progressive in Arkansas. You can join in person if you’re in town or zoom in from home! 100% free and absolutely worth the time.
Then on Wednesday, August 16th, at 8pm ET, we’re partnering with Disability Victory to host Claim Your Seat - a free conversation for people with disabilities, chronically ill, or neurodivergent folks. Join to learn more about running for office.
Thank you for being part of this work. You’re a gem.
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