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RFS feel-good update (8/28): Best local elected officials!!
Our favorite kind of award for our alum
Hi all -
Happy last week of August!
Trump’s arrest and mugshot may have wiped your memory of everything else that happened last week - but I do want to say just one thing about the GOP primary debate:
None of the eight people on that stage are likely to be the GOP nominee this time around — but they all show us who the modern Republican Party is beyond Trump. There are candidates at every level of the ballot who sound just like Vivek Ramaswamy, Mike Pence, Nikki Haley, Ron DeSantis, and the rest of them all across the country.
Meanwhile, in South Carolina, the state supreme court (all men, mind you) held up the state’s near-total abortion ban. This affirms the stakes of this fall’s election: Virginia is now the only southern state that has not banned abortion. If the GOP wins the state legislature, they will push to change that.
Run for Something has dozens of candidates and alum running in Virginia this fall, including for key state legislative races.
Stay tuned — we’ll do a deeper dive into our VA folks in the next few weeks after we do our next big endorsement class. 😉
In other RFS community updates:
Teacher-turned-state-legislator-turned teacher again — CO Rep. Meghan Lukens is co-teaching a civics class at a district high school this year. Love this.
MI House Speaker Pro Tem Laurie Pohutsky - a domestic abuse survivor herself - is creating space for fellow lawmakers to introduce legislation that would suspend someone’s access to guns if they are under a restraining order or convicted of a misdemeanor of domestic violence
Denver City Councilwoman Sarah Parady is working with colleagues on a proposal that would pay off medical debt — which is a major contributing factor for a third of people experiencing homelessness.
FL Rep. Anna Eskamani was named the best local elected official — readers’ choice!! — by Orlando Weekly.
In Columbia, SC, Councilwoman Aditi Bussells was named “best local politician” - the Free Times notes “she’s made a name for herself as a young face in a historically older, mostly male occupation.”
Durham County Commissioner Nida Allam is leading on a guaranteed basic income experiment for low-income families in the county, giving $750 a month to 125 families making 30% of the area’s median income.
We’re hyped for SC Rep. Kambrell Garvin’s announcement that he’s running in a special election for the state senate.
Always nice to get a sense of what voters are telling their local electeds when they come to their door — here’s one snapshot from IN Sen. Fady Qaddoura.
As always, we’re keeping an eye on book bans & school boards across the country:
Of 1,100 book challenges in Florida in the last year, a vast majority of which came from just two people.
New from PEN America: “Across the country, teachers, librarians, and school administrators are attesting to a chilled climate, in which they are more concerned with running afoul of new censorious laws than with educating their students.”
In Georgia, they made it easier for parents to challenge books in school libraries — almost no one has done so. Hmmmm.
Jen Psaki from MSNBC calls us out (in a good way): “With so much focus on the presidential election, it’s easy to forget about the incredibly important down-ballot races taking shape all across the country. And I’m talking about races way down the ballot. With book bans and challenges continuing at a rapid pace, school board seats have never been more important. One of the groups trying to elect young people to fight back against right-wing extremism on school boards is Run for Something.”
“About one-third of the community members who filed challenges reported not having read or reviewed the book in its entirety, the Maine Monitor analysis found.”
If you haven’t been following what’s happening in Oklahoma, tune in: The state superintendent of public instruction has called for prayer in public schools, hanging the Ten Commandments in classrooms, adopted regulations prohibiting libraries from circulating books with “sexualized content,” and requires educators to tell parents about their kids’ gender identity. He’s been threatening to take over Tulsa Public Schools. As NBC News explains: “Walters’ work in Oklahoma offers a preview of the policies and tactics that could continue spreading to other states with conservative education leaders.”
And if you’ve got an hour to kill or need some listening material, I joined The Weekend Show on MeidasTouch for a long convo on the state of politics, and how & why, in spite of it all, I’m still hopeful. (Sorry for the giant picture of my face.)
In upcoming events: We’re hosting our next Unapologetically Progressive event in Manchester, NH, on August 30th. 100% free, 100% worth the time. RSVP now.
Thanks for making all this possible. You’re the best.
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