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RFS feel-good update (9/5): If you've been waiting...
The rare time I'll ask you to chip in
Hi all -
Happy September! Hope you had a good & safe long weekend.
Summer isn’t technically over (and at least in New York, it’s not meteorologically over, either), but the time for taking a break from politics is absolutely over. We’re just two months out from the critical 2023 elections and 2024 recruitment is already up! and! running!
So before we get into the good vibes, I do have to make the rare ask: If you’ve been waiting to make a donation to Run for Something this year, now is the time. The summer’s been slow and we really want to make sure we have every possible resource to help our folks up now as well as get great people on the ballot for a year when it’s never mattered more. Even a few bucks can move the needle for us.
First, some election updates — good news, it’s all wins!!
Fabian Nelson, who will be the first openly gay lawmaker in Mississippi when he takes his seat in the MS state house
Amelia Parker, who won her primary for Knoxville City Council, at-large, seat C
Justis Gibbs, MS House district 72
Justin Lofton, Pike County Board in MS
It’s also always Election Day: Today we’re tracking two races in Massachusetts (Domenica Perrone for Worcester City Council and Omar Mohuddin for mayor of Woburn) and two in Utah (Taylor Knutch for Ogden City mayor and David Rodgers for Murray City city council).
Next week is another round of municipal elections in Massachusetts and one in Connecticut, and a special election on September 14th, when organizer, activist, and licensed social worker Aftyn Behn will be on the ballot for TN House — if she wins, she’ll be the only woman representing Nashville and the youngest woman in the chamber.
Even further out, we’ve got races on September 19th in NH, MA, PA, and GA, more in MA on 9/26 and still more in October.
The best way to win in 2024 is to win in 2023, too. We’re on it.
A few ways you can help in the next two weeks:
A few other good vibes from the RFS community:
TX Rep. James Talarico — a former teacher and current Presbyterian minister in training — is fighting hard against legislation that would allow schools to replace guidance counselors with religious chaplains.
Read NYC Councilmember Shahana Hanif on the right to shelter.
CA Rep. Alex Lee called out a company running one of the state’s hazardous waste sites, which has been operated on an expired permit since 1996 — nearly his entire life!
This is a must-read in the NYT about how old school machine politics attempted to redistrict LA City Councilmember Nithya Raman out of her seat in part because she was too forceful in her advocacy for renters.
Miami-Dade school board member Lucia Baez-Geller is fighting for a resolution declaring LGBTQ history month — a controversial act when the state has declared “do not say gay” in public schools.
My favorite kind of compliment, from an RFS alum in Nebraska
In our perpetual bench-watch:
DE Sen. Kyle Evans Gay is running for Lieutenant Governor — can’t imagine anyone better for the job.
We’re always keeping an eye on what’s happening in schools & libraries:
17 states enacted 30+ new LGBTQ+ related education laws this year, harming students in the process.
Excellent new research from our partners at Navigator: Book bans are not popular!
There have been at least 47 violent threats to libraries in the last 12 months.
And in related horrifying reading:
Counties and cities in Texas are passing ordinances making it illegal to transport anyone to get an abortion on roads within the city or county limits — essentially blocking off the main arteries out of Texas (and into states like New Mexico, where abortion is legal) as pregnant people seek to get the care they need. This is why it matters to elect pro-choice and pro-abortion leaders at every possible level of government, even and especially in red states.
Thanks for being part of this team. Your support has never mattered more.
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