Election 2018 was one for this history books – and nearly a week later, races are still be called in our favor both here in California and across the Nation. We truly created a Big Blue Wave. While the Election is still recent, we want to take the opportunity to share some of our thoughts with you, the Grassroots Leaders and Elected Officials of our Party, while these tremendous victories – and the lessons we learned along the way – are fresh in our collective minds.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing more of entries in our Building the Big Blue Wave series with the hopes that it generates discussion, debate and feedback so that we can build on these victories in 2020.
Once again, we are so grateful for the downright inspirational work done by our Grassroots Democratic Activists! This truly was a victory born in California.
–The CDP Team
Building the Big Blue Wave:
Democrats have won a resounding victory in California. As of this writing, we have flipped four Republican Congressional districts that haven’t been seriously contested in decades and that number could climb as high as seven when hundreds of thousands of uncounted mail ballots are processed. We elected most of our statewide ticket by landslide margins, and we recaptured our Supermajority in the State Legislature.
We are extraordinarily proud of the work done by our Grassroots Democratic Activists, candidates and our hardworking CDP staff. We rightly pride ourselves on having the most talented, energetic and diverse set of activists and Party professionals anywhere in America. Our Party looks like California, and that is true from our Permanent and Coordinated Campaign staff, to the candidates on our slate cards, to the Delegates of the State Committee.
Every community in our state has a seat at our table, and that is one of the key reasons that our Party has grown into such a dominant force in California politics. We have embraced inclusion and equality as the foundation of our values, and that resonates with Californians – particularly at a moment when Republicans are rapidly degenerating into little more than a thuggish white nationalist gang.
We know that we have much more work to do, both within our Party and throughout California. It’s not enough to simply say we value inclusion and diversity – we have to live it every single day.
That’s why we want to highlight some of the most notable aspects of the campaign:
Incredible staff diversity – 29% Latino, 9% Asian American/Pacific Islander, 16% African American and 4% Native American. Additionally, our staff includes a significant number of rural, LGBT and people with disabilities. CDP Emerging Communities program focused on African America, AAPI, Rural, Latinx, Millennial voters through organizing, dedicated staff and multimedia engagement.
History-making candidates elected – We have elected the most diverse cabinet in California history, with our statewide offices filled by three women, four Latinos, three AAPI, and likely the first-ever African American Superintendent of Public Instruction. Our Supermajority in the Legislature has been restored by Anna Caballero and Melissa Hurtado, two strong Latinas who captured longtime Republican Central Valley Senate seats. And we elected a number of notable candidates, including James Ramos, a former Chair of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, who captured a Republican Assembly seat.
Unprecedented Resources to Elect People of Color – Final numbers are still being tabulated, in part because there are so many tight races where we’re observing the vote count, but when all is said and done the CDP will have expended more than 10 million dollars to elect our candidates. Most notably, we spent more money to elect Tony Thurmond than all the other statewide candidates combined, and we are excited and hopeful as his vote count continues trending strongly the right direction.
This was, in many ways, a watershed election. The Media insists on viewing this only through the prism of whether or not we repudiated the current occupant of the White House enough.
It is far more than that. When we look to what People of Color – and particularly Women of Color – achieved in California, we know that we have made extraordinary gains and built a solid foundation to further empower women, People of Color, the LGBT Community and People with Disabilities. Our victories in California, and the thrilling, brilliant, still-unresolved campaigns of Stacy Abrams and Andrew Gillum in the heart of the old Confederacy shows that inclusion not only brings value to our Party, it brings votes to table.
And that is something every Democrat must embrace if our Party is to have the credibility we need to win in 2020.
–The CDP Team
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