Javier Adames

The Dignity of This Nation Is at Stake Right Now

Javier Adames is one of the many veterans all across the country who are volunteering to support progressive candidates in this election. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Adames lives in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where he joined volunteers from #VetsforJess and Lancaster Stands Up to go door to door to support the candidacy of Jess King for the U.S. Congress. I volunteer for Jess King because my background with the military has fueled a desire in me to keep serving. My dad always said that I needed to respect others like I expect others to respect me. The political discourse of these times is what’s driving me to volunteer. Everyday people are struggling – there are a lot of people who are going bankrupt trying to pay for medical care, a lot of young people who can’t afford to go to school, because they are afraid of getting in debt, and not getting ahead.

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Angela Conley

The Time Is Now for Women of Color to Win

Angela Conley is at the crest of this year’s unprecedented wave of Black women who are running to win elections all across the country. The 40-year-old South Minneapolis native is a first-time candidate for Hennepin County Commissioner, who rocked Minnesota’s political establishment in August when she got the most votes for endorsement by the influential Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DLP) Party, beating out 27-year incumbent Peter McLaughlin, who she now faces in Tuesday’s general election. Hennepin County has more than a million residents, making it the most populous and diverse county in Minnesota, and more than twice the size of Minneapolis, which it encompasses. Hennepin’s $2.4 billion budget is also nearly double that of the city.

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Adam Kruggel

How Bold Women Are Transforming Pennsylvania Politics

A wave of bold women candidates are transforming politics in Pennsylvania: from Jess King, the Lancaster County Mennonite who’s running for Congress, to Kristin Seale in Harrisburg, Danielle Friel-Otten in Chester County, Sara Innamorato and Summer Lee in Pittsburgh, and Elizabeth Fiedler, who’s running for State House from South Philadelphia. Bold women are also running these campaigns, transforming the Democratic Party from within, and preparing a new generation of activists to play a leading role in state politics in years to come. Adam Kruggel from People’s Action caught up with two of these women of vision: Kelly Morton and Amanda McIllmurray, both founding members of Reclaim Philadelphia.

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Nick Schutt

Standing Up For Family Farmers In Central Iowa

Nick Schutt is the real deal. He farms corn and beans in Hardin County, Iowa on 80 acres of land that have been in his family for three generations. Nick has seen corporate agriculture pollute the landscape – and transform the social fabric – of rural life around him. That led him into activism, and now to run for the Hardin County Board of Supervisors this November.  You might not think Big Ag would take an active interest in a rural county election, where three candidates are running for two open seats – but they’ve pulled out all the stops to stop Schutt. A dark-money group, “Iowa Citizens for Truth,” has sent out postcards with Schutt’s mug shot from his arrest at a protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline in 2016, saying “There Goes The Neighborhood.” Schutt doesn’t mind this a bit – and he doesn’t think his neighbors do, either.

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Jeff Bryant

Education Wave That Began in West Virginia Sweeps Nation

Whether Democrats take back the House in the midterm elections may come down to races like the one in West Virginia’s third Congressional District. “Richard Ojeda has taken a district that Trump won by almost 50 points … and turned into a toss-up,” writes Bill Scher for Politico. The article includes Ojeda in a list of 15 candidates that will not only determine control of the House and Senate, but also signal “how the party tries to oust President Trump” in 2020.

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Kaleb Van Fosson

Why I Challenged Steve King on His White Supremacy

My name is Kaleb Van Fosson, and I’m a student at Iowa State University in Ames. I’m a political science major, and an active member of Iowa Student Action. I’m also a registered voter in Iowa’s Fourth Congressional District, so my representative in Congress is Steve King. That’s a problem for me, because Steve’s a racist. So when I heard King was planning to meet constituents at an event hosted by the Greater Des Moines Partnership, I decided, as a voter, to go and ask him a couple of questions. That when things got REALLY interesting. Steve King is a problem because on Saturday, there was a shooting at the Tree Of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh that killed eleven innocent people. King has endorsed white supremacist views and candidates, and even traveled to Austria to meet with a group founded by a former Nazi SS officer.

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Michaela Lovegood

What Will You Remember When You Vote?

I will remember when I vote on November 6 that the only reason my brother is still alive is because Tom Wolf, the governor of the state where he is currently on death row, issued an executive order to stop executions in Pennsylvania. If Wolf loses in November, it’s likely that his opponent will reverse this executive order, and my brother will die before attorneys can offer him the mental health defense he deserved in 1994. My brother was born with a congenital heart defect and several brain defects. He was convicted of murder, based on a forced video confession and a worse-than-shoddy public defense.  He grew up in group homes, as did my mother, who was raped and became pregnant with him when she was eleven. That’s why I pledge to vote on November 6 – on my, her and his behalf. So much is at stake right now. I will Remember In November: take the pledge with me.

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Jeff Bryant

How Teachers Might Save Arizona Schools from the Kochs

“A change in education is Arizona’s No. 1 issue,” Garcia said in a televised debate. “It is my strength, it is Ducey’s weakness, and it’s going to be the difference.” (Photo: Victoria Pickering/flickr/cc) The moment Beth Lewis realized the powerful political forces she was up against was when she was seated in the gallery of the Arizona House watching Republican legislators, one-by-one, fall into line to support a new bill she and her fellow teachers had come to the capitol to oppose. Republican Governor Doug Ducey and others “working the bill” on the floor took any wavering members into a back room for a “conversation,” while lobbyists in the wings nodded and hand-signaled with lawmakers to track the bill’s progress. When the bill’s handlers agreed a vote was in order, it passed easily.

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Leigh Friedman

A People’s Wave’s A-Comin’

Five days out from the midterm elections, here’s a final snapshot of People’s Action’s electoral program. With so much at stake in these elections, People’s Action and our member organizations are running our biggest program ever. We are so proud to support our endorsed candidates up and down the ballot. Here are three who really inspire us. ILHAN OMAR — U.S. HOUSE, MINNESOTA’S 5TH DISTRICT Ilhan is truly the advocate for all people. She has a vision for Minnesota that includes immigrants, women, incarcerated people, among LGBTQIA+ people among others. She began her progressive work at only 14, when she served as an interpreter for Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party meetings. Two decades later, she proves that she is a devoted activist, educator, and legislator.

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Keith Sellars

We Won’t Let Them Take Away Our Right To Vote

Keith Sellars is one of twelve residents of Alamance County, North Carolina who was arrested and jailed in 2017 for the “crime” of voting, allegedly in violation of probation or parole  – even though Keith was mailed a voter registration card and cleared by poll workers. These charges were part of a concerted effort to intimidate Alamance voters by the county’s Republican District Attorney, Pat Nadolski, who is currently running to become a Superior Court Judge. On October 27, Sellars and fifty other members of Down Home North Carolina, a grassroots advocacy group that is part of the People’s Action national network, marched  through downtown Graham, North Carolina, past the Confederate memorial and courthouse where Sellars was sentenced to cast early votes in midterm elections.

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Krista Sperber

Celebrating Victory for Survivors of Hurricane Sandy

It’s been a long road, but we’ve traveled it together. On the sixth anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy joined members of the New Jersey Organizing Project to announce what we hope will be important steps towards finally bringing all of our families home on the Jersey Shore. Standing with Senators Cory Booker and Bob Menendez, Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. and other elected officials, NJOP member Doug Quinn – who is himself still not home – thanked Governor Murphy, and reminded all of those gathered that much remains to be done. “We are hopeful that this new $50 million dollar program to help people cross the finish line and freezing, reducing and eliminating clawbacks will give families more hope, more opportunity and more stability. We’ve fought long enough and families have been through too much,” Quinn said, as he introduced the governor.

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Daniel Doubet

It Takes a Village to Make a Hate Crime

Saturday morning, a gunman killed 11 Jewish people who were worshiping at the Tree of Life Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh. The gunman stated his reasons on social media before his attack: “his people” were “being slaughtered” because a Jewish organization was “bringing in hostile invaders,” a reference to their support for refugees. This is reported to be the worst attack targeting Jews in United States history. Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote that the rise of Pennsylvania’s racist right is a warning to the nation. Today, as I learn about these events just an hour’s drive away, I find myself in an all-too-familiar state in the face of such an abomination. As the details roll in, I feel a terrifying worry for friends, anguish at the sheer brutality of the attack, and anger at the assailant and all of the people who were complicit.

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Leo Gerard

China Grabs 3.4 Million American Jobs 

Everything is great, right? Unemployment is the lowest in half a century. The economy is churning out a high GDP. Home values are rising rapidly again. Inflation remains low. Still, the stock market has been crashing in recent weeks. Investors don’t like President Donald Trump’s trade war with China. It makes them nervous. Photo credit: USW / unionpix.com / cc Nervous? They have no idea. Since 2001, when the United States agreed to allow China into the World Trade Organization, U.S. workers have been nervous every day. Twenty-four hours a day. Three hundred and sixty-five days a year. They fear losing their jobs to China. And rightly so. A new study by the non-partisan Economic Policy Institute (EPI) shows the growth in the U.S. trade deficit with China between 2001 and 2017 cost 3.4 million American workers their jobs. Trump’s tariff war hasn’t solved this problem.

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Jeff Bryant

Education Matters More Than Trump to Wisconsin Voters

Local issues hold the key to many midterm elections, despite all the talk about how President Donald Trump is nationalizing these races and Democrats should follow his lead and do the same. It’s important to know that in many places, voters still care first about issues that affect them at home, more than the latest outrage coming from the White House. One of those places is Wisconsin, where deep cuts to education by the incumbent Republican governor, Scott Walker, have put it at the top of many voters’ priorities. Wisconsin, which went for Trump in 2016, has been under Republicans’ control in both legislative chambers and the governor’s seat and mostly sends Republicans to the U.S. House. If a “blue wave” is truly to take place in November, it will have to include Democratic victories in Wisconsin.

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Elianne Farhat

Keith Ellison for Minnesota Attorney General

We can imagine a world where everyone can live free, joyful lives, regardless of what they look like, where they came from, or how they worship. We can imagine a democracy that’s by the people, for the people, and is representative of the people. We can imagine a future where the feminine is highly respected, and no one is held back or harmed because of their gender or sexuality.   At TakeAction Minnesota, we believe achieving justice and strengthening our democracy requires us to take on some of the biggest challenges in our society, including systemic racism, unbridled corporate influence, and gender oppression. First, at TakeAction Minnesota we believe women, women of color, and survivors. We believe them because we are them. Our member leaders, our staff, our board, we’re a majority women & femmes organization.

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Lauren McCauley

Mainers Ask Voters to Support Home Care and Question 1

In an effort to make the stakes clear in the upcoming vote on universal home care in Maine, supporters of Question 1 from across the state are posting dozens of videos to social media explaining why passage of the referendum is so important to them personally, and for the state. “In the past several years, I’ve had the opportunity of taking care of four different family members. I believe that people should be allowed to grow old with dignity and remain in their homes as long as possible,” said Frank Ayotte, an Air Force veteran from Auburn, in one video. “That’s why I’m voting yes on one this November.” In another, state Rep. Kim Monaghan of Cape Elizabeth says that she “absolutely” supports Question 1. “It’s such an important issue,” she says.

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Jeff Smith

Riding Backroads for Change in Rural Wisconsin

Everyone knows Jeff’s truck – it’s a red pickup with a big, hand-stencilled sign in the back that says, “Stop & Talk.” If you travel the back roads of western Wisconsin, most people have met its driver, the “stop and talk guy,” Jeff Smith. That’s because this Eau Claire native has logged thousands of miles in his grassroots candidacy for Wisconsin’s State Senate in District 31, which includes parts of nine counties. Smith is a bit like George Bailey, the small-town hero of Frank Capra’s classic 1946 film, “It’s A Wonderful Life.” After high school, Jeff ran a successful window-cleaning company in Eau Claire with his father, then got involved in activism when his children attended the city’s public schools. He served on a state task force for educational excellence and was elected to Wisconsin’s State Assembly in 2006.

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Joe Mangino

Organizing for Hope on the Jersey Shore

The New Jersey Organizing Project is a marvel. This Jersey Shore grassroots group was born after Hurricane Sandy when neighbors in towns like Stafford, Brick and Seaside Heights came together to rebuild homes and lives, with a little help from their friends. No one embodies this resilience more than NJOP’s co-founder, Joe Mangino. This wildlife biologist and small-business owner unexpectedly became a community activist when his own home was destroyed by the storm. He immediately started helping his neighbors, ripping out drywall and helping to gut and rebuild over 800 homes, saving taxpayers $4 million in cleanup costs. When Governor Christie failed to deliver aid to Sandy survivors, leaving many still homeless, Mangino went to Iowa to publicly confront the then-candidate for president about his unkept promises.

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Jeff Bryant

Rising Teachers Put Education On The Ballot In Fall Elections

Hundreds of educators are running for office in this November’s midterm elections. This year’s Educator Spring brought teachers into the streets in massive protests that thrust education issues into electoral contests up and down the ballot, and pushed education-related initiatives onto ballots in 16 states, according to an analysis by the Center for American Progress. “From taxes to bonds, governance to vouchers, education is on the ballot this November,” says the analysis. “Voters should not miss the chance to make their voices heard.” In states such as Arizona and Georgia where gubernatorial candidates are locked in tight races and Democrats anticipate gains in state legislatures, state ballot measures that focus on education could help provide the difference between victory and defeat.

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Miles Mogulescu

To Jeff Bezos: Put Up $10m to Find Your Columnist’s Murderers

Dear Mr. Bezos: You’re the richest man in the world, with a net worth of $160 billion according to Forbes. According to Time Magazine, in early 2018 you were earning $230,000 a minute (which comes to $13,800,000 an hour.) You’re also the owner of The Washington Post, whose columnist, American resident and Saudi citizen Jamal Khashoggi was reportedly tortured, murdered and dismembered in the Saudi Arabian embassy in Istanbul. Your columnist’s murder was one of the most ghastly and heinous threats to a free press and a civilized world in recent memory. As The Post’s owner, you have a unique responsibility to fight back to protect press freedom and free speech in America and around the world. Sadly, we cannot rely on any of the relevant governments to identify the killers and bring them to justice. The Saudi government has promised an investigation.

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