- African Americans
- Americans with Disabilities
- American Jewish Community
- Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders
- Democrats Abroad
On January 23, 2014, an image of my father appeared on the front page of the Hattiesburg American, a local paper in Mississippi. The solemn picture shows an older African-American man recreating the city’s 1964 Freedom Day, when he was a 14-year-old civil rights activist demanding voting rights for all. He joined with hundreds of others across the beleaguered city. He was a child, unable to use the very powers he sought for others, who nevertheless risked his own liberty to demand justice.
There will be elections all across the country this November, and like my father 50 years ago, we will be called to participate and vote; in the process, we will be standing for those who will remain voiceless if we do not. Our response to that call will be our legacy half a century from now. Did we balk at the difficult beginnings of a transformed health system that will give millions the ability to live better without fear of economic ruin? Have we ignored the attempts to cut the fabric of our social safety net, distracted by stereotypes and rigid ideology? Did our votes go uncounted because we refused to secure the unnecessary - but required - identification?
The power of the vote is more than a right or an obligation. It is a powerful tool. In the proper hands, our votes alter the nature of our communities and our nation, much as my father’s protest helped change Mississippi.
I live in Georgia now, a frontline for civil rights and the right to vote. Each Election Day is a call from my father’s 14-year old self across the lines of race and class and geography that might separate us. It is his call that I urge each of us to honor in 2014.
Let’s call Election Day by its rightful name beginning this year – for if we are willing to act, every Election Day has the chance to be our very own Freedom Day.
Stacey Abrams is the Georgia House Minority Leader and represents the 89th district, which includes the city of Atlanta.
Forty nine years ago today, Martin Luther King, Jr. visited the White House to discuss the importance of the Voting Rights Act. Six months later, President Lyndon Johnson signed the landmark legislation into law.
Do you remember 2004? I do. And so do most Ohioans.
We remember waiting hours to vote using antiquated punch cards or broken machines, and a complete failure of our election system to work on behalf of us, the citizens. It was a failure of the promise of enfranchisement.
Now Ohio Republicans want to return to those days. They want to undo all of the progress that we have made as a state - by limiting early vote and eliminating “Golden Week”, by ending voting the weekend before Election Day, by making it more difficult to request a ballot, and by making it harder for those who want to exercise their right to vote in person. Republicans are not proposing these measures because there is something broken in our voting system – they are proposing these measures because we’re doing things right!
We have fought hard to expand and protect the rights of every Ohioan – often having to go to court to defend our right to vote from the Republicans holding office in our state.
But we can protect our vote by registering our neighbors, demanding an early vote period that helps working families, and by showing up in November for candidates that support access to the voting booth.
Tell the Republican Legislature that we will not go back to 2004. Join me and the Ohio Democratic Party to make sure that we keep moving Ohio forward.
Nina Turner is the Minority Whip of the Ohio Senate, and represents District 25, which includes the city of Cleveland. She is running to become Ohio’s next Secretary of State.
South Carolinians are known for our strong opinions -- on sports, weather, politics, even BBQ. As a native of the Palmetto State, my friends, family, and neighbors share their opinions with me just about every day. And that has been my favorite part about traveling around the state as I run for the United States Senate -- hearing directly from the people.
Unfortunately, South Carolina Republicans have repeatedly tried to make it more difficult to hear the opinions of us citizens. They are attempting to silence our voices by playing politics with our most fundamental right -- the right to vote.
In few states has there been a harder fight for the right to vote than in South Carolina. The Department of Justice has intervened in over a hundred election laws through the Voting Rights Act over the years, including a voter ID bill. Thats why, when the Supreme Court weakened the Voting Rights Act, many attorneys thought the court got it wrong.
But after my initial disappointment in the Supreme Court decision, I quickly remembered the lessons of the Civil Rights Movement and what comes naturally to all South Carolinians -- to organize our neighbors, to mobilize our communities, and to make our voices heard. I decided that I was going to share my opinion with anyone and everyone who would listen. And I want you to join me.
Contact your state Democratic Party today and find out what you can do to help register and educate voters in time for this year's election. It is too important to wait.
Rick Wade is a small business owner and former Senior Adviser and Deputy Chief of Staff to the U.S. Department of Commerce. He served as the Director of the South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services from 1999 to 2002, and is currently running to represent South Carolina in the United States Senate.
In honor of Black History Month and Rosa Parks' birthday, we celebrate the many times she stood for fairness and equality -- and changed our nation along the way.
This is the month we honor the many contributions African Americans have made to our nation. Through centuries, African Americans have fought courageously for their rights and the rights of others, charting a path toward equality and freedom that has brought our nation closer to the promise of a more perfect union.
But this is also a month to reflect on what progress can be made if we work together. Every child deserves a quality education, no matter where they live. Every person must have access to affordable health care and housing. And to honor the promises enshrined in our Constitution, we must remove any shadow of discrimination that prevents any person, regardless of race, from getting a job or casting a ballot.
These are the promises Democrats have fought for and we will continue to work toward with purpose, knowing they are true to America’s fundamental values.
I’m Virgie Rollins, the Chair of the DNC’s Black Caucus. As we kick off and celebrate Black History Month, we Democrats have so much to be proud of, and so much work left to do. That’s why throughout the month of February, we will be featuring various elected officials and leaders in our party from across the country, telling all of you about “Our Values, Our Voice, and Our Vote.”
The Democratic Party believes that every American, regardless of where you were born or what you look like, deserves access to a quality education, affordable health care, to earn a living wage, to get a little help from your neighbors when you need it.
Democrats are committed to making sure all children regardless of income have the opportunity to get a first-rate education. That’s why President Obama and Democrats support expanding programs like Head Start, since studies show early childhood education is critical to future success. And that’s also why President Obama and Democrats have promoted initiatives like Race to the Top to reward schools for innovation and partnered with schools that need assistance to improve.
Many African Americans are still struggling to recover from the Great Recession, and unemployment in communities of color is disproportionately higher than the national average. President Obama has exhibited true leadership by calling on governors and businesses across the country to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, which economists say will lift millions of Americans out of poverty – with African Americans standing to benefit.
Under the Affordable Care Act, 9 million Americans have already enrolled to receive health insurance coverage through private insurers via the health care exchanges, through the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or through the expansion of Medicaid. But millions more stand to benefit if Republican governors holding out would accept the federal dollars to help those in their states who need it most. 7.3 million African Americans already have access to benefits through the no cost-sharing feature of ACA, and free preventative screenings and procedures such as mammograms and colonoscopies.
And while Republicans in Congress allowed federal unemployment benefits to expire, President Obama is taking action to help the long-term unemployed through partnerships with more than 300 companies and special job training.
It is clear that Democrats truly value economic opportunity for all.
Democrats have shown the true diversity of our party and made phenomenal strides over the past several years, namely with the election of President Barack Obama. From Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, the first black chief executive of that Commonwealth, or Senator Cory Booker, the first African American New Jerseyans have sent to represent them in the U.S. Senate, in all 50 states, there are examples of progress and pride for us all. You will hear from many of them this month.
Although the Voting Rights Act was weakened by last year’s Supreme Court decision, we remain steadfast in our resolve to protect and expand access to the ballot box for every American. Unfortunately, GOP legislatures and governors in states like Arizona, Texas, and North Carolina have engaged in a cynical campaign to make voting harder, which just isn’t right. New voting restrictions and identification requirements have imposed unnecessary burdens on low-income, African American, and Latino voters, but Democrats are fighting back.
So join us as we reflect on the many accomplishments and diversity of our party this month, and as we look to the important elections ahead of us this fall to keep moving the country forward. Each day in February, we will provide new graphics, videos, or blogs for you to share with social networks and your family and friends. We hope that you do – we’ve got work to do!
Virgie Rollins is a small business owner and the chair of the Democratic National Committee’s Black Caucus. She is a native of Michigan and lives in Detroit.
This communication is not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.