politics

Candidates of Color on Their Way to Historic Wins

June 5th saw eight states head to the polls to vote for everything from Sheriffs to U.S. Senators. Those races had a lot of historic potential with candidates of color seeking to make history with unprecedented wins. Here’s who made it through to the November general election.

Kevin De Leon

Kevin de León grew up in the San Diego neighborhood of Logan Heights and was raised by his immigrant mother who supported her family by working as a housekeeper. He was the first in his family to graduate from high school and later went on to become the first Latino Leader of the California Senate. de Leon came in second place in California’s top-two winner primary election system and will face first place winner, Dianne Feinstein.

After his primary win, de Leon said, “This race is a fight for California’s future…Real leadership is doing the right thing even when no one is watching – or running against you in an election.”

Deb Haaland

Deb Haaland is a former New Mexico Democratic State Party Chair, attorney, and former tribal administrator. She is a member of the Laguna-Pueblo Tribe and if she wins in November, she will be the first Native American to serve in the U.S. Congress in the 242 years since Native Americans were first colonized.

“Tonight, New Mexico made history,” Haaland said after her primary win, calling her victory a “victory for working people, a victory for women and a victory for everyone who has been sidelined by the billionaire class.”

Michelle Lujan Grisham

Michelle Lujan was born in Los Alamos, New Mexico, and grew up in Santa Fe, and serves New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District. She is currently the Chair for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. She won her primary putting her on track to become the first Democratic Latina Governor in U.S. history. She would succeed Susana Martinez, who is term-limited and was the first Republican Latina Governor in U.S. history.

Ricardo Lara

Ricardo Lara was raised by immigrant parents and in 2012 became the first openly gay person of color to be elected to the California Senate. If Lara wins the November election for Insurance Commissioner he would become the first openly gay statewide officer holder in California history.

“We must fight for our place at the table and show the world we have the right to pursue our dreams,” he said. “I look forward to working together with grassroots leaders to advance a progressive, inclusive and effective agenda for all and make history in California.”

Ammar Campa-Najjar

Ammar Campa-Najjar, 29, is running for Congress in California’s 50th district. He lived in San Diego before his family moved to Gaza as a child. However, Campa-Najjar, his brother and mother relocated back to San Diego after the war broke out. His working-class upbringing motivated him to run and give back to working families.. Born to a Mexican-American mother and Palestinian father, Campa-Najjar could be the first Latino-Arab American to be elected to Congress.

Don't Vote, Everything is Fine

politics

Don’t Vote, Everything is Fine

Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, South Carolina, and Virginia are voting today for their primary election candidates. Governors, City Councilors, Members of Congress, and seats up and down the ballot are all up for grabs. Who will you vote for? Click here to find your voting location or voter registration information. 

Or will you be a part of the 50% of people age 18-29 who sat out the election in the 2016 November Presidential election? You could be telling yourself, “what does it matter, my vote doesn’t make a difference.” The usual response to this age old excuse is, “yes, your vote does make a difference,” but researchers decided to finally back that up with real data. According to CivicYouth.org,

“Parties and other political groups often overlook the votes and energy of young people even where youth can have a decisive influence on the outcome of the race. CIRCLE is providing data-driven insights about the states and congressional districts where youth are poised to have a disproportionately high electoral impact in 2018.”

They found that youth are poised to be the make it or break it factor for campaigns from states all over the country including Maine and North Dakota, who head to the voting booths today. But let’s take a look at past elections. Where did the youth vote actually matter?

In these states they estimated that the youth vote in 2012 were responsible for at least 80 electoral votes which handed the presidential election to Obama.

There are also races all over the country that always win or lose by just a handful of people. Currently in Orange County, California, two Democrats are battling it out for second place with only 129 votes separating them. In San Francisco, they still don’t know who won their Mayoral race.

But hey, at the end of the day, no one can make you care or get you motivated to vote other than yourself. The System would love to keep everything the same – OR – you can vote and show candidates from all parties that you mean business and if you don’t like the job they are doing, you WILL vote them out. Up to you.

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