August 31, 2023

August 2023 Newsletter: Hope & Progress in the States

As you read this, there are hundreds of locally-based grassroots organizations working tirelessly, humbly, under the radar across the country, who hold the key to saving our democracy and our planet.
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MVP friends,

This month’s newsletter is about hope.

Not blind optimism, but clear-eyed hope for what is possible – and the progress already happening at the state level (see below).

As you read this, there are hundreds of locally-based grassroots organizations working tirelessly, humbly, under the radar across the country, who hold the key to saving our democracy and our planet.

Next year could be rife with political chaos. Trump’s support has only grown as his criminal trials pile up, which he could use to incite civil breakdown during the Republican primaries.

At the global level, the UN recently warned that the era of “Global Boiling” will only get worse if we don’t fix it. And the only way to fix it is to invest in 2023 like our lives depend on it, win big in 2024, and enact transformational policies in 2025. 

Yes, the situation is dire — but it is not too late.

The future we want is possible. The stories below show us the path.

This is NOT a real headline — but it COULD be on November 5, 2024, if we invest like we mean it.

In This Newsletter:

    1. Stories from the States: Organizing + Elections = Progress!
    2. Arizona: Advancing the Agenda for Progressive Power
    3. Ohio: We Won! A Victory for Democracy & Abortion Rights
    4. Michigan: More Fair Maps = More Progressive Breakthroughs
    5. The Big Picture: How Do We Build a Durable Progressive Majority?

* Warning: Do not read this if you wish to remain hopeless, cynical, or convinced that we can’t make a difference!




Organizing + Elections = Progress!

Remember when 2022 was supposed to be a Red Wave? MVP partners defied the odds. Now, we’re seeing the fruits of their labor… and they’re just getting started.

Our new Stories from the States roundup curates nine of the most powerful stories of progress and policy wins, featuring the work of MVP partners in:

  1. Presidential Swing States, which hold the key to a Blue Wave in 2024;
  2. Senate Swing States, which could yield a powerful progressive majority; and
  3. Blue Trifecta States, which show us what’s possible when we organize, win big, and build the power to pass bold policies.

Read all nine stories and be inspired »

Read on for a small sampling:



Credit: Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA)

Arizona: Advancing the Agenda for Progressive Power

  • In 2022, MVP partners helped flip the Governor’s race by just 17,117 votes — a 0.66% margin of victory. Suddenly, Arizona went from a red trifecta to a state run by a progressive Democrat who could block the entire GOP agenda.
  • In just the first eight months of 2023, the new Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs has vetoed a record-shattering 140+ GOP-sponsored bills that would have weakened gun safety, attacked the LGBTQ+ community, fueled voter suppression, and more.
  • Now, heading into 2024, our local partners are planning a coordinated campaign to win Arizona’s eleven electoral votes; elect progressive Democrat, Ruben Gallego, to the U.S. Senate; flip two U.S. House seats; and gain a state trifecta by flipping just two seats in the State Senate and House.

Read the full Arizona update »



Credit: One Person One Vote, celebrating the defeat of the anti-democratic ballot measure, Issue 1

Ohio: We Won! A Victory for Democracy & Abortion Rights

  • On August 8, MVP partners led the charge to defeat Issue 1, a ballot measure that would have made it harder to change the state’s constitution — including in November 2023, when Ohioans will vote on codifying abortion rights.
  • Efforts are also now under way to gather signatures for a 2024 ballot measure to establish an independent redistricting commission, which will be crucial in undoing Ohio’s extreme gerrymandering.
  • Instead of working in silos, MVP partners built a collaborative, powerhouse operation greater than the sum of its parts — which builds power moving forward into 2024, when we need to defend Sherrod Brown’s highly-vulnerable U.S. Senate seat.

Read the full Ohio update »



Credit: Detroit Action – Rally against evictions

Michigan: Fair Maps, Progressive Breakthroughs

  • In 2022, MVP partners helped win the first Democratic trifecta in 40 years by just 2,770 votes across a 2-seat margin in both the Michigan House and Senate.
  • So far in 2023 — thanks to both newfound governing power and grassroots pressure to provide political cover — Democrats have passed new laws repealing an abortion ban and anti-union legislation, as well as instituting clean energy expansion, gun protection, LGBTQ+ rights, and more.
  • All of this took years of organizing, culminating in a series of hard-won democracy and voting reforms that led to dramatically increased voter participation and fairer representation. 

Read the full Michigan update »





How Do We Build a Durable Progressive Majority?

To close, let’s take a step back and look at the much bigger picture. 

Here is the strategic proposition at the heart of MVP’s approach:

  1. To get to a just, sustainable society, we need transformative policy change.
  2. To win this policy change, we need a durable progressive elected majority to enact and protect it, and durable public support to back it up.
  3. To gain this durable elected majority and public support, we need to build lasting progressive political power.
  4. To build lasting power, we need to organize the New American Majority (voters of color and young voters) — as well as native, LGBTQ+, immigrant, working-class, rural, and other marginalized communities — who can swing the closest elections.
  5. To organize this constituency, we need to sustainably scale up the grassroots organizations that comprise the voter engagement field.

This is a project that spans multiple election cycles, and the 2024 election is a pivotal moment in the plan.

If we play our cards right, we can create a new normal where we reliably win federal elections by multiple percentage points, enact policies that reflect our values, and rebuild our country with a more sustainable and inclusive vision.

The best thing each of us can do now? 

Invest in 2023, so we can win big in 2024.

Thank you for your partnership.

We hope you have a great Labor Day weekend!

– The MVP team

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