January 30, 2024

Stories from the states: Wisconsin win, Florida flip, Santos special, and more

Celebrations and shout-outs to Wisconsin, Florida, Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan, North Carolina, Arizona, and Georgia!
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Credit: Power to the Polls in Wisconsin

Our local partners are sending us their 2024 plans in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for many more stories ahead. For now, a few celebrations and shout-outs:

Our Wisconsin partners including Black Leaders Organizing Communities (BLOC), Leaders Igniting Transformation (LIT), and Citizen Action of Wisconsin celebrated a huge victory when the state Supreme Court (which our partners helped flip in early 2023) tossed out the GOP’s horribly gerrymandered legislative maps. 

With new maps, Wisconsin could conceivably elect Democratic majorities in both legislative chambers, joining Michigan and Minnesota in a new Midwest triad of purple-state progressive governance. (UPDATE: Republicans are attempting a last-ditch effort to pass their own maps, though it appears unlikely to succeed.)

In other Wisconsin news, Power to the Polls and other MVP partners also just won a push for a new early voting site in Milwaukee — a city whose 183,045-vote margin gave Biden more than 8x the votes needed to flip the state in 2020.

 


 

Florida Rising, which helped Democrat Tom Keen flip FL House District 35 in January

Our Florida partners including Florida Rising and Poder Latinx just helped Democrat Tom Keen flip a Republican state House seatin a district that Ron DeSantis won in 2022 by 13 points. 

As Florida Rising put it: “When we organize, we WIN!”

 


 

In Pennsylvania, the state Supreme Court just overturned a state ban on publicly-funded abortions, ruling that the right to reproductive autonomy — including the right to an abortion — is fundamental. 

This is an enormous victory for reproductive, economic, gender, and racial justice. Pennsylvania has a worse than average maternal mortality rate, and Black women are over three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white women. 

This win was only possible thanks to the Democratic majority on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, established in 2015 and defended over years of organizing. Most recently in 2023, dozens of MVP partners helped secure Democrats’ 5-2 majority — which will be crucial in 2025, when three Democratic justices are up for re-election.

 


 

Make the Road Action, our New York partner gearing up to flip former Rep. George Santos’ House seat

In New York, MVP partner Make the Road Action is gearing up for a February 13 special election in which we have a chance to flip the U.S. House seat formerly held by GOP Rep. George Santos, who was expelled from Congress in December.

Republicans hold a mere six-seat majority in the House. Every single race we win will bring us closer to Democratic control — and with it, the chance to enact progressive legislation at a scale and scope not seen in decades.

 


 

Credit: Michigan People’s Campaign

Michigan is set to become the first state to automatically restore voting rights to citizens returning from prison. This December victory capped off the first year of the state’s progressive trifecta, secured in 2022 with the help of MVP partners.

This November, Michigan will be more important than ever to winning the Presidency and U.S. Senate — and wins like these will help local organizers make the case to disaffected voters that Democrats are worth keeping in office.

 


 

Credit: Down Home North Carolina

In North Carolina, local partner Down Home North Carolina recently announced thirteen of its members have now filed to run for local office in 2024! 

Research suggests that when we invest in local races, we create a “reverse coattails effect,” in which the very act of contesting down-ballot elections can increase vote share at the top of the ticket. 

In other words: Down Home NC’s approach of recruiting, training, and supporting local candidates will help swing North Carolina blue in the Presidential race, as well as defend the Governorship and break the GOP’s legislative supermajority.

 


 

Credit: Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA)

In Arizona, Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA) helped secure $75 million in affordable housing support, after years of organizing, advocacy, and behind-the-scenes work with decision-makers.

This funding will bring direct relief to help combat Arizona’s affordable housing crisis, in the form of:

  • Cash assistance for those facing eviction,
  • Housing counseling and legal services,
  • Tribal housing assistance, 
  • Homebuying assistance, and more.

This $75 million affordable housing victory is just one of many examples of MVP partners engaging in the critical year-round work of “co-governance”.

Often, people think of the role of grassroots groups as being limited to organizing their communities and getting out the vote. But what happens after Election Day? 

In the co-governance approach, grassroots groups work in close relationship with government allies to shape key policy decisions, ground them in lived realities, and in essence, help allied officials to govern from a place of mutual respect.

 

Poder Latinx, partnering with Univision to register hundreds of new voters in Arizona.

Elsewhere in Phoenix, MVP partner Poder Latinx recently teamed up with Univision to register hundreds of new voters. 

Nicknamed “the Battleground of Battlegrounds,” Arizona is one of MVP’s highest-priority states, with opportunities to win the Presidency, U.S. Senate, and several competitive U.S. House Seats; flip control of the state legislature; and win a ballot initiative to enshrine abortion rights in the state’s constitution.

In 2020, Latine voters in Arizona supported Biden over Trump by a 27-point margin. In 2024, Latine voters will make up 18% of the Arizona electorate — including 150,000 newly-eligible young voters. In a state that could literally decide the course of history this November, MVP partners’ voter organizing work could not be more impactful.

 


 

Georgia Youth Justice Coalition, hitting the ground running for the 2024 legislative session

In Georgia, MVP partner Georgia Youth Justice Coalition is hitting the ground running for the 2024 legislative session, organizing around the most salient issues to young voters, including public school funding, LGBTQ rights, gun safety, climate justice, and more. 

Read their short 2023 year-end review and get inspired. This kind of year-round organizing is how we win elections while building lasting power for years to come.

 


 

Support the work of MVP’s local partners by making a donation today.

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