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11/6/2014 | Fighting for an Inclusive Democracy

Fighting to Turn the Tide

Tuesday night’s elections were tough to watch—the shift in the political landscape made our already gridlocked federal government even more intractable, and there were several significant statewide losses. 

But, there were also many victories. When given the chance, people voted to support progressive values— increasing the minimum wage, guaranteeing paid sick days and reforming our criminal justice system.  Yet, the candidates on the ballot in most places reflected a relatively narrow ideological spectrum of moderate to extreme conservative.  

If we are to turn the the tide, we must stand on progressive values—good jobs, livable wage, strong public education, immigrant equality and just policing. We must also push for transformative change that strengthens our democracy, making our electoral process open and accessible. The Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) and our partners understand that change will come from deep and long-term organizing.  

In more than a dozen states our partners engaged voters on issues of importance to them and their families.  CPD partners collectively did more than 2 million door knocks and phone calls and had conversations with more than a half-million young people, women, and people of color.   

Other important achievements include:

  • In a first-of-its-kind victory, our partners ACCE Action engaged more than 10,000 unlikely voters in Oakland to raise the city’s minimum wage to $12.25 an hour and provide earned sick days. The ballot measure won the support of 81% of Oakland’s voters.  
  • Wisconsin Jobs Now organized more than 50,000 voters statewide to sign a pledge to vote yes on raising the minimum wage. Though Scott Walker won reelection, WJN and more than 100 workers are suing the governor over a state law that requires Wisconsin’s minimum wage “shall not be less than a living wage."  
  • Action Now knocked on over 127,000 doors in Illinois to get out the vote in support of a statewide, non-binding minimum wage increase to $10. Nearly 70% of Illinois voters voted in favor of the advisory measure.

At the end of election night, one of our partners sent a note saying they will keep fighting despite the setbacks. We, too, will keep fighting. We will keep fighting for working families.  We will keep fighting for racial justice. We will keep fighting to build the strength we need to transform our communities and our country.