A survey my team of labor scholars at MIT conducted about five months after the election showed that most workers feel they lack a voice at their jobs. Many Americans apparently felt that Donald Trump did a much better job than Clinton showing he was on their side and had a plan to help them.
As I watch the 2020 presidential debates, I wonder: Will Democrats make the same mistake? Or will they return to their roots and put the full range of workers’ needs and aspirations front and center in their campaigns?
Some of the candidates vying to be the 2020 nominee have offered plans to support organized labor, but they mainly endorse bills already in Congress to shore up collective bargaining rights. None have offered a clear vision and strategy for assuring workers have a voice in the key decisions that will shape the future of work.
This won’t be enough to give workers the stronger and broader voice at work they are calling for today.
In our 2017 survey, we learned two key things about what workers actually want…..
Using data released by the federal Election Assistance Commission (EAC) in June, a new Brennan Center analysis has found that between 2016 and 2018, counties with a history of voter discrimination have continued purging people from the rolls at much higher rates than other counties.
This phenomenon began after the Supreme Court’s 2013 ruling in Shelby County v. Holder, a decision that severely weakened the protections of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Brennan Center first identified this troubling voter purge trend in a major report released in July 2018.
Before the Shelby County decision, Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act required jurisdictions with a history of discrimination to submit proposed changes in voting procedures to the Department of Justice or a federal court for approval, a process known as “preclearance.”
After analyzing the 2019 EAC data, we found:
– At least 17 million voters were purged nationwide between 2016 and 2018, similar to the number we saw between 2014 and 2016, but considerably higher than we saw between 2006 and 2008;
– The median purge rate over the 2016–2018 period in jurisdictions previously subject to preclearance was 40 percent higher than the purge rate in jurisdictions that were not covered by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act;
– If purge rates in the counties that were covered by Section 5 were the same as the rates in non-Section 5 counties, as many as 1.1 million fewer individuals would have been removed from voter rolls between 2016 and 2018.
While Democrats are fixated on 2020, Holder is fighting for fairer maps in 2021 and beyond. ….
….So Holder is pursuing a new strategy, trying to elect down-ballot candidates who can deliver fairer maps and voting laws. The NDRC invested $350,000 in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race, hoping that a liberal majority on the seven-member court might strike down any egregious gerrymanders in the next round of redistricting in 2021. “I don’t think that 10 years or so ago, you would have a former attorney general campaigning for a state Supreme Court justice,” Holder told me. “This is a recognition on the part of the Democratic Party, on the part of progressives, that we need to focus on state and local elections to a much greater degree than we have in the past.”
But if Democrats are belatedly recognizing this need, few besides Holder are acting on it. He is playing a long game in a party driven by instant gratification and consumed by the mess in the White House. While the party’s presidential contenders are attracting big crowds, donors, and volunteers determined to defeat President Donald Trump in 2020, Holder is focused on 2021…..
Source: Christopher Warshaw, Annual Review of Political Science, Vol. 22, 2019
From the abstract:
In recent years, there has been a surge in the study of representation and elections in local politics. Scholars have made progress on many of the empirical barriers that stymied earlier researchers. As a result, the study of representation and elections in local politics has moved squarely into the center of American politics. The findings of recent research show that local politics in the modern, polarized era is much more similar to other areas of American politics than previously believed. Scholars have shown that partisanship and ideology play important roles in local politics. Due to the growing ideological divergence between Democrats and Republicans, Democratic elected officials increasingly take more liberal positions, and enact more liberal policies, than Republican ones. As a result, despite the multitude of constraints on local governments, local policies in the modern era tend to largely reflect the partisan and ideological composition of their electorates.
From the press release:
The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) today released findings from the 2018 Election Administration and Voting Survey (EAVS) the most comprehensive source of state- and local jurisdiction-level data about election administration in the United States. ….
Some notable findings from the 2018 EAVS include:
• More than 120 million Americans, or 52 percent of the estimated Citizen Voting Age Population, voted in the 2018 Midterm Elections.
• The nationwide turnout rate was 15.5 percentage points higher than in the 2014 Midterm Election, with some states reporting turnout levels that approached those of a typical Presidential Election.
• More than 211 million persons were reported as registered and eligible to vote in the 2018 Midterm Elections, an increase of 11 percent over the 2014 Midterm Elections.
• Nearly 80 million voter registration applications were received between the 2016 and 2018 Federal Elections.
• Departments of Motor Vehicles (DMVs) remained the most utilized method for voter registration and accounted for 45 percent of registrations, an increase of 33 percent over 2014.
• Online voter registration is allowed in 40 states and territories, and accounted for 16 percent of registrations in 2018, a six-point increase over 2014. This represented a slight decrease from 2016.
• Nearly half of states have some kind of policy allowing for same day voter registration and more than 800,000 same day registrations were processed during the 2018 Midterm Elections.
By-Mail and In-Person Early Voting
• Voting in-person on Election Day remained the most-used mode of voting. More than half of voters cast their ballots in person on Election Day.
• However, by-mail voting was used by a quarter of the electorate in 2018.
• Nearly one-fifth voted at in-person early voting sites, a rate that more than doubled since the 2014 elections. In six states, more than half of ballots were cast at in-person early voting sites. ….
Alicia Garza’s phone never stops ringing. The Black Lives Matter co-founder now leads Supermajority, a women’s political-training organization, along with a roster of female organizers including Cecile Richards, the former Planned Parenthood Federation of America president. The two have dedicated their efforts to building women’s political power in the U.S., a mandate that means near-constant communication with interested folks across the country. ….
In every field — business, politics, science, tech, and sport — women are breaking barriers in unprecedented numbers. Women CEOs frequently outpace their male counterparts in delivering profits, women are at the forefront of scientific research (CRISPR, anyone?), and women coaches exceed expectations for leading teams … of men. As more women have taken up posts in DC than in any time in our history, are women experiencing a “moment,” or have the pressures for gender equality and compensation finally achieved results? Remarkable leaders from diverse backgrounds share their views on what it means to break barriers.
In the post #MeToo era, the potential to shift women’s political, economic, and philanthropic power is profound. How will this activism be harnessed to fundamentally change our nation’s course? What is the agenda for women going into the 2020 elections? Can a broader consensus in support of women’s issues be mobilized? Fundamental concepts of diversity and inclusion are being crafted in whole new ways by corporate leaders who are responding to cultural pressures and market opportunities. Where will this momentum for an inclusive and diverse agenda lead and who will lead it?
…According to FiveThirtyEight, the day Trump stepped into the White House, he had only a 45.5% approval rating. This stands in stark contrast to Barack Obama, for example, who took office with a 68% approval rating.
Moreover, Trump has the lowest approval average in history, at only 40%. The next lowest is Harry Truman at 45.4%.
These data clearly show that Trump is the least-liked president in American history. With such unpopularity, how could he possibly win again?…
One hundred years ago – on 4 June 1919 – Congress approved the 19th Amendment to the US constitution guaranteeing the right of American women to vote.
The amendment was the product of decades of campaigning and slow progress since the first convention for women’s rights was held in Seneca Falls in 1848.
In the years since, women had been thrown in jail for voting illegally, organised pickets across the country and chained themselves to the White House demanding representation.
Rights were granted in a handful of, mostly western, states over the years but resistance remained. This amendment, officially ratified in 1920, prohibited discrimination on the basis of sex on a national level.
In 2019 the US has more women in national politics than ever before, but still falls well short of equality. These are the pioneers who have made history in the century since…..