Give these Democrats Your Money

Perhaps you’ve just won the lottery. Perhaps you just got promoted. Perhaps you found $100 on the street and you feel bad about not trying to find out who it belongs to and you want to make sure it does some good in the world. Perhaps you’ve abandoned your children to live in Trump’s America alone while you cavort with elves and dwarves and men in the New Zealand countryside and you want to make it up to them.*

Or perhaps you know your donation, however big or small, will make a huge difference to progressive candidates who want to put a stop to Trump’s regressive, violent, bigoted agenda and make positive policy strides that will improve lives across the country.

Than this list is for you! Behold the first of the Nevertheless Project lists of places you should give your money. We know it’s long, but it’s worth it, we promise. But here are some jump cuts if you need them.

*resemblance to any persons living or dead comes with love and respect for the author’s esteemable parents who do keep paying for her to take a three week vacation from Trump’s America every winter.

Stacey Abrams (Running for Governor of Georgia)

Stacey Abrams has the chance to become the first black female governor in U.S. history, which is exciting in and of itself. She founded a non-partisan voter registration project called the New Georgia Project which registered over 200,000 voters. She’s also written eight romantic suspense novels under a penname, according to her website, which I didn’t know until this exact moment in time. But now I’m even more excited to give her more of my money. She is dedicated to working across divides of all kinds and according to her website has brokered several compromises to make progress in the Georgia state government in spite of Republican majorities.

Her policies are detailed and diverse, and she recognizes a variety of issues that confront Georgians. And it’s impossible to ignore the symbolic victory her leadership would bring. Under a president and a federal government that denigrates women and people of color, women of color bear a exponentially harder burden. Stacey Abrams has the chance to combat the insidious encroachment of regressive Republican ideology into government at every level, while giving voice to people who have largely been ignored and dismissed by their government.

Beto O’Rourke (Running for Senate against Ted Cruz)

Beto O’Rourke is a bit of a long shot, but he’s running a great campaign wherein he does revolutionary things like value all voters in every county in Texas and speak like a regular person. He’s also entirely grassroots funded. His campaign is very much about giving people the tools that they need to succeed and treating everyone with dignity regardless of race, religion, gender etc. With the relentlessly awful immigration policies coming from the Trump administration, he’s been a really strong, decisive voice for immigrants, and even in Texas he’s running a strong pro-choice campaign.

He’s also running for Ted Cruz’s Senate seat and let’s be honest — Ted Cruz is the fucking worst. He’s a Trump apologist with no spine. He talks like a GOP robot and he governs like a GOP robot too. Let’s get rid of him once and for all before we have to put up with yet another failed presidential run turned sycophantic Senate term.

Deb Haaland (Running for 1st District of New Mexico)

Deb Haaland has the opportunity to be the first native woman in Congress. According to the Nation, she is running an unapologetically progressive campaign that calls for expanding social security, a federal jobs guarantee, universal childcare and pre-K, and my personal favorite, aggressive action to combat climate change. With polar ice disappearing at record paces, this has to be a top priority of the next Congress and the next president if we want to keep living on this planet. She also recognizes the immediate emergency of holding Trump accountable, and putting a stop to his administration’s regressive policies while also putting forth a positive progressive vision that if we can enact will make life better for people around the country and across the world.

Native people are also dramatically underrepresented in the federal government. We might be a nation of immigrants, but we are also a nation of colonizers, and we’ve seen the many ways this federal government dismisses Native issues, particularly during the Standing Rock protests, when Native protesters were attacked with high pressure fire hoses in freezing weather. Deb Haaland will represent her state and her country but she will also represent Native people in the government they are forced to live under.

Tim Kaine (Running for Senator of Virginia)

Listen, I haven’t exactly been thrilled with Tim Kaine either. He represents the old guard of the Democratic party — he’s civil, he’s pragmatic, decent and smart, but he’s kind of boring and he doesn’t give systemic violence and oppression the attention it deserves. I wish he would be more aggressive, I wish he would commit to bigger ideas, and I wish he cared more about where the money in his campaign comes from. He’s a good middle of the road Democrat at a time when I think we need bigger, bolder, more aggressive action.

But for the love of god and all that is holy, COREY STEWART CANNOT BECOME A SENATOR. Tim Kaine will continue to be a force for good — he might not be the shining light of the new progressive left, but he will continue to be a good Democrat and he will be better under a more progressive Senate. Corey Stewart ran in the GOP primary for governor of Virginia under a nativist, pro-Trump campaign, one primarily based on protecting the Confederate legacy in Virginia. And since the Civil War likely couldn’t have been fought without Virginia, we have a lot to make up for. You guys think I’m annoying now, just wait til you see what happens if Corey Stewart becomes a Senator. Give Tim Kaine your money.

Claire McCaskill (Missouri), Joe Donnelly (Indiana), Joe Manchin (West Virginia), Heidi Heitkamp (North Dakota), Bill Nelson (Florida), Jon Tester (Montana), Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Bob Casey (Pennsylvania)

Some of these Senators (ie Sherrod Brown, Bob Casey, Bill Nelson) fit the Tim Kaine mold, good Democrats who might not be out at the front of the pack in terms of exciting progressive legislation but vote with those who are 90% of the time. Some (i.e. Claire McCaskill, Joe Donnelly, Heidi Heitkamp, Jon Tester) are ones I want to be better, who could use a swift kick in the pants to get back in progressive gear, but are important votes for things like protecting health care. Some, like Joe Manchin, I don’t even really want to put on this list. I’m mad at Joe Manchin too. I don’t really know what to do about that one. But all of them are key to gaining progressive control of the Senate.

For example: since the Senate confirms the judges, and the judges are appointed for life, the fact that the Trump administration has confirmed more judges at this point in his presidency than any previous administration is extremely concerning. These judges are overwhelmingly white and male, regressive and conservative. And they are going to impact a generation regardless of what we do in 2018 and 2020. The sooner we can put a stop to this, the better.

Plus there’s that whole pesky Supreme Court business.

Organizations

Listen, I think we all know that we can’t really trust the DNC and the DCCC with our money anymore. They have a tendency to put their weight on the scale in defiance of what the majority of Democrats across the country seem to want, and until they get their progressive asses in gear to be more representative of the grassroots energy on the ground, it’s probably best to give straight to the candidates. Or to the organizations doing the work to build progressive politics around the country. (Perhaps, knowing this, they’ve put together this helpful list of Red to Blue House districts and their candidates where you can find candidates to donate to directly)

Run for Something

Run for Something is an organization dedicated to helping young progressives run for office at every level. Republicans have been much better about this for many years, but Run for Something is helping to develop a deep progressive bench. Their candidates are running for city council, school board, state legislatures, and advisory councils. They are bringing progressive values to their communities and they are helping the next generation of bold policy makers make the world a better place. You can give them money to help them run their organization or for them to use to help Run for Something endorsed candidates, or you can use them to find candidates to give to directly.

Let America Vote

Started by former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, Let America Vote is dedicated to protecting and expanding voter rights. As Republicans do their best to restrict the right to vote with gerrymandering, voter ID laws, purging voter registration rolls, and so much more, Let America vote is championing candidates who want to expand the right to vote. Because we understand the purpose of Democracy — making sure that everyone gets a say in who is making the decisions that impact our lives.

Swing Left

Swing Left wants to take back the House by identifying swing districts (where the previous person won by a tiny margin) and helping to either keep them or swing them blue. You can sign up to volunteer with a district (i.e. show up for canvassing or fundraisers if you live in the district or nearby, phone bank and the like if you live far away) or you can give them money. Money for Swing Left directly helps them run their organization, develop tools and hire staff. Money for district funds goes directly to candidates once they’ve won their primary and are the official nominee for representative.

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