Arguing that electing innovative, progressive candidates to state and local positions as well as national seats is essential to bringing about lasting change in the U.S. political landscape, the women's advocacy group UltraViolet on Monday endorsed 10 women whose campaigns have not received widespread recognition but who the group believes would fight for justice, economic security, and dignity for all Americans at the state level.
In addition to representing "the most diverse slate of candidates ever endorsed" by the group, UltraViolet said, the 10 women all stand for progressive values aimed at protecting middle- and lower-income families as well as immigrants and other marginalized groups from the Trump agenda.
"Many are saying this will be the ‘year of the woman,’ but to create the dramatic and lasting change women need, we can’t just elect women to federal offices—we need to focus on state and local government too," Shaunna Thomas, co-founder and executive director of UltraViolet PAC, said.
Among the women whose campaigns UltraViolet highlighted include:
• Brianna Titone, a transwoman running for a state House seat in Colorado whose progressive platform includes "affordable housing, a living wage, health care for all, environmental protection, and family leave as part of the fight for reproductive rights."
— Brianna for Colorado HD27 (@BriannaForHD27) October 11, 2018
• Monica Duran, a state House candidate in Colorado who, after having experienced homelessness, successfully defeated a corporate developer's efforts to destroy her hometown's quality of life in Colorado.
I stand with the @PPRockyMountain employees & I support with them in their fight for a voice on the job to be better able to serve their patients and strengthen PPRM @PPRMBargaining #copolitics pic.twitter.com/qDG7yNXZ0m
— Monica Duran (@MonicaDuran24) May 19, 2018
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• Samantha Carrillo Fields, who organized a "Families Belong Together" rally in her city of Lubbock, Texas and who is running for a state House seat in the state's 84th district.
Now it's personal. Healthcare is a right and I will be damned if we let this state go another year without Medicaid expansion with these cuts. These are not dollar signs, these are human lives. #LuckyMeILiveInLubbock #Fieldsfor84 #txlege https://t.co/ZoJmOTHjtE
— Samantha C. Fields (@Fieldsfor84) September 13, 2018
The entire list of endorsements is available at UltraViolet's website.
The candidates' professional and life experiences make them uniquely qualified to represent working families in their districts, UltraViolet says. Electing strong progressives who will fight in their states for women's rights, healthcare access, and economic equality is especially imperative now that President Donald Trump has stacked the U.S. Supreme Court with right-wing, anti-choice extremist Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.
"That need could not be more clear after the last weeks in Washington," Thomas said. "Because Republicans turned their backs on survivors of sexual violence, we now have the most anti-women Supreme Court in generations. We need to have champions at the state and local level to act as a firewall against an ideologically driven court that is stacked against women."
The endorsements come weeks after thousands of women and men filled Senate office buildings on Capitol Hill, demanding that senators protect women's reproductive rights by voting against Kavanaugh—the latest show of widespread outrage over Trump's virulently anti-woman, anti-immigrant, anti-family agenda.
Sustained anger over Trump's election and his policies have contributed to a history-making slate of candidates in races across the country this year. More than 475 women ran in midterm primaries this year, and as of last month, 323 were still set to appear on general election ballots.
"Now more than ever is the time to look to new examples of who should represent the people," Thomas said. "The amazing and inspiring candidate that are part of the flood of women rising up all over this country, and they exemplify what it actually means to be pro-woman today."