Yesterday, Vox published a fantastic article on the Democratic Party’s current state of denial. Matthew Yglesias described in painful detail the awkward dissonance between Democrats’ braggadocios tone and our present standing in state and national politics.
The truth of the matter is that, while the Republican race for the presidency is nothing short of a circus, Democrats are fairing horribly when it comes to down-ballot positions. As Yglesias points out:
The presidency is extremely important, of course. But there are also thousands of critically important offices all the way down the ballot. And the vast majority — 70 percent of state legislatures, more than 60 percent of governors, 55 percent of attorneys general and secretaries of state — are in Republicans hands. And, of course, Republicans control both chambers of Congress.
I hope that this article was as much a wake up call for other Democrats as it was for me, for I too had fallen into the comfortable position of laughing at the clown-car shenanigans of the Republican presidential candidates while ignoring the truly dire position Democrats find themselves in all around the country.
It got me thinking: What needs to be done to get us out of this hole?
Which brings me to Angie Craig, 2016 candidate for Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District. Craig is running to be the nominee for the Democratic Party in the general election for CD2 in November 2016. The incumbent, Republican John Kline, will not be seeking re-election—so this is a real opportunity for Democrats to turn a district blue. If Yglesias’s article reminds us of anything, it’s that we have to look beyond the presidential race and focus on winning these smaller—but critical—races.
Here’s why I believe the people of CD2 should support Angie Craig:
She wants to create more opportunities for all Americans—not just the privileged few.
Craig supports comprehensive immigration reform and a path to citizenship; criminal justice reform and “a judicial system that treats people of color…equally”; protections in the workplace, in housing and at school for LGBT people; and expanding resources for homeless youth.
She sees the connection between a strong education system and a healthy economy.
Craig believes in an all-around approach to improving the education system and boosting the economy. She understands that the country’s rebound from the 2008 recession still left some members of our society out to dry. She wants to “expand tax-credits for affordable, quality child care,” improve access to public education including pre-K, “[encourage] public colleges to find ways to lower costs and increase federal funding for the neediest students,” all of which will decrease the burden on working families (now and in the future) and bolster the economy.
She understands and wants to mitigate the threat of climate change.
In her words:
While the President’s Clean Power Plan is a good start, we must continue to promote federal policy that encourages growth in the renewable energy sector, making wind, solar and energy efficiency investments in this nation while decreasing our reliance on less environmentally-friendly energy sources.
We need more Representatives in Congress who take climate change seriously and will support initiatives to combat it.
She is a supporter of unions and the American worker.
Craig has earned the endorsement of a number of unions, including the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers and United Steelworkers. She wants to protect workers’ rights, especially as they are affected by international trade deals. She wants to raise the minimum wage and support the workers who need it the most. Finally, she also wants to ensure paid sick leave for all working Americans.
She will fight for women’s rights and equality.
As unwarranted attacks against Planned Parenthood have flared up again, Craig has shown her support for the women’s health organization. She also also will sponsor the Paycheck Fairness Act to level the playing field for working American women. It’s no wonder that she has earned the endorsement of womenwinning.
There is another strong candidate running for the Democratic nomination: Mary Lawrence. So why am I pushing for Craig over Lawrence? It comes down to three things:
- Craig has emphasized the importance of criminal justice reform and racial equality where Lawrence hasn’t. The United States is at a critical point in our struggle for racial equality. CD2 needs a Representative who will fight for policies that advance racial equality in this country.
- Craig lists access to education as a primary issue for her, where it appears to take less priority with Lawrence. A strong education system is foundational to the success of everyone in this country, and we need more Representatives who take it as seriously as does Craig.
- Craig has agreed not to run in the primary if the Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party of Minnesota elects to endorse another candidate. This is an act of solidarity with the Democratic Party and its cause that I appreciate. Lawrence has made no such promise.
As a resident of Minnesota’s 4th Congressional District, I will not have the chance to vote for Angie Craig. But I will be lending my support where I can; and I encourage all eligible voters to throw their weight behind Craig, who will be a fantastic representative of Minnesota’s CD2 in the U.S. House of Representatives.