People For the American Way

The Progressive Happy Hour: Takeaways from the 2018 Midterms

News and Analysis
The Progressive Happy Hour: Takeaways from the 2018 Midterms

Democrats took control of the House in the November 6 midterm elections, and it was a historic night for progressive women and people of color, LGBTQ folks, and young candidates. From Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, to Sharice Davids, the first Native woman and first openly LGBTQ Kansan to be elected to Congress, diverse and progressive candidates made historic gains on Election Day.

In the November 9 episode of “The Progressive Happy Hour,” cohosts Cici Battle and Drew Courtney debrief the election results and strategize the road ahead with PFAW Senior Director of Outreach and Public Engagement Diallo Brooks.

Diallo emphasized that “we saw unprecedented turnout for this election and more people engaged in the process,” which enabled the blue wave and created a more diverse Congress than ever.

Vote recounts are, or are likely to be, underway likely in Georgia, Florida, and Arizona—all states with significant Black and brown communities that impose barriers to voting access that disproportionately affect those communities. To mitigate those tactics and ensure that every eligible American can make their voices heard at the ballot box, Diallo  encouraged activists to “be proactive on the front end … It’s incumbent on us as progressives to make sure our polling places actually work. Doing some audits on our ballot equipment, making sure we’re staffed [and] facilities are prepped and ready, and expanding opportunities for folks to participate.”

Moving forward, Diallo recommended that activists should “celebrate what went well … and continue to engage communities. We can’t put stuff on autopilot and expect [it] to happen.”

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