PRESS RELEASE: Rising Immigrant Electorate Lifts Marie Gluesenkamp Perez to Power, Flips Key Congressional Seat in Nationally-Watched Midterm Victory

Allison Carney Uncategorized

Rising Immigrant Electorate Lifts Marie Gluesenkamp Perez to Power, Flips Key Congressional Seat in Nationally-Watched Midterm Victory

Press Release: 11/12/2022
Media Contact: Allison Carney, ahcarney@gmail.com, 401 965 4049

Vancouver, WA – Marie Gluesenkamp Perez claims victory over far-right opponent, clinching a hard-fought win in Southwest Washington after decades of organizing.

“This is no fluke,” says Melissa Rubio, Political Director for OneAmerica Votes. “Her win is the result of decades of organizing and electoral work in southwest Washington. In a race as close as this, every voter-to-voter conversation matters. As of right now, there are just over 5,000 votes between Marie and Kent–we contacted 20,000 voters in the 3rd and helped close that gap.  Our door-to-door canvassing, phone banking and mail helped make immigrants a significant and clear margin of victory for this race. 

“Since 2010, our political programs have persuaded voters based on issues and our vision of a Thriving Home for all in Washington state. Alongside Glusenkamp Perez’s campaign and the work of other local organizations, we lifted the political power of historically ignored voters and won new leadership for our base.”

This is a nationally-relevant, grassroots, community-owned win. This seat was one of the only 13 US House seats predicted to stay Republican that was flipped as a result of work on the ground by organizations like OneAmerica Votes and one of only 6 seats across the country to flip from Republican to Democrat. 

“Nobody in the political consultant or party class gave this race a chance – but the community did.” said OneAmerica Votes CEO Roxana Norouzi. “We believed in Marie because our lives depend on it, and because we found a candidate who spoke to our values. Pundits like Five Thirty Eight gave us a 2% chance of winning but we believe in our own convictions, and we knocked every door with 100% of our hearts that Perez could win. 

“This is why we can’t just listen to pollsters and institutions – this is why we have to listen to communities on the ground, and the immigrant leaders who see what’s possible and make it happen.” 

Two of those people, OneAmerica Votes staff and leaders Glicerio Zurita and Elizabeth Ruiz have been organizing immigrant communities in Southwest Washington for over 10 years to flip the 3rd Congressional seat. One segment of the voters they talked to are  newly naturalized citizens, a rising block of voters. In Washington, there are over 86,000 citizens who naturalized between 2016 and 2020. Naturalized immigrants are 1 in 10 eligible voters in the U.S.

“I’ve been knocking on doors supporting Marie Perez, and I talked to many voters who’ve recently become citizens and voted for the first time,” shared Ruiz. “It’s a huge accomplishment, one thanks to years of hard work by organizers and OneAmerica Votes. That’s why I got involved with community organizations like OneAmerica Votes. We have the power to shape the outcome across the country, in Washington, and right here at home.” 

Perez’s win represents not just a win for immigrant power, but also an outright rejection of fascism and proof that strong candidates coupled with long term community organizing can win elections.

“This win proves what we’ve known all along: immigrants will win when we organize,” says Roxana Norouzi, CEO of OneAmerica Votes. “We’re sending people like us, who share our lived experiences and will bring that perspective to their role governing into congress.

“Today is a huge victory and one that we will keep building on by supporting Marie and other pro-immigrant candidates to govern on our platform. OAV and leaders like Glicerio and Elizabeth will continue to organize across SW WA to ensure we have pro-immigrant, BIPOC candidates representing our community at every level of government. It happens vote by vote, candidate by candidate, race by race.

Together we organize, elect people like us, and we transform our government for the better.” 

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About OneAmerica Votes

OneAmerica Votes promotes democracy and builds power in immigrant and refugee communities through advocacy, civic engagement and leadership development.

Gluesenkamp Perez Wins!

Magaly Smith Uncategorized

Saturday evening, we received some incredible news out of southwest Washington. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, a pro-immigrant candidate endorsed by OneAmerica Votes, claimed victory over her far-right opponent, ending 12 years of Republican control of Washington’s third congressional district.

Major pollster Five Thirty Eight gave us a 2% chance of winning this seat. Major political consultants and party officials agreed–but we knew our community better.

Instead, it became one of only 6 house seats across the country that were flipped.

Her win is the result of decades of organizing and electoral work in southwest Washington. In a race as close as this, every voter-to-voter conversation matters. As of right now, there are just over 5,000 votes between Marie and Kent–we contacted 20,000 voters in the 3rd and helped close that gap. Our door-to-door canvassing, phone banking and mail helped make immigrants a significant and clear margin of victory for this race.

Over the years, our political programs have persuaded voters based on issues and our vision of a Thriving Home for all in Washington state. Alongside Gluesenkamp Perez’s campaign and the work of other local organizations, we lifted the political power of disenfranchised voters and won new leadership for our base.

This win proves what we’ve known all along: immigrants win when we organize.

This win belongs solely to the community and organizations like OneAmerica Votes who committed to a long term strategy to transform this district. It belongs to people like OneAmerica Votes staff and leaders like Glicerio Zurita and Elizabeth Ruiz, who have been organizing immigrant communities in Southwest Washington for over 10 years to flip the 3rd Congressional seat.

Immigrants fought to reject fascism and instead elected a strong visionary Latina woman to congress.

And not only this! This was our most successful year of voter contact work. We reached over 35,000 New American and immigrant voters across the state. As a result we also retained our democratic majorities in the state legislature, proving that there is in fact a rising immigrant electorate, and sending new champions like Darya Farivar, Sharlett Mena, Emily Alvarado and Julie Reed (just to name a few) to the legislature.

These victories belong to all of us. It belongs to our leaders on the ground, our staff making political moves, and our donors and board members who have supported us through long years of organizing and ground building.

We will continue to organize across Washington. We will ensure we have pro-immigrant, BIPOC candidates representing our community at every level of government. It happens vote by vote, candidate by candidate, race by race.

Together we organize, elect people like us, and transform our government for the better.

Big Wins in the Primaries Build Momentum for Big Wins in the Generals!

Allison Carney Uncategorized

Our endorsed candidates won BIG in the primaries. As of August 11th, 25/26 of our candidates are moving on to the general election (full list below)!! As a testament to how our votes make a difference, Senate endorsee Satwinder Kaur (Legislative District 47) is neck and neck with Democrat Claudia Kauffman, so we’ll have to wait until all ballots are counted to determine who will move forward in that race.

It’s great to see so many pro-immigrant champions heading to the general election, but the fight doesn’t end here. Building our thriving home here in Washington – a state where immigrants and refugees are equal, valued and loved – requires lifting these candidates to RISE and WIN.

RACES TO WATCH

The stakes are high. We’ve made so much progress in the last 10 years, electing record numbers of pro-immigrant leaders of color to local, state and federal elected offices. But right now, we’re at risk of losing our pro-immigrant majority in the state legislature and in Congress – leading to deep and lasting harm. This means we have GET OUT THE VOTE and make sure our communities are making their voices heard at the ballot box.  

The power is in our hands to vote out the people who want to block change OR elect leaders who’ll create a new way forward. It’s time for us to elect a larger majority of pro-immigrant champions at all levels of government to get our priorities over the finish line. 

We’ll be keeping a close watch on the following races (and will have opportunities to get out the vote in some of these communities, so keep a lookout!): 

  • Legislative District 47 Senate: Still undecided with our endorsed candidate Satwinder Kaur neck in neck with another Democratic challenger. This race will be a top priority to ensure Republicans do not flip this seat back.  
  • Legislative District 47 House Position 2: We successfully fended off a Republican taking this seat and will advance to the general with two amazing BIPOC leaders vying for the seat: Chris Stearns and Shukri Olow.  
  • Legislative District 30 House Positions 1 & 2: Our endorsed candidates fared well in the primaries, but we need to ensure we retain both seats. 
  • Congressional District 8: We must re-elect Kim Schrier, retain this congressional seat and not let it flip republican!  

TAKE ACTION WITH US ON SEPTEMBER 10TH

OneAmerica Votes is serious about holding our elected leaders accountable once elected. That’s why we will be coming together with our slate of endorsed candidates on September 10th for a Public Meeting to build our collective power and demand our representatives support our vision of a thriving home for immigrants and refugees in Washington State. You won’t want to miss it!  

More details to come soon. This event will be in-person in South King County.  

ONEAMERICA VOTES CANDIDATES HEADED TO THE GENERAL

Congratulations to all of our endorsed candidates heading to the general!  

  • 26th LD Senate Emily Randall 
  • 27th LD Senate Yasmin Trudeau 
  • 30th LD Senate Claire Wilson 
  • 34th LD Senate Joe Ngyuen 
  • 37th LD Senate Rebecca Saldana 
  • 45th LD Senate Manka Dhingra 
  • 46th LD Senate Javier Valdez 
  • 21st LD House Pos 1 Lillian Ortiz-Self 
  • 29th LD House Pos 1 Melanie Morgan 
  • 29th LD House Pos 2 Sharlett Mena 
  • 30th LD House Pos 1 Jamila Taylor 
  • 30th LD House Pos 2 Kristine Reeves 
  • 32nd LD House Pos 2 Cindy Ryu 
  • 33rd LD House Pos 1 Tina Orwall 
  • 33rd LD House Pos 2 Mia Gregerson 
  • 34th LD House Pos 1 Emily Alvardao 
  • 37th LD House Pos 1 Sharon Tomiko Santos 
  • 40th LD House Pos 1 Debra Lekanoff 
  • 41st LD House Pos 2 My-Linh Thai 
  • 44th LD House Pos 1 Brandy Donaghy 
  • 44th LD House Pos 2 April Berg 
  • 47th LD House Pos 1 Shukri Olow 
  • 47th LD House Pos 1 – Chris Stearns 
  • 48th LD House Pos 1 – Vandana Slatter 
  • 7th CD House Pramila Jayapal 

OneAmerica Votes Announces 2022 Primary Endorsements

Magaly Smith Uncategorized

Our vision is for a thriving home, a place where immigrants and refugees are equal, valued and loved. To get there, we need people like us and legislative champions represented everywhere decisions for our communities are made. 

We’ve made so much progress in the last 10 years, electing record numbers of pro-immigrant community leaders and leaders of color to Washington’s local, state and federal elected offices. But right now, we’re at risk of backsliding. We could lose our pro-immigrant majority in the state legislature and in Congress – leading to deep and lasting harm for our communities.

OneAmerica Votes leaders, board members and allies understand what’s at stake. We came together to interview candidates, to ensure they will champion a thriving home for immigrants in Washington State, and made decisions to endorse pro-immigrant candidates for Washington State’s primary election. We will continue to add candidates in the coming weeks.

We know that when we work together to LIFT champions, support brave leaders to run, and turn out our communities, we are building power towards creating the thriving home we need. Are you ready to vote? Make sure you’re registered and learn what’s on your ballot this summer by visiting the Vote Washington Website and entering your name and birthday.

Join us in supporting these pro-immigrant candidates to RISE.

OneAmerica Votes Endorses Two Powerful Women of Color for the 2022 Election

Magaly Smith Uncategorized

OneAmerica Votes is proud to announce our endorsement of two courageous and powerful women of color–Sharlett Mena for the 29th Legislative District House and Yasmin Trudeau for the 27th Legislative District Senate!

In 2020 OneAmerica Votes interviewed and endorsed Sharlett, the daughter of Mexican immigrants, for her first run, where she came just a few votes from winning, since then, Sharlett has not stopped organizing. We’ve worked together to register voters in the 29th LD throughout 2021 and to pass legislation that would strengthen the WA Voting Rights Act. We know that Sharlett is going to be a fierce legislator and will work to govern with our communities once elected.

Yasmin began her journey in public life at our sister organization, OneAmerica, in 2008 as an intern fighting for federal immigration reform. Since then, she’s continued to organize and advocate for immigrants and all people of color as a legislative staffer and through her work at the Attorney General’s office. Yasmin was appointed through a democratic process to the 27th LD Senate Seat in 2021 and we’re proud to endorse her as she seeks her first election.

OneAmerica Votes is committed to building a movement to elect immigrant, refugee and BIPOC women of color across the state of Washington who share our values and are committed to working alongside us to change the racist, xenophobic and classist systems that continue to harm our communities.

Elections are about us, and we showed up in 2021.

Magaly Smith Uncategorized

Immigrant and refugee voters are powerful–when we run for office and organize our friends, families, and neighbors to vote for their values, we win.  

The 2021 election was no different. 

While national elections got the media attention, candidates of color across Washington State defeated anti-immigrant opponents. We won school boards, city councils, and port commissioner seats, ensuring pro-immigrant leadership that represents us and our values. 

During another election year in a pandemic OneAmerica Votes organized. Over the span of 10 weeks, 82 OAV volunteers knocked on 760 doors, filled 170 phone and text banking shifts, and hosted 20 events across the state. Thank you to our dedicated OAV volunteer leaders and David Ayala Fellows for making this happen! 

Our volunteers getting out the vote!

We reached 46,309 voters this election, where many races were decided by fewer than 100 votes. We closed the gap for our endorsed candidates. OAV immigrant leaders texted, called and door-knocked immigrant, refugee and young voters who are not traditionally reached by campaigns. Our work made the difference. Moving forward, we will continue to organize a powerful base of immigrant and refugee voters across WA state to center our issues, and elect our champions, people like us, into office. 

After a hard-fought election, we celebrate historic victories: 

  • Port of Seattle Commission: hired not one, but two directly-impacted, powerful women of color: Hamdi Mohamed and Toshiko Grace Hasegawa.  
  • SeaTac City Council: after years of work organizing in coalition, pro-immigrants candidates three pro-immigrant candidates, Iris Guzmán, Mohamed Egal, and Jake Simpson, flipped SeaTac City Council to a progressive majority
  • Vancouver: we elected Diana Perez and Sandra Zavala-Ortega, two candidates who will put the needs of our immigrant communities to the forefront of their work. 
  • Yakima: after years of organizing for a just democracy, we elected a progressive, Latino to Yakima City Council and defeated an attack from the right, re-electing Graciela Villanueva to her schoolboard seat. 
  • School Board: 88% of our endorsed candidates won their races. Shout out to the Women of Color in Education Committee! 

We congratulate all OneAmerica Votes endorsed candidates who won their races: 

  • Hamdi Mohamed, Port of Seattle Commission Position 3 
  • Toshiko Grace Hasegawa, Port of Seattle Commission Position 4  
  • Teresa Mosqueda, Seattle City Council Position 8 
  • Vivian Song Martiz, Seattle School Board Position 4 
  • Michelle Sarju, Seattle School Board Position 5 
  • Jane Aras, Bellevue School Board Position 5 
  • Hugo Garcia, Burien City Council Position 1 
  • Jimmy Matta, Burien City Council Position 3 
  • Trudy Davis, Federal Way School Board Position 5 
  • Brenda Fincher, Kent City Council Position 6 
  • Ruth Perez, Renton City Council Position 6 
  • Jake Simpson, Seatac City Council Position 2 
  • Mohamed Egal, Seatac City Council Position 4 
  • Iris Guzmán, Seatac City Council Position 6 
  • Mohamed Abdi, Tukwila City Council Position 5 
  • De’Sean Quinn, Tukwila City Council Position 7 
  • Diana Perez, Vancouver City Council Position 3 
  • Sandra Zavala-Ortega, Vancouver School Board Position 2 
  • Danny Herrera, Yakima City Council Position 2 
  • Graciela Villanueva, Yakima School Board Position 1 
  • Kathy Mulkerin, Walla Walla School Board Position 1 
  • Rami Al-Kabra, Bothell City Council Position 7 
Photo from OAV’s post-election press conference with our endorsed candidates: Vivian Song Martiz, Hamdi Mohamed, and Iris Guzmán

To the brave candidates who ran for office, centered community members and issues, but didn’t make it across the finish line this year, we thank you for advancing our issues and doing your part in building a stronger Democracy. Let’s keep building. We are proud of all of our endorsed candidates for having the courage and leadership to run and stand up for our communities. Their campaigns challenged stereotypes, centered the issues most important to our communities, built connections with voters, and registered new voters – all things that will launch us forward with greater power into 2022. 

Energized by our victories? Donate to support our work today! 

Below is a snapshot of our wins!

OneAmerica Votes’ General Election Endorsements

Magaly Smith Uncategorized

This election season is underway and primary ballots are being sent out across the state. Are you ready to vote? Make sure you’re registered and learn what’s on your ballot this summer by visiting the Vote Washington Website and entering your name and birthday.

Don’t know where the closest ballot drop box is? Find it here!

We know that when we elect leaders from our community, we elect people who put US first. It’s our time, a time to take big steps towards childcare for all and a healthy recovery from COVID-19. It’s time to make our home a place with a thriving, inclusive democracy that welcomes immigrants and invests in communities. To do that, we need a government that represents us and reflects our lived experiences.

We are proud to announce our general endorsements and new candidates, including Hanan Amer, Kim-Khahn Van, Rami Al-Kabra, Nazir Harb Michel, and Naghmana Sherazi!

This year we have the opportunity to elect candidates who deeply understand our experience because they share it. Candidates who are proven community leaders who have experienced immigration, being a refugee and struggling with poverty, and who are ready to lead with power and a progressive, pro-immigrant vision.  

We can’t leave any power on the table this year – it’s time to vote, turn out our neighbors and our communities, and lift women of color into local offices that will directly impact our lives. It’s our time, and when women and nonbinary candidates win, we all win! 

OneAmerica Votes Announces Second Round of 2021 Endorsements

Magaly Smith Uncategorized

This election season is underway and primary ballots are being sent out across the state. Are you ready to vote? Make sure you’re registered and learn what’s on your ballot this summer by visiting the Vote Washington Website and entering your name and birthday.

Don’t know where the closest ballot drop box is? Find it here!

We know that when we elect leaders from our community, we elect people who put US first. It’s our time, a time to take big steps towards childcare for all and a healthy recovery from COVID-19. It’s time to make our home a place with a thriving, inclusive democracy that welcomes immigrants and invests in communities. To do that, we need a government that represents us and reflects our lived experiences.

We are proud to announce our second round of endorsements, including Lorena Gonzalez, Sandra Zavala-Ortega, and Iris Guzman as exciting, progressive, pro-immigrant leaders.

This year we have the opportunity to elect candidates who deeply understand our experience because they share it. Candidates who are proven community leaders who have experienced immigration, being a refugee and struggling with poverty, and who are ready to lead with power and a progressive, pro-immigrant vision.  

We can’t leave any power on the table this year – it’s time to vote, turn out our neighbors and our communities, and lift women of color into local offices that will directly impact our lives. It’s our time, and when women of color win, we all win! 

JOIN US: Women of Color Rise: It’s Our Time

Magaly Smith Uncategorized

Join us for a virtual event and fundraiser form women of color running for office in Washington State!

Where: Virtual – Via Zoom and Facebook live
When: Thursday, July 22nd 7 PM-8 PM

When we elect leaders from our community, we elect people who put US first. For too long our elected officials have attempted to speak for us or put our needs, the needs of communities of color, immigrants and women last. We need authentic representation.

This year we have the opportunity to elect candidates who deeply understand our experience because they share it. It’s time to lift progressive, pro-immigrant women of color to office. It’s our time, and when women of color win, we ALL win.

*All funds contributed to OAVJF will go to progressive women of color candidates running for office who have been endorsed by our board via the Grassroots Leadership and Youth Council, immigrants and refugees who lead and inspire OneAmerica’s work. Donations to the OAVJF are not tax-deductible.*

OneAmerica Votes Announces First Round of 2021 Endorsements

Magaly Smith Uncategorized

We know that when we elect leaders from our community, we elect people who put US first. It’s our time, a time to take big steps towards childcare for all and a healthy recovery from COVID-19. It’s time to make our home a place with a thriving, inclusive democracy that welcomes immigrants and invests in communities. To do that, we need a government that represents us and reflects our lived experiences. 

For too long our elected officials have attempted to speak for us or put our needs, the needs of communities of color and immigrants, last. We need authentic representation, and allyship is not enough. Our childcare system has been left devastated by the pandemic at a time when it’s most needed, and while we saw major investments through the legislature this year, local government must continue to prioritize early education and a healthy COVID-19 recovery for all. We need to take more steps at home to make sure our state welcomes immigrants and invests in community supports, not systems that harm Black and brown bodies.

This year we have the opportunity to elect candidates who deeply understand our experience, because they share it. OneAmerica Votes is excited to announce our first round of 2021 Endorsements which include three powerful women of color candidates who are proven community leaders that are ready to lead with power and a progressive, pro-immigrant vision.

We can’t leave any power on the table this year – it’s time to vote, turn out our neighbors and our communities and lift women of color into local offices that will directly impact our lives. It’s our time, and when women of color win, we all win!

Read more about these candidates by visiting our 2021 Endorsements webpage.