2018 Midterm Elections: People Like Us Claim Our Power

With OneAmerica Votes leading the way, people like us are creating a movement to claim our power at the ballot at the local, state, and federal level. We knocked on 9,800 doors. We made 8,700 calls. We registered 1,200 voters. We elected 22 out of 29 OAV-endorsed candidates.

Victories for OAV-endorsed people like us – pro-immigrant, progressive legislators like Debra Entenman, My-Linh Thai, Joe Nguyen, Bill Ramos, Claire Wilson and Dr. Kim Schrier who is leading in the 8th Congressional District – signal the power of the immigrant rights movement and the energy and commitment of our grassroots leaders and volunteers.

New American and infrequent voters turned out in immigrant communities across Washington State, because people like us from our communities reached out to our communities. Our grassroots leaders turned out at least 5,700 voters as of Tuesday afternoon. In the end, 23 out of 29 OAV-endorsed candidates won in the general election. Read our press release and watch the video of our press conference here. Read our press release and watch the video of our press conference here.’

Click here for the news story by Q13 Fox.

OneAmerica Votes’ work was led every step of the way by our immigrant and refugee grassroots leaders rooted in the immigrant rights movement. Community leaders led a rigorous endorsement process to interview, ask tough questions, decide on key strategic and values-aligned endorsements, and hold candidates accountable.

With meaningful gains by pro-immigrant legislators in Washington State, our state is ready with a progressive agenda driven by our leaders focused on improving education for dual-language learners and protecting our neighbors from Trump’s harmful federal policies.

With a Democratic House of Representatives in Washington, DC, we’re ready to stand strong against harmful policies coming from the administration that seek to divide or scapegoat our communities. We can confidently move forward with permanent protections for DACA youth and effective oversight over unaccountable deportation agencies charged by the President to tear our families apart.

OneAmerica Votes proved wrong the disempowering narratives that our communities don’t vote and aren’t engaged, and rejected the harmful rhetoric and actions of the administration. Our communities proved that when we claim our power, we #UniteTheVote, we show up, and we win real victories for our communities.

And for the record number of people of color candidates and for the progressive allies who ran but lost in their election bids, Thank You!  Your courage and leadership are clearing the path for future candidates of color.  Just by running for office and challenging stereotypes, building connections with voters, registering new voters and fighting for issues important to our communities, you already won!

A Deeper Dive

On Tuesday night, Congressional Democrats reclaimed the majority in the United States House of Representatives, but we saw significant gains in our state as well.

US House of Representatives
  • Kim Schrier is poised to join the new Democratic, pro-immigrant majority with nearly 53% of the vote in the 8th congressional district.
  • In southwestern Washington, Carolyn Long challenged Republican incumbent Jaime Herrera Beutler, taking nearly 48% of the vote at this point in the vote count. Even if Long fails to close the gap, she is already succeeding in forcing Herrera Beutler to moderate her positions on issues important to immigrant and refugee communities.
State Legislature
  • OAV-endorsed candidates Debra Entenman, Debra Lekanoff, My-Linh ThaiBill Ramos, and Mona Das are poised to significantly increase the number of Representatives from communities of color in the House of Representatives.
  • With 49.35% of the vote in the 17th Legislative District of the votes counted thus far, Tanisha Harris has a shot at joining them.
  • Joe Nguyen (34th Legislative District) and My-Linh Thai are the first Vietnamese Americans to serve in the State Legislature.
  • With just under 50% of the vote in their races, Mona Das and Pinky Vargas are two powerful women of color within striking distance of defeating incumbent Republican Senators.
  • OneAmerica Votes friend and ally Claire Wilson captured the Republican-controlled Senate seat in the 30th Legislative District, and Emily Randall holds a narrow lead in her bid to capture another Senate seat in the 26th Legislative District.
  • With just under 50% of the vote in her race, Pinky Vargas is within striking distance of defeating the incumbent Republican Senator in the 42nd Legislative District.
  • And in the judiciary, Supreme Court Justice Steve Gonzalez won his re-election campaign against an unqualified challenger, affirming that credentials, experience and voter contact matter in judicial contests.
Ballot Measures
  • Washington voters approved Initiative 940, which will require de-escalation training for law enforcement officers, change the standard for the prosecution of police involved in unjustified homicides, and require the provision of first aid for injured individuals in police custody
  • On the other hand, Initiative 1631 is currently down by more than 10 percentage points due to a massive barrage of misleading campaign ads bought by the out-of-state oil industry that broke records for spending in Washington elections. The “no” campaign even mailed a false list of Latino-owned businesses it claimed opposed the initiative.  If enacted, I-1631 would put a fee on carbon to discourage the burning of pollution-causing fossil fuels contributing to climate change and invest revenue from the fee into initiatives to boost the clean energy economy, offset the financial impact of the fee on lower-income households, and support workers transitioning out of the fossil fuel industry.  As the vote count continues, it’s clear that oil companies are desperately afraid of I-1631 and the unprecedented coalition and campaign that came together behind it.
  • At the local level, our friends from Everett Districts Now, in a bid to expand democracy, forced the City of Everett to put a measure on the ballot to shift the City’s election system from at large elections to single-member district elections, and the campaign’s preferred option (5 districts, 2 at large seats) garnered the most votes.
  • In the City of Seattle, voters passed the Families and Education Levy, which will invest property tax revenue into initiatives to close the opportunity gap for lower-income students of color, including initiatives long-advocated by OneAmerica.

Collectively, OneAmerica Votes worked in conjunction with national networks of organizations to lift up the voices of under-represented communities.  Through FIRM Action, OAV was part of a nationally-coordinated strategy that reached a total of 2.2 million voters in 17 states that sought to flip 15 House Seats, including Washington’s 8th Congressional District, six governors races and six senate races.  Through People’s Action, OAV and our national partners knocked on more than 1 million doors and had more than 334,000 conversations with voters in targeted communities across the United States, including in the 3rd and 8th Congressional Districts.

Thank You! to the OneAmerica Votes staff who organized 225 canvass shifts, 198 phone-banking shifts, organized 5 ballot parties, texted 3,400 voters, mailed 12,200 mail-pieces, attempted nearly 20,000 voter contacts, and registered 1,200 new voters.  Special thanks go to the grassroots leaders and volunteers who made this work possible.

In Yakima alone, we knocked on more than 4,000 doors, made 1,500 calls, texted 1,131 voters and organized 112 phone bank and canvass shifts in support of Initiative 1631.

In Vancouver, we knocked on 2,200 doors, made 1,000 calls, and organized 99 phone bank and canvass shifts in support of Carolyn Long in the 3rd Congressional District and Tanisha Harris in the 17th Legislative District.

And thank you to the donors and partners who contributed to our efforts to elect people like us to office and to advance critical policy initiatives at the state and local level.

Below data as of 6:30pm 11/9/18

Position Candidate Standing %
CD 1, US Representative Suzan DelBene Winning 59.22%
CD 3, US Representative Carolyn Long Losing 47.14%
CD 5, US Representative Lisa Brown Losing 44.82%
CD 7, US Representative Pramila Jayapal Winning 83.43%
CD 8, US Representative Kim Schrier Winning 52.68%
CD 9, US Representative Adam Smith Winning 68.34%
LD 5, Representative, Position 1 Bill Ramos Winning 51.40%
LD 5, Representative, Position 2 Lisa Callan Winning 52.12%
LD 17, Representative, Position 1 Tanisha Harris Losing 49.07%
LD 21, Representative, Position 2 Lilian Ortiz-Self Winning 65.21%
LD 26, Senator Emily Randall Losing 49.83%
LD 30, Representative, Position 1 Mike Pellicciotti Winning 61.03%
LD 30, Representative, Position 2 Kristine Reeves Winning 64.10%
LD 30, Senator Claire Wilson Winning 53.97%
LD 31, Senator Immaculate Ferreira Losing 40.19%
LD 31, Representative, Position 1 Victoria Mena Losing 41.10%
LD 32, Representative, Position 1 Cindy Ryu Winning 75.83%
LD 33, Representative, Position 2 Mia Gregerson Winning 67.73%
LD 34, Senator Joe Nguyen Winning 58.14%
LD 37, Senator Rebecca Saldana Winning 88.98%
LD 40, Representative, Position 1 Debra Lekanoff Winning 69.31%
LD 41, Representative, Position 2 My-Linh Thai Winning 65.34%
LD 42, Senator Pinky Vargas Losing 49.95%
LD 45, Senator Manka Dhingra Winning 63.21%
LD 47, Senator Mona Das Winning 50.51%
LD 47, Representative, Position 1 Debra Entenman Winning 53.17%
LD 49, Representative, Position 2 Monica Stonier Winning 100.00%
State Supreme Court, Position 8 Steve Gonzalez Winning 67.88%
State Supreme Court, Position 9 Sheryl McCloud Winning 100.00%
Initiative Recommendation
Initiative 940 Recommend YES Passing 59.54%
Initiative 1631 Recommend YES Not Passing 43.51%
Initiative 1634 Recommend NO Passing 44.56%
Initiative 1639 Recommend YES Passing 59.83%
Everett Proposition 1 Recommend: Vote to Approve Districts Approved 53.75%
Everett Proposition 2 Recommend: Vote for 5 Districts, 2 Citywide Option A Selected 53.99%
Seattle Families & Education Levy Recommend YES Passing 68.69%