Washington, DC -- Today, Forward Majority, a Democratic effort to win critical state legislative races in targeted states ahead of the 2021 redistricting process, launched with the endorsement of Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA), Congressman Joe Kennedy III (D-MA), and Governor John Hickenlooper (D-CO).
Forward Majority, created by Obama campaign veterans and new talent from the business world, aims to create Democratic majorities in legislatures across key states in advance of 2021 to ensure a fair and functional redistricting process. This would erase the structural political advantage that Republicans have benefited from nationally over the last decade, one that has led to an estimated 18 seats in the House of Representatives that Republicans control due to partisan gerrymandering.
Beginning in 2017 in Virginia, Forward Majority will prototype its model. There, they will focus on winning back legislative seats from Republican incumbents by improving Democratic candidate performance with both persuasion and turnout efforts run through targeted independent expenditure campaigns.
Forward Majority will launch comprehensive, data-driven voter contact programs via digital, mail, social media, SMS and grassroots outreach, organizing down to the precinct level.
“As an organization, we have a singular goal: to take back state legislative chambers in key states across the country,” said Forward Majority Executive Director David Cohen. “Not only do state legislatures control much of the redistricting process, they are also a key talent pipeline, help build our grassroots infrastructure, and are the first line of defense against the most extreme policies. It is not enough to resist. We need a proactive plan to win back power and defend our values.”
"Democrats believe in a system that treats every American with dignity and decency, no matter their color, creed or identity," said Congressman Joe Kennedy III. "From the Trump Administration's assault on basic civil rights to the GOP's coordinated voter suppression campaign and rampant partisan gerrymandering, that system is under attack today. Forward Majority will help us defend the Democratic Party's firmest ideals from the front lines of our local communities, driving both progressive policies and the candidates who will champion them."
Specifically, Forward Majority will aim to flip six to eight chambers in 2018, and six to eight more in 2020, roughly representing 130 state House races and 60 state Senate races.
“To start, we are going to put seats in play that expand the map of competitive districts in the Virginia House of Delegates,” said Forward Majority Chief Operating Officer Vicky Hausman. “To win, we will run powerful, efficient campaigns to support Democratic legislative candidates and bring the necessary muscle to win state chambers back for Democrats. Virginia is considered one of the most gerrymandered states at the legislative level, and the map is rigged to Republicans’ advantage.”
In Virginia, there are 100 seats, 66 of which are held by Republicans, and Democrats must win 17 seats to flip the chamber and win back the majority. Hillary Clinton carried 51 of 100 districts, and each of the GOP districts which had no Democratic challenger in the last cycle, now has a candidate.
"We face unprecedented challenges to our democratic traditions and ideals," said Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper. "We need to have an honest, balanced national conversation on civil liberties, healthcare and the environment. We need to reform our justice system and make sure everyone has the training to be part of the 21st century economy. To do this, it's imperative we have representation that reflects America, so we can reignite the flame of bipartisan work in the best traditions of our country."
Forward Majority’s team consists of alums from the Obama campaigns, political operatives from state and local races, and veterans from the world of social justice and change.
Congressman Kennedy and Congressman Moulton are not asking for more than $5,000 from individuals or other federally permissible sources. Congressman Kennedy and Moulton are not asking for any funds from corporations, labor unions, or any other federally prohibited sources.