Dear MoveOn member,
On a spring Sunday in 1965, I, along with hundreds of courageous men and women, marched out of Selma, Alabama, to demand our right to vote. A wall of state troopers demanded that we turn back, and as we stood in silent prayer, they gassed us and beat us bloody. Our act awoke the moral outrage of our nation, ushering in the Voting Rights Act and the promise of political representation for Black people.
Yet more than 50 years later, too few Black people serve in Congress—and even fewer Black women win congressional seats.
This year, we have a chance to change that. Black women candidates are making headlines and changing the odds. And now, we can make sure that Black women have the power to lead us all in the fights against white supremacy, misogyny, and economic inequality—and for universal health care, criminal justice reform, systemic reforms to support working families, and so much more.
Will you join me by chipping in $3 to Lucy McBath, Lauren Underwood, and Linda Coleman—three incredible Black women change-makers running in tight races for Congress? One hundred percent of your contribution will go directly to their campaigns.
Let me tell you a little bit about these three inspiring Black women candidates and why I would be so honored to serve with them in Congress:
- Lucy McBath, here in Georgia, is the mother of Jordan Davis, a Black teenager who was shot and killed at a gas station by a white man who didn't like his music. Following Jordan's murder, Lucy became a national leader in Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense. President Barack Obama invited her to the White House for an address on gun violence, she spoke at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, and she has testified before Congress on the dangers of "stand your ground" laws. A two-time breast cancer survivor and daughter of two medical professionals, Lucy understands the importance of quality, affordable health care. She's also focused on bringing high-paying jobs to the Atlanta metro area, protecting a woman's right to chose, and safeguarding the environment.1
- Lauren Underwood in Illinois knows firsthand the real-life importance of quality, affordable health care for working families and their children, both from her career in health care and as a person living with a pre-existing condition. She is a nurse who served in President Obama's administration.2 When the incumbent, Republican Representative Randy Hultgren, voted to take away health care from millions of Americans, Lauren stepped up to run. Over the past several months, her incredible campaign has turned a race that wasn't supposed to be in play to what now looks to be a very close race.3
- Linda Coleman in North Carolina has served as a teacher, county commissioner, state legislator, and the state director of human resources. She has always worked to solve problems and promote the well-being of working families.4 Her opponent, George Holding, is heir to a banking fortune and was one of the key architects of the Trump tax giveaways to billionaires like himself. Despite his major fundraising advantage, a recent poll gave Linda Coleman a 1-point lead in the race.5
Now, let's support these inspirational Black women running for Congress, all endorsed by MoveOn members, who will bring their principled—and much-needed—vision to Washington.
Before the 2016 election, only 35 Black women from 15 states had ever served in the U.S. Congress.6
In 2016, California Senator Kamala Harris became the first Black woman in the Senate in nearly 20 years—and she is only the second Black woman senator in our nation's history.7
Isn't it time that Black women stopped being behind the scenes and started being in charge?
All of us would be lucky to live in a country led by brilliant Black women lawmakers, such as Lucy, Lauren, and Linda. They are running on platforms full of transformative ideas to take on the rigged system and push for social, economic, and racial justice. And I know that they'll fight hard and smart for the future that we all dream of.
I'm grateful to be in this fight together with you.
–Congressman John Lewis of Georgia
P.S. Black women are the backbone of the progressive movement and are fiercely determined voters. In the Alabama special election last year, Democratic Senator Doug Jones' upset win was widely credited to Black women, who overcame disgusting GOP voter suppression to turn out at historic levels.8
1. "About Lucy," Lucy McBeth for Congress, accessed October 9, 2018
2. "Meet Lauren," Lauren Underwood for Congress, accessed October 9, 2018
3. "We polled voters in Illinois's 14th Congressional District," The New York Times, accessed October 9, 2018
4. "About Linda," Linda Coleman for Congress, accessed October 9, 2018
5. "GOP Super PAC Airs First North Carolina Ad for House Race," Roll Call, September 26, 2018
6. "Women of Color in Congress," United States House of Representatives, History, Art & Archives, accessed October 9, 2018
7. Ibid.8. "Twitter thanks #BlackWomen for voting for Democrat Doug Jones in Alabama Senate election," USA Today, December 13, 2018
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