Voters Support Health Care, Economic Justice, New and Diverse Leaders

Washington, DC, November 8, 2018—On Tuesday, millions of voters defied anti-immigrant and racist rhetoric and turned out in the highest numbers seen since 1914 for a midterm election. The election resulted in big wins for health care and the minimum wage, rejection of last year’s tax cut for the wealthy, and adoption through referendum of important criminal justice reforms in Florida, Colorado, and Louisiana. The shift in power in the U.S. House of Representatives will include an extraordinary new group of leaders who are far more likely to be young, female, and people of color than those who preceded them. Voters also supported a major shift in state governorships and legislatures with strong and reform-minded leaders elected to other critical roles in the economic and racial justice agenda, such as state attorneys general and district attorneys.

“After two years of fighting back against repeal of the Affordable Care Act, devastation of core federal programs for low-income people, and a national agenda directly aimed at harming immigrants and people of color, these results offer an opportunity,” said Olivia Golden, executive director of the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP). “We must still fight to bring accountability and transparency to the damage done to low-income people by the current Congress and Trump Administration. Yet at the same time, the new leadership in the U.S. House, combined with reform-minded new governors and state legislatures, offers the opportunity to advance a strong, positive agenda for low-income workers, parents, and students. This agenda includes health care, jobs with good wages and benefits, child care, and an end to attacks on immigrants and people of color. We congratulate these newly elected members of Congress and state officials and look forward to working with both new and old officeholders on policies that support the people who elected them.”

“Voters have emphatically spoken up to demand change—particularly for low-income people, immigrants, and communities of color. Voters expect the momentum from Tuesday’s election will create policies to help their families and communities achieve economic justice, and CLASP stands ready to help. Members of Congress, governors, and state legislators heard the call and must now act to deliver,” said Golden.