by Max Reyes
SFVYD Editorial Director
Democrats now have the great fortune of controlling the Oval Office and being the majority party on Capitol Hill. But let’s not get too confident. It is a critical time for young Democrats to remain involved with politics and recruit others to do the same. As you know, the elections will be held on Tuesday, November 2nd and Republicans are attempting to make a comeback to defeat and unseat as many Democrats as possible. Nothing shocking, but we’ve all heard about the strong possibility that the GOP actually has a shot at winning the lower House back.
According to an article in “The Hill,” non-partisan political analysts are actually backing up this claim. The article sites that the Cook Political Report, a well-known race ratings newsletter, indicates that “over a two-month span [between June and August], an additional 12 Democratic-held congressional seats have moved into ‘toss-up’ territory from previous ‘likely Democrat’ or ‘lean Democrat’ categories.” I checked out the website for their latest projections and there are a total of 38 Democratic-held seats in trouble, while only two Republican-held districts are contested.
We have to remain diligent in the fight to keep our fellow Democrats in their seats as well as elect more into political office. The Republicans’ refusal to work with us at both state and federal levels has set back needed reforms. For one, the California political deadlock we face year after year with the state budget has caused important programs in areas such as health and childcare to be largely underfunded. For the budget that just passed, Democrats were willing to compromise with the other party by making cuts to certain programs, but Republicans didn’t budge to increase any revenue to fund necessary social services in our state.
At the federal level, Republicans are refusing to work across party lines to help President Obama fix our nation. In a Rolling Stones interview, President Obama stated, “I still remember going over to the Republican Caucus to meet with them and present our ideas [from the recovery package]…to solicit ideas from them before we presented the final package. And on the way over, the Caucus essentially released a statement that said, ‘We're going to all vote ‘No’ as a caucus.’ And this was before we'd even had the conversation.” But yet when the Reps. run for office, they blame us for being inefficient. They would rather play political games to advance themselves even if it hurts the people they were elected to represent.
Not only do we have to keep close-minded Republicans out of office, but we also have to work hard to keep unqualified candidates from being elected. I hardly think candidates, such as Meg Whitman, with no vote history would benefit our State. While new and fresh perspectives help invigorate our government, Whitman’s conservative goals and objectives are setting herself up for failure. She would be working with a Legislature with a Democratic majority and seven other elected State Executives that wouldn’t be accountable to her. For instance, recall the series of legal battles between Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and State Controller John Chiang when the latter refused to follow the former’s order of reducing state worker pay to the federal minimum wage.
These are just few of the many reasons you should get involved if you aren’t already in the mix. If we don’t get enough of our fellow Democrats involved during the last push for the upcoming election, we risk having out-of-touch Republican Tea Party members and candidates lacking a vote history running our government, further setting back highly needed reforms for the common person and disadvantaged communities. There are a myriad of opportunities to become involved including phone banking, precinct walking, and asking your friends and family to join you. Campaigns are always looking for volunteers to help out. The Democratic Party of the San Fernando Valley (DPSFV) office holds phone banks regularly. I highly encourage you to contact their office to find out more at (818) 995-DEMS. You can also come to SFVYD general meetings, join our mailing list and Facebook page to be kept up-to-date on political happenings.