It’s been just over four months since we launched — time for an update.
First, some news: We’re excited to announce three new Virginia candidates we’re supporting, joining the four others we’re helping out.
Jennifer Carroll Foy, VA-2
As a former Magistrate judicial officer, foster parent, one of the first females to graduate from Virginia Military Institute and a current public defender, Jennifer understands the needs of her community and has the knowledge and experience to find solutions to strengthen our economy, improve education and transportation, reform our criminal justice system, and advance women’s rights.
Danica Roem, VA-13
Danica Roem is a 32-year-old step-mom, journalist, and lifelong Manassas resident. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism/Mass Communication from St. Bonaventure University (New York) in 2006, authored more than 2,500 news stories as the lead reporter of the Gainesville Times from 2006–2015, and most recently served as the news editor of the Montgomery County Sentinel from 2015–2016. If elected, Danica would be the first out transgender person ever seated in an American state legislature.
Mansimran Singh Kahlon, VA-13
Mansimran has worked to protect the rights of Sikh-Americans with groups like the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund, United Sikhs, and a host of other organizations; been a local volunteer, organizer, and activist for candidates from President Obama to Senators Warner and Kaine to our local candidates; and he’s been building the local party as Chair of the Brentsville Magisterial District Democratic Committee. Now Mansimran is running for Delegate to get government focused on what matters to us, putting his business leadership and community experience to work on issues like infrastructure, education, the economy, and more equality for all Virginians. Mansimran is a proven fighter with a record of results for us.
Your eyes are not deceiving you. We’re supporting TWO candidates in VA-13 and Jennifer Carroll Foy is the second candidate we’re supporting in VA-2.
As the expression goes, that’s a feature, not a bug. We don’t believe in picking winners, nor do we believe that resources are limited in this new era of Trump and re-energized progressives. You should decide which of these candidates you want to support, and voters in the district should get to decide who represents them. Institutions shouldn’t get to do that — including us. We’re here to help as many people as possible, full stop.
We’ve vetted all of these candidates and believe they are all running campaigns focused on direct voter-contact and advocating for progressive issues at the local level. No matter who wins, we’re glad we can help as many young people as possible run stronger campaigns.
To keep things on the up-and-up, we’ve split our staff and put up an internal firewall so different members of our team are advising candidates running in the same primary.
Some other updates from the 4-month-ish mark…
Our partnerships are expanding.
Ross Morales Rocketto, our co-founder and campaigns director, has been building out our formal partnerships program to make sure our candidates have access to every possible resource available to them, and that we’re supporting other groups with talent whenever we can.
A few of the many groups we’re excited to work with…
CollectivePAC — The Collective PAC is a political action committee working to recruit, train, fund and help elect progressive black candidates on the local, state and federal level. With over 5,000 individual contributions and close to 50,000 online supporters, The Collective is working to build the bench one candidate at a time. We’re working with them to push our candidates to their upcoming training, and will — in the future — work with them to support some of their candidates running for down ballot office.
#VOTEPROCHOICE — #VOTEPROCHOICE is committed to helping pro-choice voters elect representatives who reflect their values. We’re working together to source pro-choice candidates.
CHORUS — CHORUS is a nonprofit working to foster and strengthen the movement for equity, opportunity, inclusion, and justice by specifically removing barriers to voting, volunteering, running for office, and accessing government. We’re working together to provide targeted mentorship to our candidates in Virginia who have been a part of our Matching Funds pilot.
Onward Together — As we announced earlier this month, Hillary Clinton’s new organization is providing us with some critical funding to help us keep up the momentum and flesh out our staffing plans for the summer.
National Democratic Training Committee — The NDTC offers free, interactive online training for Democratic candidates running for office. We aim to empower any Democrat who wants to be involved in local politics with the tools needed to be successful. We’re ensuring our candidates have access to the NDTC training platform to so they can access free, high-quality, online, trainings.
Want to work with us? Email Ross — ross AT runforsomething.net.
Some stats updates…
9,555 people have signed up to say they want to run for office. By the middle of next week, we’ll have done half-hour calls with more than 1,000 of those folks — that’s 500+ hours of conversations with potential candidates.
88 people in 30 states have already filed and are on the ballot. These are progressive millennials running for local office — first or second-time candidates who aren’t shying away from the hard work necessary to run and fight for the values we share.
Nearly 200 mentors have signed up and are offering up their time and experience to our candidates. (Join the team!)
We’re actively searching to hire a marketing & communications director — check out the job description — and are excited about expanding our ability to tell our candidates’ stories.
On the fundraising front, we’ve always promised full transparency. Four months in, between money raised and commitments, we’re at just about $300,000. We’ve crossed more than 5,000 donors and our average gift online hovers around $28. We’re still running a lean team and are using every last dollar responsibly. Our big budget items right now include legal fees as we figure out which states we are going to work in, staffing, overhead costs, and online advertising to keep growing our list of supporters.
We’re hosting events in New York on Thursday, May 25th, and will be in D.C. on June 5th and in Chicago on June 7th. We’re expecting packed rooms at each event — when people get a chance to meet other progressives who care about this critical work, they get pretty excited.
We call these fundraisers “money parties” — because why use jargon when real-talk will do? If you want to host a money party in your city, just send us an email at moneyparty AT runforsomething.net and we’ll get you set up.
What update would be complete without something to make you smile?
When the day-to-day of this work gets tough, or when the world seems to be utter garbage, we dip back into the stories of the people who are deciding to DO something about it: Our candidates.
This young man from Louisiana:
“My interaction with the crumbling education system in Louisiana has motivated me to enact change in both my state and my country. Not only is education in Louisiana being ignored, but members of Congress are also out-of-touch with the current generation and the evolving needs of the American people. Having more millennials in office could depolarize the political landscape and create new solutions to old problems.”
Or this Oklahoman:
“I have complained about our local school district for so long, and I finally want to be the change I wish to see in the world. Our school board is controlled by the “good ol’ boys”, and our kids are suffering due to it.”
This mom in Washington state:
“I’ve always been fascinated by politics and have had a strong urge to get involved to make a difference. I was involved with Obama’s 2008 campaign and it was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had. I pride myself on having an open mind, listening to others, and being a creative problem solver that builds strong relationships. Now that I’m a mom, I feel more strongly than ever that if I can contribute then I must!”
This young woman in New York:
“I’ve been wanting to run for office since I was a kid — but I never dreamed it would actually be possible. I don’t come from the right background. I don’t have enough money. Those were my excuses. Now, I’m starting to have hope that I could actually do it.”
Or this woman in Arizona:
“I’ve been involved in political movements from a young age. My grandmother was an advocate for healthcare, immigration, fair wages and equality so I was constantly exposed to canvassing, rallies and political and social issues. Running for office is the only way to ensure that diversity and inclusion are given a voice at the table. I plan on running for a local school board in the November 2018 election in Arizona.”