From Medicaid in Virginia to Flipping the House: How We’ve Won Change and What Comes Next

Max Socol

June 13, 2018

Hey everyone, I wanted to stop and share a moment with you that reveals why volunteering in elections is so important. On June 7, Virginia governor Ralph Northam signed a bill to finally accept Medicaid expansion. It took every single Democratic vote in the legislature, plus a tie-breaking vote from Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax, to pass the measure by a vote of 23-17, successfully getting that bill to a Democrat's desk for a signature. As a result, 400,000 Virginians will get access to health care.

That's just the tiniest taste of how all the work around winning elections can lead to progressive legislation that saves lives. Last year, Bend the Arc organized Jews in DC and northern Virginia to canvass for Virginia State Representative David Reid’s race for the entire duration of the campaign season. Reid won, and was one of the 19 Democrats instrumental in getting the Medicaid bill passed. That means if you spent even an hour on the phone, or on the road, or in person talking to voters in Virginia in 2017, it's official: you saved lives.

The Virginia victory gives us a sense of what is possible if we all pitch in. All of the effort that we have already invested in resisting Trump now looks more vital than ever.

If winning feels as good to you as it does to me, I hope you'll join Bend the Arc on Sunday, June 24th for a national day of canvassing, when we'll be heading out for our first day of door-knocking as part of Interrupt Trump 2018, the largest Jewish grassroots election effort to mobilize voters in response to this historically dangerous time in our country. Come out to help win House races in 2018; every door we knock together, every voter we talk with, is a chance to save thousands of lives.