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    You’ve Got Mail: $3 and 47 Days to Take Back the House

    By Andrea Shorter–

    The Democrats’ full court press to win back the House is evident in my email inbox. It is inundated by an average of 15 emails daily from the DNC, DCCC, EMILY’S List, Victory Fund, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Lee, Mark Takano or congressional members from other states with urgent requests to respond to surveys, donate at least $3, donate for double and triple matches to help elect a healthy roster of candidates seeking to either flip seats from red to blue, or simply hold onto various contested seats.

    It’s also good to hear from President Obama, now that he is hitting the trail to rally the troupes to turn out the mid-term vote. Did you see his speech at the University of Illinois? For those 60 minutes, he made me feel safe, smart and loved. These days, I’ve never hoped for a change so much in my life. Goodness, how I sooo miss Obama.

    435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are up for election. Democrats need to maintain their currently held 194 seats and flip at least 24 Republican held seats to win a majority. As candidates from all around the country come through San Francisco to raise awareness and a few dollars for their cause, I’ve had the opportunity to meet more than a handful of these primary winning contestants. I don’t know that I shall ever again meet so many candidates running for Congress, U.S. Senate or Governor in a singular election cycle.

    As pleasant as it has been to shake the hands of, and have small encouraging chats with, these eager visitors, the need to support their campaigns could not be more palatable and urgent. For the intensive purposes of saving the republic from the clear and present dangers presented by the sitting president, his enablers, (GOP), his indicted and convicted associates, his faithful followers, and Vladimir Putin, November 6, 2018, will be without question the most important mid-term election ever in U.S. elections history.

    Of the record 185 women in the running for the House seats, 143 are Democrat primary winners. Last week I had the pleasure of meeting Jessica Morse. She is campaigning to overtake longtime Republican stalwart Tom McClintock up north in congressional district 4. The Northern California district is red to the bone conservative, hence the Tom McClintock representation.

    Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, Kings Canyon, Roseville and Placerville are the major highlights of its 10 counties area span. Morse is 36 and has a master’s degree from Princeton, where she focused on nuclear non-proliferation. She also served as a national security strategist and advisor during the Obama administration. She takes great pride as a self-described “daughter of the Foothills” representing the 5th generation of a family that literally arrived in the area by covered wagon. She’s fished, hunted and hiked every hike-able inch of the area, most notably the 500 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from north of Tahoe to Mt. Whitney—a  feat that a much elder McClintock never has, nor will ever likely, accomplish.

    Spurred by nearly every unmentionable action and policy of the Trump administration, Morse decided to run to take back the house, and basically do her part to save democracy.  So far, she has outraised her veteran opponent by approximately $200,000, and appears to be making impressive headway in turning blood red voters blue, or at last purplish. She has a shot at winning, and maybe not as long a shot as earlier predicted. She’s clearly in it to win it against McClintock and Trump.

    When a visitor like Candidate Morse penetrates the ultra-liberal bubble of San Francisco, she reminds us of the keen realities of running today as a Democrat outside of the Fog City beltway. The deep work it takes to flip red votes to blue is not for the faint of heart. Even in less conservative districts than Morse’s, it’s risky business. Still, for these candidates, it’s the chance of a lifetime worth taking. It is equally a chance on which we must take that risk along with them.

    For LGBTQ identified candidates for congress, the challenges are as great if not greater, but winnable. Returning first openly LGBT U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin to the Senate is imperative. Sending Krysten Sinema from the Congress to the Senate to replace retiring Jeff Flake of Arizona is also a high priority. LGBT Equality Caucus members and Representatives Mark Takano of (Riverside County) CA, Sean Patrick Maloney of NY, David Cicilline of RI, and Mark Pocan of WI all merit urgency in their return to Washington, DC. First time openly LGBTQ congressional candidates such as Kate Hill of CA-25, Eric Holguin of TX-27, Lorie Burch of TX-03 and Lee Castillo of UT-01 deserve whatever support we can muster up to increase those odds of a blue to lavender sweep for the House.

    If your email inbox is populated nearly as much as mine is with those urgent Democrat do or die requests for $3 or $5 to help a Democratic candidate in some other far away district in some far away state that is taking that risk to help save the republic, why not take the chance? Who knows? Maybe Beto O’Rourke’s bid to unseat Senator Ted Cruz could prove beyond his buzz that just enough of Texas is ready for a change. With so much at stake, what’s $3 here and there to help save the free world?

    Andrea Shorter is a Commissioner and the former President of the historic San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women. She is a longtime advocate for criminal and juvenile justice reform, voter rights, and marriage equality. A Co-founder of the Bayard Rustin LGBT Coalition, she was a 2009 David Bohnett LGBT Leadership Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.