What the Chief Justice Got Right about Marriage Equality

On Friday, June 26, our free society became more equal. The Obergefell v. Hodges case marked the high point of an empowered LGBTQ community’s fight toward full equality. In a 5-4 split Supreme Court decision, love became the law of the land and gay couples’ right to marry was affirmed after more than 40 years of agitation.  But in a rather vociferous dissenting opinion, Chief Justice Roberts maintained that gay couples’ right to marry was essentially a “policy issue” to be considered on a state-by-state basis through the democratic process, and not to be determined by the federal courts.  

By now we should all be familiar with the conservative impulse to revert back to state authority on pressing federal questions. The difference this time, however, is that the position may actually have some credence to it. 

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Announcing our first 2015 and 2016 endorsements!

We’re excited to announce our first endorsements of 2015 and 2016! We have endorsed three young, progressive candidates in Michigan, North Carolina, and Ohio:

  • Andrew Barnhill (Wilmington, NC) is running for State Senate in North Carolina’s 9th District
  • Josh Cartee (Chillicothe, OH) is running for Chillicothe City Council in Ohio
  • Brian Stone (Dearborn, MI) is running for State Assembly in Michigan’s 15th District
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LaunchProgress Summit 2015

Earlier this month, LaunchProgress supporters and board members from all over the country came together to discuss how we can strengthen our work. 

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Electeds who represent #BlackLivesMatter

A few weeks ago, voters in Ferguson, Missouri took to the polls with the fatal shooting shooting of 18-year old Michael Brown looming large in their minds. The result was historic. Voter participation tripled, propelling two African Americans, Ella Jones and Wesley Bell, to city council seats, effectively boosting black representation in the city. The outrage caused by Brown’s death was successfully channeled into electoral action, but for the many young people who saw the protests in Ferguson and elsewhere as a symbol of youth empowerment, the victories left something to be desired.

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LaunchProgress Endorses First 2015 Election Cycle Candidate

Josh CarteeThis week LaunchProgress PAC endorsed Josh Cartee, candidate for Chillicothe City Council in Chillicothe, Ohio.

Josh was born and raised in Chillicothe, an historic town and Ohio’s first capital. He is committed to developing a creative economy in the city’s historic downtown, attracting young professionals, and maintaining open lines of communication between government and residents. Josh is a 2013 graduate of Oberlin College, where he earned a B.A. in Politics. He is currently finishing his law degree at The Ohio State University, and serves as Chief Articles Editor of the Ohio State Law Journal.

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How to Stop North Carolina’s New Frontier of Voter Suppression

LaunchProgress PAC's Arielle Swernoff writes about North Carolina’s extreme and damaging voter suppression for The Huffington Post. A candidate we supported in 2014 is working to fix that:

State Representative Cecil Brockman, who received LaunchProgress PAC’s endorsement, recently introduced a bill to make all General Assembly changes to local election districts subject to referendum, ensuring the people have a say in the setup of their local governments. We need more officials like Cecil Brockman. We need leaders in all elected bodies, and all levels of government, who are committed to protecting our voices and our vote.

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Saatvik Ahluwalia: Fighting for True Representation

Why Saatvik Ahluwalia Supports LaunchProgress PACLexington, Massachusetts is known as the birthplace of America. We Lexingtonians take great pride in this moniker. We see ourselves as progressives who live in a truly democratic society.

And this is reflected in our government: A 189-person legislative body known as the Town Meeting, a five-person executive Board of Selectmen, and a handful of committees. All of our leadership is 100 percent volunteer, which allows it to truly govern by the will of the people.

In recent years, as our town has grown, its demographics have shifted — but its leadership hasn’t. A 2013 report discovered that while the Asian population has increased drastically, the make-up of the town’s governing body did not reflect the changing demographics.

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HuffPost Live: Meet The Political Candidates Of The Future

HuffPost Live Rep Kristy PaganHuffPost Live’s Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani asked “who the hell would run for office in America?” Joining her were State Rep. Kristy Pagan, a 2014 endorsed candidate, and Poy Winichakul, co-director of LaunchProgress PAC. They discussed why millennials run; obstacles, like sexism, candidates and elected officials can face; and the importance of millennials’ unique experiences and solution-oriented thinking.

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Millennial Candidates: LaunchProgress is Here to Help

Crossposted on Medium

We cannot sit back, stand aside, and remain absent, or — worse — apathetic, as our leaders dictate to millennials the terms of our future. We are, in fact, the ones we’ve been waiting for. In Shauna Shames’ February 24 article, “Millennials Don’t Want to Run for Office,” she warned us that “democracy loses out if new generations of potential political leaders are discouraged from throwing their hats in the ring.”

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Poy Winichakul discusses millennials on #nerdland

MSNBC-Poy-Winichakul-MHP.jpgPoy Winichakul, co-director of LaunchProgress PAC, joined Melissa Harris-Perry and a panel of millennials to discuss the power and attitude of our generation. The panel also featured Jamira Burley, Kelvin Betances, and Gabriel Marshall. Poy highlighted how the tragedies, wars, and economic problems of the past two decades have shaped millennials' approaches to solving our nations’ problems.

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