After Donald Trump’s win, progressive political professionals all across the country are now contemplating their next steps as it relates to guarding the change that they fought for during President Obama’s time in office.
Now that we’ve had a little time to process the results of the November election, it’s time for us to move forward. Determining next steps after an election cycle can be overwhelming for a professional — even in the midst of the best of election results. But it’s even harder when your candidate did not prevail.
As the executive director of Democratic GAIN, I am leading a team of professionals who are planning post-election programming that will serve thousands of progressive political professionals who plan to work for a cause or elected official either in D.C. or out on the trail. I know it may seem early, but now is the time for us to begin thinking about 2018 and beyond.
While there are fewer Democrats in office in D.C. and no Clinton Administration to fill posts, there are still jobs available. The worst mistake Democratic job seekers can make at the moment is to assume opportunities have dried up given the election result.
For those of you who are looking, there are numerous resources available to you like the JobsThatAreLeft listserve, Tom Manatos jobs-list and Democratic GAIN jobs board, to name few. After visiting these sites, you’ll see a blossoming list of new opportunities at progressive organizations – the organizations that have served as the backbone to many of the legislative and electoral victories that we have experienced over the years.
Democrats didn’t win the presidential election, but there remains plenty of work to do on the organizing side. For example, the upcoming census in 2020 will determine the makeup of state legislatures and congressional districts where Democrats must be engaged.
Out of 50 state legislatures, 32 are led by Republicans, 13 are led by Democrats and 5 are split legislative bodies. As we have learned, the real change in our country happens on the local and state level, so now is the time for Democrats to recalibrate and approach the future with a plan of action. We have to plan to fight policies that threaten our economic vitality, educational infrastructure, healthcare victories, social justice and the idea that we will rise up and live out the true meaning of our nation’s creed – that we are all created equal.
For those Democratic operatives discouraged by November’s result, remember there are more than 64 million voters who share Democratic values and are counting on the rank and file of the party to keep moving forward. Democrats may have lost this battle, but as operatives and staffers we must be engaged early and working toward 2018 and beyond.
Kouri Marshall is the executive director of Democratic GAIN, founder of 3K1A Strategies and is the former D.C. state Director for President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. He can be reached on Twitter @KouriCMarshall.