The Full Slate Project and the legacy of Dr. William "Fergie" Reid.
I launched the Full Slate Project to help expand the reach of the Democratic Party. There is a deep political rift in our country today; we must work to bridge that divide. To do that we need to show everyone the basic respect of asking for their vote, of seeking to represent them. There may be too many differences for us to win their vote, and that is fine, we must stand for what we believe, heck, we must fight for what we believe.
That does not preclude us from seeking to represent all of America, unfortunately, in today's politics, the Democratic Party did not even ask to represent 117,000,000 constituents in 1,479 state legislative races in the last election cycle. We liberals ask far too often how people in rural America can vote against their interests.
Voters in "Red America" are not voting against their interests; they are simply voting for those showing any interest in them.
That statement encapsulates my personal belief that the reason our politics seems like it is failing today is the same reason so many relationships fail, we have stopped talking to each other. The solution is to contest every race.
The most rewarding aspect of launching the Full Slate Project has been discovering 90for90 and the legacy of Dr. Reid.
Dr. Reid is a Korean war veteran that returned to America after the war to a South embroiled in the desegregation battles after Brown vs. Board of Education. He began working locally registering black voters in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The barriers to voting were manifold, poll taxes, literacy tests and so forth were all part of the challenges he helped black citizens navigate throughout the 50s and 60s.
To protect the NAACP from political pressure, Dr. Ried was a founding member of the Richmond Crusade for Voters that built up precinct level infrastructure to engage and register black voters in the Richmond area. Eventually, Dr. Reid became the first African-American elected to the Virginia state assembly since the post-Civil War Reconstruction era.
The Full Slate Project is a proud ally of 90for90. Our shared vision of showing each and every voter the respect of asking for their vote coupled with the belief that the best way for progressive values to spread is to seek to represent every part of America, be it urban and coastal areas or rural regions of America's heartland.