by Irene Kao, CDT Strategist

Congressional Races

Orange County congressional candidates continue to outraise their Republican opponents, and more money is expected to come in for both sides. Some people anticipate the funds will even out and potentially cancel each other out, which makes strategic investments in our partner regional tables and community groups who will be making personal contact with key progressive voters that much more important.

The San Francisco Chronicle takes a look at why there are so few African Americans elected to office from the Bay Area and other parts of the state; “the answer is wrapped up in money and demographic shifts and access to power.”


Attack on Unions

The National Right to Work Foundation — the anti-union research organization funded by notorious conservative donors, like the Koch brothers and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation — is claiming that the Supreme Court’s anti-public sector union Janus v. AFSCME decision should be applied retro-actively and demanding that California SEIU Local 1000 return about $100 million to about 40,000 current and former state workers.

Similar lawsuits have been filed in several other states — Washington, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Ohio — with one lead counsel behind all the claims, conservative lawyer Jonathan F. Mitchell. Mitchell served as a volunteer lawyer on Trump’s transition team, and Trump has nominated him to head the Administrative Conference of the United States, a small federal agency that has the power to influence how legal processes within the government work.

The lawsuits and the consolidation of power to anti-union leaders continue the union-breaking trajectory set out by conservative donors decades ago. California Donor Table is engaging individual and institutional donors to fortify progressive people of color-based infrastructure across the state to counter these efforts. We will be hosting more education and strategy events, so stay tuned! We hope our Janus project both helps California to quickly adapt our strategy to win, as well as become a model for other states and national donor networks.