Ok, readers. Why is 2020 a really, really important election year?
Yes, yes, it’s our chance to finally get Trump out of the White House. But seriously, it’s important beyond that.
Whichever party is in charge of the state legislatures following the 2020 election gets to draw the congressional and legislative district maps that will be in place for the next 10 years.
So if the Republicans are in control, they get to draw the maps. If the Democrats are in charge, we get to draw them. But, if they split control (like if one holds the state Senate while the other party takes the state House), they have to work together to draw maps, which historically has produced very fair maps.
Texas has been fully controlled by the Republicans (governor, House, and Senate) since 2003. But in 2020, we have a real shot at flipping the state House. And that’s what Beto O’Rourke has decided to focus his energies on.
If we can flip a net total of 9 seats, we’ll take control of the House. That may seem like a lot of seats in one year, but there’s good reason to hope that we can do this:
🔹There are 17 seats that Republicans won by less than 10 points in the last election, making them very competitive.
🔹Out of those 17, Beto won 10 of them when he ran for the Senate, which means we know there are enough Democrats there, and that they can be energized to vote.
🔹Nearly all of these 17 districts are in suburban areas, which have been moving towards the Democrats in both the midterm and special elections these past 2 years.
🔹A secret recording that came to light this past October revealed that Texas Republicans are concerned about the ability to hold onto the House.
Now, the Republicans aren’t going to just lie down for this election. They’ve already identified their main targets to flip from the Democrats. A plan that they accidentally emailed to the Democrats, so now we all have a copy of it. (Seriously.)
By the way, if you’re interested in which other states besides Texas have the opportunity to gain more control over redistricting in 2020, read THIS.
How to help
If you’re already following Beto on social media and getting his email updates, stay signed on! He’s such a terrific communicator, he’ll be talking about this for the next year.
Donate to Flip the Texas House, the organization that Beto is supporting. At the link, you can donate to their general fund, or you can pick to donate specifically to one of the districts they’re targeting. (I love all the great info right there on their donation page. Bravo!) The organization’s strategy is to target the people who have voted Democratic in the past, but currently aren’t registered to vote. You can read more details about their plan HERE.
Of course, if you want to support one of these candidates directly, you can do that, too. Donate to them directly, sign up for their emails so you can learn about any volunteering opportunities that come up, and learn more about what they hope to achieve if they win their election so you can share that on social media.
Let’s make sure the Republicans aren’t in full control of the state legislature, ok? We don’t want the Democrats locked out for another 10 years because the GOP got another chance to gerrymander all the districts. Let’s avoid districts that look like this come 2020: