This is an exciting, nerve-wracking, and consequential moment, with the 2018 midterms just five days away. It’s also a harried period for people writing about politics, and I have several new stories to share this week:
In the Nation I wrote about non-citizen voting in the United States. This year, for the first time, undocumented immigrants and permanent legal residents in San Francisco will get to cast their ballot for school board elections. (This was in response to a ballot measure SF voters approved in 2016.) As you can probably imagine, this new voting right is inspiring its own right-wing backlash, and with the ramp-up of deportations, many immigrants are understandably fearful about registering to vote. But non-citizen voting, though generally forgotten, actually has long, interesting roots in American history. I looked at other cities considering bringing the practice back in the age of Trump, and the implications of doing so.
In the Intercept I have a story about a race for California’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, a contest between two Democrats that typically would go under the radar but in this case is raising more money than all U.S. House races and nearly all Senate races, too. More than $50 million has flown in, in a proxy war over the future of public education in California, and specifically charter schools.
In The Washington Post I wrote a story about the Maryland Green Party, which is running 24 candidates on the ballot this cycle. The majority of Maryland Greens are running in deep blue and deep red parts of the state, places where there normally would be no real general election challenge at all. Whether they can make a third party really viable in Maryland remains to be seen, but in their ideal world, they would elect 10 Greens to the state legislature by 2026. “It could work like it does in British Columbia, where the Greens often hold the tie-breaking vote in parliament, and therefore have lots of leverage,” one candidate told me. “That’s a good model of what we’re trying to do.” (The picture is amazing.)
In other news, The Intercept is launching a new journalism fellowship in honor of a great progressive activist named Ady Barkan who is currently dying of ALS. They’re crowdfunding it so feel free to contribute here. As a fortunate beneficiary of a journalism fellowship, it’s hard to understate how helpful these opportunities are for young people hoping to break in.
I hope you all have plans to vote on Tuesday, and plans to nudge any reluctant friends and family members you have to the polls, too. This is a week where a man mailed bombs to many Democratic officials, news organizations and George Soros, a week when the president announces he’d like to end birthright citizenship, a week where a man walks into a synagogue and murders Jewish worshipers on Shabbat, and a week where Brazil elects a fascist leader who threatens to destroy the Amazon rainforest, an unbelievable threat to our world’s ability to contain climate change. So please, vote.