Meet NJ-39: A Microcosm of a Nation Turning Blue

By Stephen Yellin

Normally, state legislative races are not the most exciting to observe, help or provide aid for - particularly when you're not from that state. If you're reading this right now and are not from New Jersey - DON'T LEAVE. This diary is an introduction to what I believe will be one of the most exciting races to watch in 2007 - and a race that is a microcosm of the United States at large. New Jersey's 39th Legislative District is worth watching for three reasons:

1. The changing dynamics of the suburbs of America - both in New Jersey and across the country. A victory in NJ-39 would serve as a template for races across America.

2. Clearing obstructionist, out-of-touch Republicans out of office, in order to better present a progressive agenda for New Jersey. After all, would you want a State Senator who opposes a woman's right to choose - even for rape and incest? Or a State Assemblyman who bullies his constituents?  Again, this would serve as a template for both state and Congressional races all over this country.

3. A Democratic ticket that represents a microcosm of the suburbs - a young, driven attorney for State Senate, a teacher and community activist for one Assembly seat, and a Wall Street manager and business leader for the other. Joe Ariyan, Esther Fletcher and Carl Manna represent an impressive coalition of the Democratic Party's membership and values.

There's more...

OR State Rep: Gay Rights Similar to VTech Massacre

[Crossposted at Loaded Orygun, the Oregon journal of politics and culture...]

From the delighfully archaic Rep. Dennis Richardson (HD04), file his latest constituent newsletter under Most Shameless Use of Whiny Hyperbole Ever in History, In Any Universe:

A Tragic Week in Review
This past week has been like no other. On Monday the world witnessed the tragedy at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. On Tuesday Oregon witnessed the passage of Domestic Benefits for same-sex couples (HB 2007) and Civil Rights based on sexual orientation.

{jump if you're done retching...}

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Getting Involved Locally Is Easy!

Last week I had the pleasure of attending a meeting at the local courthouse with the legislative delegation for my county and the surrounding area.  The purpose of the meeting was for our Representatives and Senators in the Florida Legislature to recieve input directly from their constituents. Such events, while they don't occur as frequently as perhaps we would like, are free and open to the public.  So, other than the cost of transporting yourself to and from such an event, it couldn't be any easier to get your voice heard.

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Write your laws in Washington State (Update)

For just over a month the Washington State Netroots Agenda has been collecting ideas from one end of Washington to the other, building a list of ideas that could make up a progressive, grassroots written, agenda for our next legislative session.

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Democrats Can Retake the Florida Legislature

bumped from the diaries -- jonathan

Crossposted from,

Only a few weeks ago, I was of the opinion that the Florida legislature was out of reach of the Democratic Party. Legislative districts were too well gerrymandered. It would be completely up to the success of the redistricting amendment to open up the legislature again to bipartisan competition. However, after looking at the House districts in Marion County for a blog post, I realize that ALL of the districts that ran through Marion County were competitive. So I decided that I should investigate just how "impossible" it really would be for Democrats to gain some seats...

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