Statement by New Virginia Majority on record turnout in 2018 midterm election

For Immediate Release

November 6, 2018

Media interested in speaking with first-time voters, people of color, canvassers, formerly incarcerated voters, or one of our co-executive directors, contact: Jasmine Leeward, press@newvirginiamajority.org, 757-478-1792

Statement by New Virginia Majority on record turnout in 2018 midterm election

A critical mass of Virginians harnessed their political power in record midterm turnout

Tonight is a victory because our communities turned out to vote in huge numbers to make our voices heard loud and clear. In Virginia, the turnout rate was XX percent higher than our last midterm election. As the Commonwealth’s largest people of color-led civic engagement organization, New Virginia Majority works to achieve transformative justice that improves the lives of communities of color in Virginia.

New Virginia Majority is a leader in the movement for transformative change. Since 2015 we have registered more than 200,000 Virginians and in 2016 we succeeded in restoring voting rights to thousands of formerly incarcerated people in Virginia.

Tram Nguyen, Co-Executive Director of New Virginia Majority, said, “Virginia voters have shown a new direction for America, embracing issues that matter to working class people of color, and rejecting hate and bigotry. New Virginia Majority’s deep organizing in communities across the state helped propel this historic victory. We have built a strong base of Black, Latinx, Asian American and young voters who are building political power to change a system that's not working for them. Extremist conservative candidates have been served notice that their days are numbered in the Commonwealth. The Democratic Party must now remember--and govern--for the marginalized communities who made this happen. The new maxim for national political trends should now be, 'As Virginia goes, so goes the country.’

Jewel Farley, organizer with New Virginia Majority, said “The turnout numbers for this midterm election show that people are ready for change. For the last six months, I have sat outside of social services buildings, barber shops, clothing stores, and soup kitchens registering voters, helping people get their rights restored, and reminding them to vote in every single election. I’ve had long conversations with mothers, public sector workers, teachers, and people without homes explaining to them how voting impacts their lives and their families. I love to see that light bulb come on and people start to understand that we fight for rights by exercising them. I know that the work I do is at the heart of making Virginia better for my community.”

With every election, no matter who wins or loses, we will always continue the deep organizing around the most urgent issues facing us: protecting our voting rights, criminal justice reform, immigrant justice, economic opportunity, and more.

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New Virginia Majority builds the power of marginalized communities to change the political systems that aren’t working for us. We organize within Latinx, African American, Asian American Pacific Islander and youth communities, centering the leadership and demands of working class women of color, to vote and mobilize to end mass incarceration, build just economic policies, protect immigrants and preserve the environment.

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