The decade included some monumental wins for Democrats. Although 2020 will likely bring forth the greatest victory of them all — a blue Texas, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite moments of the 2010’s to keep your spirits high this holiday season.
Where to even begin. In 2012, one of the greatest presidents in American history, Barack Obama, was elected to serve a second term as the Commander-in-Chief. Obama rescued the country from the Great Recession and set into motion economic policies that are still fostering economic growth to this day. Over the course of his presidency, he stabilized the housing industry and the job market. He signed numerous monumental pieces of legislation — including the Paris Climate Agreement, the Affordable Care Act, the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010, Ending the Legal Defense of the Defense of Marriage Act, and Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals. We thank President Obama for his service to our country, and for successfully restoring American’s hope in the office of the president.
Wendy Davis’ Stand With Texas Women Filibuster
The progressive movement in Texas, which has culminated in the state’s current battleground status, wouldn’t have had the same momentum without Wendy Davis. In 2013, the former Texas Senator filibustered an anti-abortion bill for 11 hours and drew national attention for her brave efforts to stop Republican attacks on reproductive rights. Clad in pink sneakers, Davis catapulted the Democratic resistance in Texas into the national spotlight and issued a staunch reminder to Texas Republicans: Don’t mess with Texas women.
2.5 points in 2018
In 2018, Texas became the biggest battleground state in the country. Texas Democrats flipped 12 Texas House seats, 2 U.S. House seats, and came within 2.5 points of flipping a U.S. Senate seat. The immediate electoral wins were palpable, but more than anything, the 2018 election demonstrated that, despite Republican efforts to suppress voting access and gerrymander our districts, lasting progressive change was coming to Texas. The battleground status of Texas came to fruition.
More Texas Democrats are registering to vote every single day. Texas Democrats are building a winning infrastructure as big as Texas. As soon as Democrats win Texas, a Republican will not be capable of seizing the White House. Based on the corrupt, deceitful manner in which Republicans have conducted themselves, particularly under the direction of Donald Trump, stunting Republican influence will surely restore humanity and fairness in American politics.
We’re going to win the White House, take out John Cornyn, and flip seats up and down the ballot in 2020.
Affordable Care Act Signed Into Law
In 2010, Congress passed the Affordable Care Act, perhaps the most monumental piece of legislation spearheaded by President Obama. The American people remain divided on whether the Affordable Care Act was a step in the right direction. Healthcare is a human right, therefore it shouldn’t be treated like a privilege exclusively available to those who can afford it. In addition to slowing the rise of healthcare costs, and covering the 10 essential health benefits, the ACA provided coverage for pre-existing conditions and allowed children to stay on their parent’s health insurance plans.
On that note, one of the funniest moments of the last decade arrived when perhaps the most annoying conservative pundit on the planet, Tomi Lahren, relentlessly blasted the ACA before it was revealed that she was still on her parent’s health insurance. It’s the little things.
Most diverse U.S. House of Representatives in herstory
Sí, se puede. pic.twitter.com/Mdkf01qKZQ
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 2, 2019
In 2018, the American people elected the most diverse U.S. House of Representatives in American history. The 116th Congress is the most racially and ethnically diverse, including more women than ever before.
The freshman class of Representatives included quite a lot of firsts. The first Native American women were elected to Congress, Rep. Deb Haaland and Rep. Sharice Davids; the first Muslim women, Rep. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib; and the first Latina Representatives from Texas, Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia. Additionally, Ayanna Pressley became Massachusetts’ first Black congresswoman and Jahana Hayes was Connecticut’s first Black congresswoman.
LGBTQ representation also broke ground after the 2018 midterm elections. New Hampshire elected its first openly gay congressman, Rep. Chris Pappas, and Angie Craig became the first openly gay member from Minnesota. In addition to being one of the first Native American representatives, Rep. Sharice Davids is also the first gay congresswoman from Kansas.
Passing school finance reform in Texas
The Texas legislature passed a monumental school finance reform bill during the 86th legislative session in 2019. House Bill 3, receiving bipartisan support, increased student funding and teachers’ salaries, funded pre-kindergarten programs, and lowered school property taxes.
Elena Kagan appointed to the Supreme Court
Left to right: Justice Sandra Day O'Connor (Ret.), Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Justice Elena Kagan
In 2010, President Obama nominated Elena Kagan to serve on the Supreme Court. The 4th woman to be nominated to the country’s highest court, and the 2nd woman nominated by President Obama, Elena Kagan has fought to preserve Democratic values throughout her tenure as Associate Justice. She has written both majority opinions and dissents that have encapsulated both her brilliant opinion writing and her eloquent, justified frustration.
1st woman nominee for president
In 2016, Hillary Clinton became the first woman to win the Democratic nomination for president, thus becoming the first woman nominee for president. Not to mention, Hillary Clinton was one of the most experienced people–both men and women–to ever run for the country’s highest office. She had spent almost her entire career working in public service, and she knew Washington better than most. That’s probably why the majority of the American population voted for her to become our 45th president.
The most diverse field of presidential candidates ever
The Houston Democratic Presidential Debate at Texas Southern University on September 12 featuring Former Vice President Joe Biden, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, California Sen. Kamala Harris, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and entrepreneur Andrew Yang.
In 2019, the most diverse pool of Democratic presidential candidates in U.S. history ran for our nation’s highest office. Five people of color, four women, and a member of the LGBTQ community proudly represented the inclusivity that the Democratic Party embodies.
2 Texans on the presidential debate stage
Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa with former Housing Secretary Julián Castro and former U.S. Representative Beto O'Rourke
Two Texans graced the Democratic debate stage during the 2020 Democratic primary, in Texas nonetheless, further solidifying Texas’ battleground status and the state’s importance in the broader national Democratic conversation. Former Housing Secretary Julián Castro and former U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke have led strong, progressive campaigns. Similar to the 2.5 points in 2018, both Castro and O’Rourke have catapulted Texas politics into the national spotlight.
#LoveIsLove & the legalization of LGBTQ marriage
In 2015, the Supreme Court ruled by a 5-4 vote that same-sex marriage is guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. The Obergefell v. Hodges decision arrived after decades of activism and numerous Supreme Court cases that paved the way for marriage equality. After the decision was announced, individuals embraced in jubilation and celebrated the monumental symbol of progress, because the country’s highest court had finally validated the equality to love.
During President Obama’s address to the American people, the 44th president applauded the court’s monumental decision. “Today,” he said, “we can say, in no uncertain terms, that we have made our union a little more perfect.”
Strong Progressive Movements
Although we’re living through a particularly discouraging time in American politics, the progressive movements that have grown out of resistance are worthy of a standing ovation. We’ve watched survivors of school shootings courageously band together to call for a legislative response to gun violence. African American men and women have put their lives on the line to demand an end to rampant, unjust police brutality. Younger generations have fought tirelessly to urge world leaders to take action on climate change. DREAMers have courageously spotlighted the struggle for immigrant rights, demanding justice and dignity for immigrants. And men and women across industries and communities have come forward to expose and unseat the powerful men with sordid histories of sexual assault.
This is a reminder that the opposition to our current sociopolitical climate hasn’t turned into complacency. Millions of Americans are fighting to ensure that racism, fear-mongering, xenophobia, violence, sexual assault, and corruption do not define who we are as a country. The pain and suffering that prompted the founding of these movements cannot and should not ever be justified or forgiven, however, the strength and resilience that these traumas have borne deserve the highest commendation.
We should all look to the men and women at the forefront of the Black Lives Matter movement, the March for Our Lives founders, the DREAMers, the MeToo movement, the Women’s March and countless other resistance leaders who have fought tirelessly for positive change.
It’s no doubt that Democrats experienced grave loss this past decade, however, the progressive response to this political turbulence has been extraordinary. Texas Democrats are energized and mobilizing like never before to turn Texas blue in 2020. Republicans like John Cornyn who have allowed Donald Trump to remain in power will be voted out of office next November. Flipping Texas up and down the ballot means preventing a Republican from ever reaching the White House again. November 3, 2020 will surely be the best moment of the next decade because when we save Texas, we save the country.