Building the Deep Democracy Bench

At Rivera Consulting, we know that to engage the largest Democratic voting block - American Rising Electorate (unmarried women, people of color, and millenials), we need to invest in movement building candidates on all levels of the ballot. Their election leads to more progressive representation in our Congress, our statehouses, and in our municipal government. One of our clients, Partnership for Education Democracy,  identifies women and candidates of color who are committed to democracy, the solidarity economy and have what we help determine are  viable, effective campaign strategies  Through the firm’s national political research services, we make recommendations about what organizations, races and candidates can have a path to victory with early donor investment.   

The purpose of Maria’s List national is to elevate the candidates, and afford them early financial support from funders who may have missed their candidacy otherwise. Specifically, our firm created its framework for political giving, where we target  states where amplified synergy exists across several key factors: progressive ballot questions, 501c3 and 501c4 voter engagement efforts, and women and people of color on the ballot. Click here for a look at out results from last year.

Out of 11 Congressional endorsements, 7 went on to have hard earned victories that many did  not predict. They are leaders in 116th Congress, like Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-7), Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14), and Debbie Murcasall-Powell (FL-26), pushing forth change making legislation and initiatives that do right by the diverse campaigns that delivered them. However, investing in federal movement building candidates is not enough. The rise of Trump is a direct result of lost Democratic seats at the local, legislative, judicial, and state level. After last years success, Maria’s List is doubling down on investing in strategic candidates in blue pockets of red states to regain ground in our progressive pipelines.

 The first endorsement was Tucson City Councilor Regina Romero in her campaign for Mayor. In 2007, Councilor Romero became the first Latina elected to the Tucson City Council and the first woman to represent Tucson’s Ward 1. With the Mayor of Tucson retiring, Regina decided to run in a three way primary. On August 27th, she was ultimately victorious because she was able to maintain her democratic and latino base, while also growing amongst white democrat voters who frequent municipal elections. Defying an old but persistent democratic myth that only nonwhite voters vote for nonwhite candidates

Rivera Consulting Inc. also recommended the endorsement of Shelby County Commissioner Tami Sawyer for Mayor of Memphis.  Tami was a A high-profile Memphis activist and was one of the main organizers behind #TakeEmDown901, the civic-led push to remove statues honoring the Confederacy from public space. She is a seasoned campaign, having run a successful movement building County Commissioner campaign in 2018. Mephis faces many economic challenges, with 28% of the population living under the poverty line according to the U.S. Census Bureau, "American Community Survey.” Seeing the stark inequities of Memphis, and the city governments’ prioritization of development over people, Tami decided not to wait her turn and is running for Mayor in a three way primary. Tami’s election is Thursday, October 3rd, and if elected she will be the first female Mayor of Memphis, and the first black woman to hold the position.  

Rivera Consulting Inc. drafted content for the Maria’s List  community, and advised on why they should  support their race. By encouraging the political donor community to invest in these down ballot candidates they are investing in the longevity of our democracy. Rivera Consulting Inc. also understand that by asking the donor class to invest in down ballot races means these candidates will have relationships with progressive donors around the country that they can turn to when they run again or for higher office.

To have more leaders we need to transform the political funding that disinvests from the American Rising Electorate and shapes the policy focus of our democracy.  Political  organizations  like Maria’s List use their platform to introduce   women, and people of color, who are running in down ballot national races around the country. Whether its an off year or peak election year, we need to cover all of our bases if we are going to restore and transform how our democracy works.

 We can harness in the Rising American Electorate by investing in candidates that not only represent their politics, but also their lived experience. Rivera Consulting Inc. not only knows this, but understands how to make the case for why investing in Deep Democracy candidates matters.

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PS. We have had a busy summer, please visit our In the News and Deep Democracy page to learn about our clients and the team at Rivera Consulting. If you haven’t already follow us on Rivera Consulting on