Two former Congressional candidates urge Democrats to start trumpeting progressive policies that are popular with red and blue Americans: a $15 minimum wage, stronger worker protections and legalized marijuana.
April 21, 2022

Julie Oliver and Mike Siegel, each of whom were endorsed by Blue America, have moved on to create Ground Game Texas, a group inspired by activism in Georgia and Arizona and which is working to build “a progressive Texas from the ground up.”

If anyone should know about which Democratic policies have bipartisan appeal, it would be these two, each of whom were also serious contenders to flip their respective red Texas seats in 2020.

They wrote their ideas in a July, 2021 The Washington Post column that is just as relevant today, they noted that several 2020 ballot initiatives outperformed Joe Biden in red and blue states:

Legislation supporting workers, improving wages and legalizing marijuana are progressive, Democratic policies. But they’re also extremely popular among Republicans and moderates.

According to the Pew Research Center, 91 percent of Americans say marijuana should be legal for medical or recreational use. A Reuters/Ipsos poll from February found that roughly 6 out of 10 voters supported a $15 minimum wage. And other recent polls found that more than 80 percent of likely voters supported paid leave programs for workers.

In Nebraska, more than 80 percent of voters last year chose to cap the interest on payday loans, allowing the state’s workers to keep more of their paychecks. In Florida, where Trump won by more than 3 percentage points, more than 60 percent of voters approved a $15 minimum wage. And in South Dakota, which Trump won by 26 percentage points, nearly 70 percent of voters approved medical marijuana.

Yet Democrats have not shouted from the rooftops that these are Democratic policies.

Now, with Republicans pushing culture-war issues and anti-democratic measures that do nothing to improve the lives of struggling Americans, this seems like a good time to name them, shame them and counter them with popular proposals that do.

As Anat Shenker-Osorio, one of the foremost progressive messaging experts, has said, Democrats “have not learned to stop selling the recipe and start selling the brownie.”

It’s time to take the brownie directly to voters. And why not make it a pot brownie?

Seems a good message for 420 and beyond.

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