We’ve long said that if you want to make sure you get pro-gun politicians elected to Congress and the various state houses, we have to start pushing candidates at the local level. It is the rare candidate that starts out running for office at the state or national level. For every Donald Trump, there are thousands and thousands of other politicians that started with the school board, town council, or even just a town or county appointed committee.
Everytown has just made endorsements for three candidates at the school board or city council level. The fact that they are pushing gun prohibitionists at this level says a number of things. First, they are actually using Bloomberg’s money to start building an actual grassroots. Second, they recognize that candidates start local and then move up from there. Third, it is an expansion of their efforts from the state level to the local level since they have no had success (so far) at the nation level. Finally, getting anti-gun politicians elected to school boards will help in their efforts to make schools less safe (gun free zones) and to encourage hoplophobia in the curriculum.
NEW YORK – Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund today endorsed three Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America volunteers, two of whom are also survivors of gun violence. The endorsements include Rhonda Hart, a survivor of gun violence and a volunteer with the Texas chapter of Moms Demand Action; DeAndra Yates-Dycus, a survivor of gun violence and a volunteer with the Indiana chapter of Moms Demand Action; and Christine McGrath, a volunteer with the New Jersey chapter of Moms Demand Action.
“As leaders in the gun safety movement, these candidates have proven that they will never stop fighting to protect their neighbors,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Everytown is proud to endorse Rhonda Hart and DeAndra Yates-Dycus — gun violence survivors who are turning their pain into action — and Christine McGrath, a Moms Demand Action volunteer leader who is working hard to keep her community safe.”
“These volunteers and survivors, some of whom have experienced firsthand the toll of our nation’s gun violence crisis, are running for elected office to enact change in their communities,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “Our volunteers have the courage and fortitude to do whatever it takes to make their communities safer, including moving from shaping policy as volunteers to actually making it as lawmakers.”
More on the volunteers and survivors endorsed today and their elections:
*Rhonda Hart, Dickinson, Texas School Board
Hart’s 14-year-old daughter, Kimberly Vaughan, was killed in the shooting at Santa Fe High school almost a year ago. Before the shooting, Hart was a school bus driver in Santa Fe, Texas. Hart is a volunteer leader with the Texas chapter of Moms Demand Action and an Everytown Survivor Fellow. Her general election for Dickinson School Board in Texas is on May 4.
*DeAndra Yates-Dycus, Indianapolis City-Council District 13
Yates-Dycus’ 13-year-old son, Dre, was wounded by a stray bullet in Indianapolis on February 1, 2014. Yates-Dycus is a volunteer leader with the Indiana chapter of Moms Demand Action and an Everytown Survivor Fellow. Her primary election for Indianapolis City-Council District 13 is on May 7.
*Christine McGrath, Verona, New Jersey Town Council
McGrath has been a volunteer leader with the New Jersey chapter of Moms Demand Action in Essex County for the past two years. She’s running for Verona Town Council and her general election is on May 14.
UPDATE: The endorsement of Rhonda Hart by Everytown doesn’t seem to have impressed the voters in Dickinson. According to unofficial results, she lost to Corey Magliolo who received 67% of the vote to her 33%.
The endorsement from New York City based Everytown reminds me of this.