19 to Watch in 2019 highlights politicians, activists and operatives across the country who are positioned to play a critical role in the political landscape leading up to 2020. From the new generation reshaping the Democratic Party to the behind-the-scenes players who keep Congress moving and those with their eyes on the presidential election, these are the people to watch over the next 12 months.
If the 2018 midterm elections were the “Year of the Woman,’’ then Aimee Allison says they also represented a much bigger watershed.
“It was the Year of Women of Color,’’ said Allison, president of Democracy In Color and host of the popular “Democracy in Color” podcast, both efforts aimed at empowering voters and candidates of color. From the landmark Latinas, African-American women and Native Americans elected, to the legions of volunteers who canvassed, called and turned out the vote in races across the nation, “they were the secret sauce,’’ she says.
“We have remarkable leaders, some of whom have never gotten a shot. But this was their year,’’ Allison says. “They changed the face of power.’’
Few on the American political scene have done as much to keep those women front and center. As an activist who’s been called “the voice of the new American majority,’’ Allison has been credited as one of the most energetic drivers of a modern movement to galvanize the participation of women of color in the electorate — as well as support, train and encourage them to run for office. And win.
Allison, 49, this year launched She the People, an ambitious national network aimed at elevating the political roles of women and harnessing organizing skills in time for the midterms. Her first-ever national political summit specifically for women of color — a sold-out event in San Francisco — drew a roster of political stars, including Reps. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), activist Dolores Huerta and then-candidates Rashida Tlaib, one of the first Muslim-American women elected to Congress, and Deb Haaland, one of the first Native American women in the House. Read more.