Former President Barack Obama returned to the political arena by backing the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, chaired by former Attorney General Eric Holder. The committee’s goal it to make Democrats more competitive in voter redistricting fights, and after six months, they’ve raised $10.8 million.
While most of the money came from high dollar donors, the NDRC says that 10,000 people donated. In fact, there was a rush of small donations after the election, when the group was officially formed. The major donors included Chicago’s Fred Eychaner and Florida’s Donald Sussman, who each gave $500,000. As well, John Stryker gave $200,000. And a few Hollywood celebrities contributed, such as JJ Abrams and his wife, actress Katie McGrath, who each gave $125,000.
The fundraising mainly took place through five events organized by Holder, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, and Washington DC. It was this last event, headlined by Obama early in July, that brought in the most donations.
Democrats hope the NDRC will be able to facilitate interest and activist groups in the battle over redistricting after the 2020 census. They’ll also support legal challenges from the local level all the way to the Supreme Court. They’ll be facing a lot of uphill battles to shift the balance of power.
But they are optimistic. “The NDRC’s significant fundraising in its first six months will allow us to take on gerrymandering and reform our electoral system,” Holder said. “This will be done through our courts, at the ballot box, and through support of ballot initiatives that create non-partisan commissions and other electoral reforms.”
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