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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 7/2/16

Meet Misty Snow: Grassroots Activist, Working-Class Progressive, Trans Woman, Democratic Nominee for the US Senate

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Reprinted from The Nation

A first-time candidate borrows a page from Bernie Sanders and gets nominated for the US Senate.

"A lot of people have told me whether I win or lose, I'm already making a difference just by running," Misty Snow told her hometown paper after she was nominated for the US Senate.

There's some truth in that. Snow is about as young as a Senate candidate can be -- at 30, she just meets the constitutional age requirement for serving in the chamber -- and almost a decade younger than any sitting senator. Snow is a passionate progressive who as a first-time candidate beat a somewhat older and quite a bit more conservative contender in a statewide primary. Snow is a Democrat running in a state that currently sends an all-Republican delegation to Congress. Snow is a "cashier at a grocery store[who was] raised in a lower-income family" taking on the political establishment with a grassroots campaign that built on the momentum of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders' run for the Democratic presidential nomination. And, Snow notes, "I just happen to be transgender."

With her Utah Democratic primary win on Tuesday -- by a 59-41 margin -- Snow just happens to be the first transgender candidate ever nominated by a major party to run for the US Senate.

Snow got in the race late because she thought Democrats needed to mount a bold progressive challenge to Republican Senator Mike Lee. But she ran a smart, energetic campaign that drew strong support not just from Salt Lake City -- a progressive city with a vibrant LGBTQ community -- but from communities across the state. Inspired by the Sanders campaign (which scored a 79-21 victory in the March 22 Utah caucuses) Snow ran a campaign that promised she would be "Standing Up for Democratic Values for All Americans" and she pledged to champion:

  • a $15-an-hour minimum wage, with indexing to guarantee future increases that keep up with inflation
  • a constitutional amendment to get big money out of politics
  • bold responses to climate change
  • a single-payer health-care system
  • legalization of marijuana and criminal-justice reform
  • civil rights and civil liberties
  • While her campaign has focused on a broad spectrum of progressive proposals--which she explains on an impressively detailed website that features far more discussion of the issues than those of many Senate nominees -- Snow brings to politics an important perspective at a time when conservative activists and many Republicans are proposing to discriminate against trans people.

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    John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, has written the Online Beat since 1999. His posts have been circulated internationally, quoted in numerous books and mentioned in debates on the floor of Congress.

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