Top 3 Things You Need to Know - November 18, 2016

Thursday, November 17, 2016



Election Outcome and Civil Rights Response

Businessman Donald Trump was elected as the next President of the United States in last week’s election.  To many people his victory is stunning and unprecedented upset.  In response to the outcome of this election, the National Urban League along with our six civil rights partners—the NAACP, National Action Network, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights—affirmed that the top priority for our organizations in the weeks and months ahead is to address any threat to our most vulnerable citizens and our democracy by the incoming administration.

President-elect Trump used very by divisive racial rhetoric during his campaign, which has emboldened white supremacists across America and sparked protests nationwide.  As a civil rights organization, the National Urban League will continue to battle discrimination, racial injustice and barriers to equal opportunity as it has done for decades. The Urban League Movement will advocate for the next President of the United States to honor and prioritize the Constitutional guarantee of equal protection, due process and full citizenship for every American.

You can read the National Urban League’s full statement regarding the election of Donald Trump here.


Most Diverse Congress Elected

Although it is not yet clear what a Republican-led Congress under a Trump Administration will mean for the civil rights community and country, Election Day brought some historic news. When the 115th United States Congress is seated in January 2017, it will boast the most diverse congressional body elected in history including the largest-ever Congressional Black Caucus, Congressional Hispanic Caucus and Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, and 100-women lawmakers, some of which have made history. They are:

  • Pramila Jayapal, the first Indian-American woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • Catherine Cortez-Masto, the first Latina U.S. Senator.
  • Tammy Duckworth will be the first Thai-American elected to the U.S. Senate.
  • Lisa Blunt Rochester is the first African-American and first woman elected to represent Delaware in Congress.
  • And, Kamala Harris, the second Black woman elected to the U.S. Senate.

The Movement is encouraged by the election of a Congress that is more representative of America, and we look forward to working with these lawmakers.


Congressional Results

Capping what was a dire night for the Democrats, Republicans retained their majorities in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate.

Election night began with a third of Senate seats up for grabs, 34 of 100. Democrats attempted to take 3-6 seats from Republicans, but in the end they gained just two seats in the Senate. Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth, a double amputee Iraq war veteran, will take Republican Mark Kirk's place in Illinois and Governor Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire defeated incumbent Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte.

In the House, Democrats picked up seven total seats in Florida (3), New Jersey (1), Illinois (1), Virginia (1), and Nevada (1).  However, Democrats failed to take majority.  As a result, Republicans will retain control of the House by a wider than expected margin--239 seats to Democrats 193 seats. 

With Republicans poised to control the White House and the Congress, we will closely monitor what that will mean for the National Urban League’s policy priorities and the rest of the nation.