Reform Movement Responds to U.S. Election Results

Contact: Max Rosenblum or Rachel Laser
202.387.2800 |

Washington, D.C., November 5, 2014 — In response to the 2014 election results, Rachel Laser, Deputy Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

In the wake of yesterday's election results, we welcome the resounding success of three key state ballot initiatives that will enhance America's safety and well-being. In Washington State, all gun purchases will now require a common-sense background check. Thanks to Nebraska voters, the state's minimum wage will increase to $9 by 2016. In fact, voters approved minimum wage increases in four states nationwide, all by wide margins. And in Massachusetts, voters said "yes" to Question 4, allowing workers at companies with 11 or more employees to earn paid sick leave. In each of these states, Reform rabbis and congregants working with the Religious Action Center's staff were key to the initiatives' passage - offering sermons, publishing op-eds, speaking with colleagues and friends, and voting.

The 114th Congress will have many new faces, and we take great pride in our long history of working successfully with members on both sides of the aisle to advance shared priorities. From the Children's Health Insurance Program, to the Americans with Disabilities Act, to the Endangered Species Act and beyond, so many significant pieces of legislation that have transformed the nation for the better are the result of bipartisan efforts. We look forward to working with the new members of congress to continue that tradition. Addressing the threat of climate change, the challenge of economic inequality, the broken immigration system that fails to keep families together or meet the needs of employers and workers, and the scourge of gun violence are all challenges that affect Americans in every state and of all political ideologies. These will remain among our priorities as well.

Finally, we remain concerned by the disenfranchisement of eligible voters that was again apparent in this election cycle. Abbreviated early voting periods, onerous voter ID laws, long lines at polling stations and other factors served to limit the ability of Americans to cast their ballots. In a nation that prides itself on its commitment to democratic values and free expression, we must ensure that the right to vote is protected for all.