Blog from July, 2019

CNN just announced the official lineup for the second Democratic presidential primary debate in Detroit, Michigan. 

NIGHT ONE, Tuesday, July 30:

  • Steve Bullock
  • Pete Buttigieg
  • John Delaney
  • John Hickenlooper
  • Amy Klobuchar
  • Beto O'Rourke
  • Tim Ryan
  • Bernie Sanders
  • Elizabeth Warren
  • Marianne Williamson

NIGHT TWO, Wednesday, July 31:

  • Michael Bennet
  • Joe Biden
  • Cory Booker
  • Julián Castro
  • Bill de Blasio
  • Tulsi Gabbard
  • Kirsten Gillibrand
  • Kamala Harris
  • Jay Inslee
  • Andrew Yang

You won't want to miss out on seeing this incredible group of Democratic candidates take the stage to debate our country's most pressing issues, so be sure to mark your calendar. You'll hear directly from 20 of our Democratic candidates as they share their ambitious plans to win the White House and get our country back on track.

All of our presidential candidates will require a strong, well-resourced DNC to take on Trump and win back the White House.

The DNC is working around the clock to build the rock-solid party infrastructure required to help our eventual presidential nominee and Democrats nationwide win, but that won't be possible without the help of our most committed supporters like you. This election is going to be won by all of us -- candidates, supporters, and the DNC working together. That's why I am asking you to make a donation to the Democratic Unity Fund ahead of the second Democratic debate.


Dear DNC Member,

I hope that you've had a great month of July so far!  Last night, the DNC announced the list of the Democratic candidates that met the threshold to participate in the Democratic primary debate. You can find the list of candidates and other details regarding the second Democratic presidential primary debate below.
Also, please make sure not to miss the random candidate debate night draw later tonight on CNN. The draw will be conducted live at 8:00 p.m. ET. As always, feel free to reach out to me or my office if you have any questions.

Yours,  Jason

Jason Rae Secretary Democratic National Committee   xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx    

DNC And CNN Announce Candidates Participating In Second Democratic Presidential Primary Debate

Today, the DNC and CNN announced that 20 candidates have been invited to participate in the second Democratic presidential primary debate. Each candidate was invited based on the qualification criteria agreed to by the DNC and CNN in February.

To ensure both nights are balanced based on candidate support, the DNC and CNN have mutually agreed that a random draw will be conducted live tomorrow night at 8pm ET on CNN.

The DNC and CNN previously announced that the second debate will take place over two nights, on July 30 and 31 in Detroit, Michigan.

Based on the qualification criteria agreed to by the DNC and CNN and announced in February 2019, the following candidates have been invited to participate in the first primary debate:

Sen. Michael Bennet

Vice President Joe Biden*

Sen. Cory Booker*

Gov. Steve Bullock

Mayor Pete Buttigieg*

Sec. Julian Castro*

Mayor Bill de Blasio

Rep. John Delaney

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard*

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand*

Sen. Kamala Harris*

Gov. John Hickenlooper

Gov. Jay Inslee*

Sen. Amy Klobuchar*

Rep. Beto O’Rourke*

Rep. Tim Ryan

Sen. Bernie Sanders*

Sen. Elizabeth Warren*

Ms. Marianne Williamson*

Mr. Andrew Yang*

* Candidates marked by an asterisk qualified through both polling and grassroots fundraising thresholds. The remaining candidates qualified through polling only.

The debates will be broadcast in the U.S. on CNN and around the world on CNN platforms; CNN SiriusXM Channels 116, 454,795; and the Westwood One Radio Network. 

CNN’s debates will stream live in their entirety, without requiring log–in to a cable provider, exclusively to’s homepage, across mobile devices via CNN’s apps for iOS and Android, and via CNNgo apps for Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, Chromecast and Android TV. The full debate nights will be available exclusively the day following the airing on demand via cable/satellite systems, on CNNgo (at on your desktop, smartphone, and tablets, and via CNNgo OTT apps), and CNN mobile apps on iOS and Android.


 Dear Disability Community Advocates,

According to Rutgers University new research, there was an 8.5% surge in voter turnout among people with disabilities in 2018, compared to the 2014 midterm election, and 10% increase in California -  so they, along with their friends and family members could be a powerful force in the next election. While there has been progress since the ADA was passed 29 years ago last week, people with disabilities still face many barriers to inclusion. As CNN counts down to the CNN Democratic presidential debates in Detroit, July 30 & 31st, I'm asking you to please encourage everyone in your network to submit #DisabilityQuestions to CNN moderators using the link below:

Please let me know what questions you've submitted by emailing Adrianne George at

Lastly, the Disability Council has established a monthly newsletter, which will include information about upcoming events and opportunities. I hope you enjoy the July newsletter and look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your continued support.
Lead on,
Tony Coelho DNC Disability Council Chair   

RSVP for DNC Summer General Meeting
The Democratic National Committee has announced the schedule for 2019 Summer DNC Meeting. The Disability Council will be meeting on Thursday, August 22, 2019 from 1:30p.m. to 3:00 p.m. The meeting will take place at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square, located at 333 O'Farrell St, San Francisco, CA 94102.    Disability Council Agenda
  1. Call to Order
  2. Pledge of Allegiance
  3. Special Guest Speakers – Keep a Watch for Announcements
  4. DNC Political Update
  5. Training & Panel: How to Start a Disability Caucus in Your State Party

We will have details coming in August for watching the meeting remotely. If you will be attending in person please RSVP by filling out this form, and don’t forget to let us know about your reasonable accommodation or program modification request.   If you will be attending the other public parts of the 2019 Summer DNC Meeting and have accommodation or program modification requests separate from the Disability Council meeting, please contact    The deadline to make a request is Thursday, August 15, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The Disability Council leadership team is looking forward to seeing you in San Francisco!  

Meet Governor Kate Brown and 2020 Presidential Candidates
The DNC Disability Council Finance Committee is delighted to invite all in the Portland area to come out and meet special guest Governor Kate Brown on July 23, commencing at 6 p.m. Governor Brown will meet with members of the Oregon and neighboring states disability communities to discuss her commitment to inclusion, recent actions, and to help the DNC strategize about galvanizing the disability community to become a commanding voice in the 2020 elections. Please register using this link, or if you are outside of the region, tell your friends and network who may wish to attend! If you have an accommodation request, please contact

If you are attending the DNC Summer General Meeting in August, you are welcome to attend the I Will Vote Gala, featuring 2020 presidential candidates. The Gala will be held on Thursday, August 22 at 6 PM. The address will be provided upon RSVP. RSVP using this link. If you have an accommodation request, please contact
In addition, anyone interested in hosting a DNC Disability Council event to help the DNC raise funds to support the 2020 campaign should contact Janni Lehrer-Stein at We welcome all participants to the Finance Committee and look forward to bringing an exciting event, like this one planned in Oregon to your community with your help! Let’s show the nation that the Disability Council has a powerful voice by raising funds to assist inclusive candidates to victory in 2020!  

Contribute to Disability Policy
The Policy Committee has seen an influx of new members over the past two weeks, for which we are quite grateful. During our next meeting, we plan to start reviewing one page drafts completed by each task team. We have made great strides with regards to employment, criminal justice, emergency mgmt and climate change, education, financial wellness, and healthcare. Our goal is the production of a complete first draft by the end of August. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Chakir Underdown or Kelly Buckland at Specifically, we would appreciate support in the following areas: Housing; Long Term Supports and Services, Technology, Voting, Research, and Peer Support.   

Build a Pipeline for Leadership
The Youth Committee, chaired by Seamus Campbell, Rachel Gonzalez, and Anna Landre, was created this past June and is currently looking for members who will be willing to help organize and advocate for disability issues in their schools, colleges, and community as we go into the 2020 election. We have already been in touch with leaders from the High School Democrats of America, College Democrats of America, and the Young Democrats of America but are always looking for more voices. If you are interested in getting involved with the Youth Committee, please email Chair Seamus Campbell at  

Protect the Disability Vote
The Disability Council's Voter Protection Committee is working with Senator Casey’s office on a request to General Accountability Office to survey accessibility during the 2020 election. This request includes electronic and information access in addition to polling place physical accessibility.
The Voter Protection Committee chairs will be meeting next week with the DNC Voter Protection team to develop plans ahead of the 2020 General Election for disability integration into the election protection plan and education to our state partners. 
Ahead of this meeting, the Committee is reviewing the materials from the 2018 election to look for improvements in education on election accessibility.   

Celebrate New Disability Caucuses
The Midwestern Region is really “hopping,” with the development of state Democratic Disability Caucuses! Prior to the establishment of the DNC Disability Council in 2017, there were six Democratic Disability Caucuses, in Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Iowa, and Michigan. Since that time, two more Caucuses have been established, in North Dakota (April 2019) and Wisconsin (June 2019). Hats off to leadership in both states for starting these Caucuses, including Wisconsin’s Party Chair, Martha Laning, Party Affairs leaders Amy Donner and Will Hoffman, and Caucus Co-Chairs Adam Brabender and Terry Conn, as well as North Dakota’s Party Chair Kylie Oversen and Interim Caucus Chair Chris McEwen. Both the WI and ND Caucuses are considering undertaking some of the activities that many of the established Caucuses do: advocating for overall awareness of the range of disabilities, for accessibility (including within and outside the party), for pro-disability legislation, and for candidates and campaigns that support, involve, or are led by people with disabilities. 
If you would like to share news of events within your own state’s Disability Caucus, for inclusion in this newsletter, please contact Midwestern Disability Council Vice-Chair Dr. Terry Friedrichs, at Terry would also like to know about consultation that your existing Disability Caucus may wish to become even more thoroughly established. He can also advise you on how to start a Caucus if you do not currently have one.   

Recruit New Members    The Western Region has been actively focusing on Disability Council recruitment by sending out membership invitations to state staff members as well as to state elected officials. Through its concentrated efforts, the Western Region team has recently recruited over 50 new members. The Western Region’s goal is to share information about the DNC Disability Council with as many people as possible, while targeting states that do not have a disability caucus or group. The Western Region’s team is also working to identify a representative in every state that would like to respond to and speak for the Disability Council in that area. As part of its ongoing strategy, the team is working to understand the relationships among the national, states, and local disabilities caucuses, in an effort to work more closely with them moving forward. If you would like to get involved, please contact Jayson Morris  

Advocate for Intersectional Representation
The Eastern Region is committed to intersectional outreach by reaching out to local and state party leaders about the inclusion of disabled Democrats in their other caucus and affinity group activities. One way we have accomplished this effort, is by partnering with the Black and Veterans Caucus of the Maryland Democratic Party to reflect the diversity of the cross-disability community. The Eastern Region would like to replicate this effort in other states of the Eastern Region. In addition, the Eastern Region has established relationships with other disability rights organizations such as the Mid-Atlantic ADA organization, that aren't partisan, but have political programs that are geared to increase advocacy on the everyday challenges and barriers that continue to affect the cross-disability community. 
Another area of focus for the Eastern Region, is having representation of the cross-disability community in state and local democratic parties. This will allow us to have a stronger voice on the direction of the party—and create more ways to be inclusive, especially in leadership roles and employment positions at the state and local level. This will also build on the foundation of the DNC Disability Council, as well as state party councils or caucus, so that we are more visible, progressive and effective. If you are interested in establishing a disability caucus or task force in your state, please contact Monica

Dear DNC Member,

Please find a message from DNC Youth Council Chair Michael Kapp, below. 

Jason Rae
Democratic National Committee


The time has come to elect our eight at-large regional members on the Democratic National Committee's Youth Council. 

Applications are now available for the 2019-21 at-large positions on the DNC's Youth Council. The application can also be found online at Applicants must be registered Democrats, under the age of 36, and must provide two letters of recommendation (including one from a DNC Member of the state you will represent). Applications must be submitted via the DNC website link.   

The Youth Council will elect one male and one female from each of the DNC's four regions (East, South, Midwest and West) to serve on the Council for a two year period beginning immediately upon election.
Applications will be accepted starting now until August 15 at 11:00 p.m. PT. Any applications received after that day and time will not be accepted. After that time, the applications will be reviewed and recommendations made by the Youth Council officers. All applicants will be notified whether or not they have been recommended in advance of the fall DNC meeting to be held in San Francisco, CA on August 22-24, 2019. All DNC Youth Council meetings are open to all registered Democrats.

Current at-large members of the Council who wish to continue serving must reapply and be reelected. DNC Members under 36 are automatic members of the Council.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to let me know. 

We look forward to receiving your application, and thank you for all you do on behalf of our Democratic Party! 
Michael Kapp
Chair, DNC Youth Council

DNC on Trump Tweets

Dear DNC Member,

Please find a message from Chair Perez on the recent Trump tweets attacking U.S. Reps. Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib below.

Jason Rae
Democratic National Committee

DNC Chair Tom Perez released the following statement after Donald Trump attacked U.S. Reps. Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib:

“Not a word from Republicans in Congress. Not a word from RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel. Where is the moral compass of the Republican Party? How long will we have to wait before they grow a spine and stand up to this president’s bigotry? History will not treat the silence of cowards with kindness – and neither will voters. 

“Trump’s comments are not isolated; they are representative of this president’s entire agenda to destroy immigrants’ lives, devalue women’s voices, and discriminate against communities of color. These four congresswomen are patriots who are fighting for a more perfect union for all Americans. If only we had a president who did the same.”

Dear DNC Member,

Please find shareable content for your social media networks regarding some of the trending topics of the week below.

As always, please let us know if there is anything else we can do to be helpful. Have a great weekend!

Jason Rae
Democratic National Committee


Twitter Posts to Share:

Share on Twitter.

Share on Twitter.

Share on Twitter.

Share on Twitter.

Share on Twitter.

Share on Twitter.

Facebook Posts to Share:


Share on Facebook.

Share on Facebook.

Share on Facebook.

TO:              DNC Disability Council Members
FROM:         Anna Perng, Disability Council Co-Secretary
                     Nellie Wild, Disability Council Co-Secretary
DATE:          July 1, 2019
RE:              Message from Chair Coelho

Dear Disability Council members, 

The 2020 presidential campaign season is officially in full swing with the first of twelve debates having taken place in Miami last week. As you know, we made great progress in 2016 with Hillary, and more since then, thanks to you and your perseverance.

However, I would be out of touch if I didn’t recognize the communal disappointment in the Miami debates. I know that many of you are feeling ignored and discouraged because there was no mention of disability – other than inappropriate comments concerning mental health and gun violence. I share your frustration!

We also recently learned that none of the Democratic candidates’ websites are fully accessible, which is unacceptable.

I am writing to ask you not to give up, but instead, do as Ed Roberts said, “advocate, advocate, advocate!” Our community’s influence has grown significantly within the DNC in the past three years, and even though we have seemingly gotten off to a less than optimal start with these debates, we are just getting started.

We must insert ourselves into this process and one way to do that is by submitting debate questions. As each debate nears, the opportunities to submit questions will be provided by the DNC and the host networks. Keep a watch on emails from the DNC and the Disability Council with links to submit questions - and make sure you share the link on social media.

If you submitted questions for this last debate and they were not asked, submit the same questions again next time. Also, let me know that you did! I’ll do everything in my power to ensure that we are heard during the next round of debates.

Together, as the Disability Council, we can prepare for the upcoming Detroit debates on July 30th and 31st. We all need to work hard together over the next couple of weeks to prepare debate questions – lots of them – so we have a repository of questions to submit for the next and subsequent debates.

We will be in touch again soon with pertinent information, including the timeline and process for submitting questions for the upcoming debates. We must all work together to ensure that our voices are being heard in future Democratic debates, and for nothing less than full inclusion in the 2020 presidential race.

Lead on,

Tony Coelho

DNC Disability Council Chair

Dear DNC Member,

I hope this note finds you well and that you’re enjoying the start of July! It’s hard to believe the year is already half over. 

I wanted to share some notes with you today following the recent DNC Executive Committee meeting that took place this past weekend. We hope that this information is helpful to you in your work promoting the DNC and the great work that the party is doing.
The DNC Executive Committee met on Saturday, June 29 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Democratic Party Chair Nancy Mills gave welcome remarks and highlighted some of the recent successes in the state, including picking up four Congressional seats, and reelecting Governor Tom Wolf in a landslide. Under Chair Mills’ leadership, Pennsylvania Democrats are organizing year-round and are within striking distance of taking back the state legislature.
The Executive Committee heard from a number of elected officials as well. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey was the special guest speaker and spoke on the work that she and other Democratic Attorneys General across the country are doing to fight back against the Trump administration on a number of fronts – from immigration to the environment to, most recently, the U.S. Census. Also joining the meeting was State Representative and House Democratic Whip Jordan Harris, who inspired us to continue organizing because it is how we improve the future lives of so many people.
Chair Tom Perez provided remarks during the meeting and gave an update on the work the DNC is doing as we build toward elections in 2019 and 2020. He highlighted the record-breaking viewership for the recent Miami debates and introduced the Executive Committee to Joe Solmonese, the CEO of the Democratic National Convention Committee. Solmonese talked about the importance of Milwaukee, his excitement for the convention, and how the convention team is building an inclusive and engaging convention experience. Chair Perez also introduced DNC Vice Chair, Congresswoman Grace Meng to provide an update on the great work Democrats are doing in Congress.

DNC Chief Technology Officer Nell Thomas and DNC Security Data Analyst Tim Durigan presented to the Executive Committee on the DNC’s data infrastructure and on disinformation campaigns and terminology. Thomas highlighted DNC Tech team efforts to help campaigns work better at all levels and the five areas of focus for her department – data, the warehouse, tools & services, security, and community support.

The Executive Committee heard from Tim Durigan on basic counter-disinformation tactics and terminology. Tim explained that DNC members observing inauthentic or suspicious activity affecting Democrats on social media, including but not limited to fake accounts, manipulated video, viral false news, harassment, impersonation, and doxxing should report it in the platform and contact the DNC at

There were two resolutions that were introduced during the old/new business portion of the meeting. In order to follow the official process, the Executive Committee moved to refer both resolutions to the Resolution Committee for consideration. 

Finally, before the Executive Committee adjourned, it held a moment of silence to recognize the recent passing of Frank LaMere of Nebraska, a long-time DNC member and most recently, the Nebraska Democratic Party’s First Associate Chair.

The meeting adjourned at 12:16 p.m. The next Executive Committee meeting will take place in San Francisco in conjunction with our full DNC meeting.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me or my office if you have any questions.

Jason Rae
Democratic National Committee