In the wake of the 2018 Midterms, where more than two-dozen ‘NRA backed’ politicians were booted, the Parkland survivors and March For Our Lives organizers just had one thing to say: Bye, Felicia.
Nearly nine months after the massacre at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the survivors of the deadly school shooting watched the Midterm elections on Nov. 6 with eager eyes — especially the Governor’s race between Andrew Gillum, 39, and Ron DeSantis, 40. The “March For Our Lives” rally organizers had vowed to defeat National Rifle Association-backed Congress people across the nation, so the world waited to see how Parkland’s David Hogg, 18, Emma Gonzalez, 18, Sari Kaufman, 16, and more would respond to the midterm results. David didn’t mince words when he found out that Barbara Comstock (R-Va) was defeated. “Bye @BarbaracComstock,” he tweeted.
“Sending my thoughts and prayers to every NRA back politician tonight,” his sister, Lauren Hogg, tweeted. David claimed that when he, Lauren, and Lauryn Renford once walked by Barbara’s office, “her staffers saw us and slammed the door,” per The Hill. Ms. Comstock lost her seat to Democrat Jennifer Wexton. “27 NRA backed candidates lost tonight! The most ever, civil rights activist Michael Skolnik, tweeted. This news was re-tweeted by Jacyln Corin, co-founder of the March For Our Lives organization. “And we’re not going anywhere, @NRA,” she added.
After Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum conceded the election, Cameron Kasky, co-founder of the March For Our Lives organization, told his Twitter followers to keep their chins up. “And we’ll get it next time. Until then, we won’t stop working to make the state the safest, best place possible,” he tweeted. “Tonight was filled with wins and losses for both parties. No matter who you are or how you feel, never give up on civic engagement. Keep on fighting. That being said, you’ve all earned some rest. Take tomorrow off the internet. Focus on the good stuff. We’ll come back stronger.”
— Jaclyn Corin (@JaclynCorin) November 7, 2018
It feels “more like 60 years” since the shooting at Parkland left 17 dead, David told Mother Jones. David, who was accepted into the University of California, Irvine, took a gap year in order to work on the Midterm elections. The “Road to Change” bus organized by the Parkland students covered 25 states in 60 days this past summer, as the March For Our Lives (MFOL) activists worked to build their momentum to reform the nation’s gun laws. “We’ve spoken in more congressional districts than almost any presidential campaign has in the same time span,” David told Mother Jones. “We know what America’s thinking right now.”
“They’re craving to be able to reform policies, craving to be able to organize and mobilize in their communities—and we noticed they just needed the push and the movement and the inspiration,” Bria Smith, a violence prevention advocate, said in a joint interview with David. “Growing up, I was so conditioned and normalized by the brutality and the violence in my community…I’d never felt like I had a platform to speak on injustices and be able to uplift my voices of brown and black youth back in my home.”
“We know that we can win, but the only way that we can win is if those people that actually say they want change go out and advocate,” David added. “The only way that the people will get this change is by voting on November 6.” No matter what happened or who was in control of Congress, one thing is for sure: the Parkland kids will not give up their efforts to make #NeverAgain a reality.