Statement on Rick Snyder

The Harvard College Democrats issued the following statement in response to former Governor Rick Snyder’s appointment as a Taubman Center fellow:

“The Harvard College Democrats urge Dr. Liebman to rescind former Governor Rick Snyder’s appointment as a senior research fellow. This appointment betrays the values and mission of the Harvard community and validates Governor Snyder’s legacy of racism.

To those who suffered at the hands of his administration, mostly people of color, Governor Snyder’s appointment is deeply hurtful.

Harvard Kennedy School’s stated mission is to improve public policy and public leadership “so people can lead safer, freer, and more prosperous lives.” Appointing Governor Snyder as a fellow calls this mission into question. Governor Snyder's legacy is that of disregard for Black lives. If HKS honors that legacy with this appointment, for whom is the safety, freedom, and prosperity you mention in your mission statement?

This appointment is a direct endorsement of Governor Snyder’s racist legacy. By appointing Governor Snyder as a fellow, Harvard Kennedy School is telling its students and community members that disregard of communities of color is acceptable, that harm caused to communities of color is inconsequential, and that a legacy of racism is synonymous with a legacy of service.

Governor Synder not only allowed poisonous water to flow into the homes of Flint, Michigan, but also subverted democracy when he took power away from local officials who had been elected by the community and instead gave control over Flint to ‘emergency managers.’

Governor Snyder’s actions are still causing pain. Flint’s children are still suffering. And Flint still does not have clean water.

If the Harvard Kennedy School is truly committed to their mission of public service “so people can lead safer, freer, and more prosperous lives,” Governor Snyder’s fellowship should be rescinded and granted instead to someone who has not endangered the lives of the people they claim to serve, but rather who has fought for justice, safety, freedom, and prosperity for all — especially for historically marginalized communities of color.”

Inquiries should be directed to


College Democrats Demand Meeting with DCCC Chair

CAMBRIDGE, MA—After reaching 75 chapters nationwide, the coalition of college Democrats chapters boycotting the DCCC is asking for a meeting with DCCC Chair Cheri Bustos to talk about the regressive vendor policies they have put in place. Last week, they backed out of a meeting with Our Revolution that may have included us. We demand accountability from the DCCC and won’t stop until this policy is reversed. To view a full list of coalition members, click here. To join us, pledge on social media to boycott the DCCC with #BoycottDCCC.

College Democrats Announce National Coalition to Boycott DCCC

CAMBRIDGE, MA – The Harvard College Democrats today announce a coalition of 26 college Democrats chapters calling for a boycott of donations to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee over its regressive policy of blacklisting vendors who work with challengers to Democratic incumbents. 26 chapters from around the country have signed our letter to the DCCC below.

Harvard College Democrats Statement Regarding Co-Sponsorship of Wall of Resistance

Today, the Harvard College Democrats voted to co-sponsor the Wall of Resistance, an art display that will be up in the Science Center Plaza from Tuesday, April 2nd to Saturday, April 6th.

Our mission as Harvard Dems is to promote progressive values on campus and beyond. Fulfilling that mission requires persistent and intentional honesty. We decided that it was better to have a debate than to not, to hold a democratic vote of our board than to not, and to engage on this issue than to not. When we are presented with challenging questions about justice, we will engage with them because we believe that we are better for it. That is our basic commitment as Democrats and one we will always honor with love and respect.

Our party is democratic precisely because it contains a range of views on Israel and Palestine and on every other issue. Our job as leaders is to allow all these views to hold space, and that’s why we allotted more time for board members to deliberate on this issue than we’re aware has ever been allotted on any other co-sponsorship ask we’ve received. In this case, 8 board members voted in favor of co-sponsorship and 3 voted against.

We decided to include the vote count in this statement to make it clear that, because the Democratic party includes a range of views, our board had varying opinions. And while the vote today reflects the majority opinion of our executive board, the complexity of this process reflects that there is not a consensus among Harvard Democrats on this issue.

We recognize that members of our community feel that their identities were at stake in the outcome of this decision and that either a co-sponsorship or no sponsorship would cause hurt.

Decisions like these require us to think deeply about what we stand for and the values we represent. Those same values call on us to continue fighting for a more just and equitable future. Going forward, we intend to do exactly that.


Harvard College Democrats Executive Board

Statement on Justin Fairfax and Mark Herring

Last week, the Harvard College Democrats called for the resignation of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam. We remain committed to our belief that Governor Northam has betrayed our values and must step down. After hearing that Virginia Attorney General

Mark Herring also used blackface on one occasion, we affirm our stance that racism and public service are incompatible and call for Attorney General Herring to step down.

In last week’s statement, we also urged Governor Northam to allow Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax to lead Virginia forward. However, over the course of this week, we were unnerved and disappointed to hear about two sexual assault allegations against Lt. Governor Fairfax.

We believe survivors, and we believe that Lt. Governor Fairfax must step down. Virginians deserve leaders in office whom they can trust. The conduct detailed in the allegations against Fairfax has broken the trust of Virginians and everyone who campaigned for him, including members of the Harvard College Democrats.

We are aware that if Northam, Fairfax, and Herring all step down, Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates Kirk Cox (R) will become governor. We believe that our moment in time calls on us to act in accordance with our values of equity, accountability, inclusion, and justice. We cannot support Northam, Fairfax, or Herring’s leadership. All three men must step down to allow Virginia to come together and begin to heal from the wounds racism and sexual assault have inflicted.

As College Democrats, we will never stop working to uphold our values on campus and beyond, especially by campaigning for elected officials who share that commitment to our values.

Statement on Ralph Northam

In 2017, the Harvard College Democrats campaigned for Democrats in Virginia up and down the ballot, including for Governor Ralph Northam. Because of our work supporting his campaign as well as our belief in equity and inclusion, we are compelled today to speak about the revelation that he appeared in a racist photo in his medical school yearbook and participated in the racist tradition of blackface on at least one other occasion.

Use of blackface, white supremacist garb, and racist symbols is unacceptable. By appearing in this photo (or, as he alleges, approving the photo to be in his yearbook), Governor Northam has betrayed the values we and the Virginians who elected him hold dear. Racism and public service are incompatible, and Governor Northam’s participation in white supremacy means he is not qualified to govern the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Governor Ralph Northam has betrayed the values he told us he believed in, and it is time for him to resign and allow Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax to lead Virginia forward.

Statement in Response to President Trump's Oval Office Address on January 8th, 2019

We, the Harvard College Democrats, reject President Trump’s message of fear and hatred. In a direct address to American citizens, the president misled, misrepresented, and outright lied about the state of our immigration system, all to scare Americans into blaming the Democratic party for a government shutdown caused by the president and exacerbated by congressional Republicans.

Harvard College Democrats Comment on Proposed Title IX Changes

Re: ED-2018-OCR-0064

To Whom it May Concern,

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex in Education Programs or Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance. We, the members of the Harvard College Democrats, urge the Department of Education to reconsider its proposed Title IX rules and regulations. We believe these proposed regulations would harm survivors of sexual assault and harassment on college campuses. As an organization of Harvard students who are committed to advocating for the values of equality, opportunity, and freedom, we stand with survivors of sexual assault and harassment and affirm their right to access their education….