On Thursday, former President Barack Obama made his first political appearance since leaving office in January at a private fundraiser for the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC).
The event was put on to help bankroll the effort of Democrats to take back power after a devastating loss last November. It was held in a private home and was attended by Obama’s former Attorney General Eric Holder and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
Holder is currently leading the NDRC. Prior to his appearance at Thursday’s fundraiser, he held a pep talk for a group of liberal lawyers and activists in San Francisco and encouraged them to keep fighting President Donald Trump and his administration.
The Democratic party has hit the ground running in their resistance efforts against President Donald Trump, his administration, and the Republicans. Thursday’s fundraiser was aimed at raising money for the upcoming electoral battles the party will face, which will determine the success of their anticipated redistricting efforts set to occur after the 2020 census is complete.
Prior to leaving his post as America’s 44th president, Obama stated that he would make redistricting his top priority during his post-White House career.
“Restoring fairness to our democracy by advocating for fairer, more inclusive district maps around the country is a priority for President Obama,” his spokesman Kevin Lewis said in a statement on his behalf on Monday, according to the Associated Press.
In 2016, Holder expressed his interest in working towards redistricting efforts that favor his party. “American voters deserve fair maps that represent our diverse communities — and we need a coordinated strategy to make that happen,” Holder said. “This unprecedented new effort will ensure Democrats have a seat at the table to create fairer maps after 2020.”
The National Census Bureau redraws the lines of the 435 congressional districts every 10 years.
The Republican Party currently holds power in 32 out of 50 states. The AP notes that Democrats lost more than 1,030 seats in state houses, governor’s mansions, and Congress during Obama’s presidency.
However, the party has launched a new effort to keep his legacy alive by supporting at least 20 alumni of the Obama administration who are running for political office to secure his name.
Many of these candidates are running in California, which has voted for the Democrats in every presidential election since 1992, and which is seen as the headquarters of the “Resistance” movement progressives have waged against President Trump.