Local Progress statement after the midterm election
November 7, 2018
Today marks a turning point for our country. As the dust settles on this midterm election, there is much to celebrate and so many reasons for hope. While we must face the reality that entrenched white supremacy and voter suppression are powerful forces that will long be with us, millions of voters all over the country cast their ballots in support of a society where everyone has the freedom to thrive.
In many ways this election is an affirmation of our work at Local Progress: when we organize together around issues that matter to our communities, do the serious work to genuinely include all voices, and work toward progressive governance together, we build the power it takes to win. When candidates who reflect our communities run on progressive values, we build the power it’ll take to transform our country for the better.
Nationally, voters elected a wave of Congressional candidates who ran on a fair and unrigged economy, healthcare as a human right, halting a terrorizing immigration enforcement system, and an urgent commitment to fighting climate change. We are proud that this new wave of leaders includes Local Progress members Ayanna Pressley and Chuy Garcia, who will join a new and growing cohort of progressive representatives of color that will transform Congress.
In the states, candidates running on our values took control of state legislative chambers in Colorado, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Maine, and Minnesota. Rising stars from the Local Progress network won higher office in Arizona, Colorado, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and more. In our localities, progressive champions were elected as mayors, while new exciting leaders won office for the first time on city councils, county commissions, and in sheriff or district attorney offices. Hugely important ballot initiatives passed in places around the country, like voting rights expansion in Florida, a massive affordable housing bond in Austin, a big business tax to fund combatting homelessness in San Francisco, and citywide participatory budgeting in New York City.
We did not win everywhere. Like many of you, we are heartbroken by Local Progress member Andrew Gillum’s narrow gubernatorial loss in Florida and we are waiting anxiously as Georgia statewide results continue to come in. Our Texas members poured their hearts into Beto’s campaign. Make no mistake, these close elections — and perhaps more importantly the organizing infrastructure they developed — are proof that our progressive movement is on the rise. There is no such thing as a state where we cannot build long-term, progressive power.
The Local Progress motto for the past two years has been resistance and progress. Many days, the resistance required to fend off cruel and relentless attacks from the Trump Administration feels overwhelming. Yet still, local elected officials working hand-in-hand with their communities have been making great strides toward a more equitable future. And now, that effort goes federal and to the states, with the momentum of an election putting progressives in office at all levels of government. Now, the hard work of just and moral governance begins again!
We’re thrilled to share some of the Local Progress members who won higher office yesterday, as well as some key ballot measures that passed. This is not an exhaustive list; we’re still tracking election results and we’ve certainly missed some. Please share with us if we should be aware of any exciting local elections!