RFS feel-good update (7/12): QAnon & Proud Boys are following the Run for Something playbook
We know it works because we've been doing it for years.
Hi all -
I try to keep these emails cheery and positive — to focus on the good stuff happening across the Run for Something community.
But before I get into all that, I want to call your attention to a five-alarm-crisis trend.
QAnon, the Proud Boys, and Trump acolytes are running the Run for Something playbook across the country, recruiting and support folks running for local office.
These headlines should scare the shit out of you.
All this is happening while school board and other local elections get even more fiery, as Republican mega-donors incite debates over the treatment of trans kids and critical race theory to re-engage voters (especially suburban women) who they might have otherwise lost during the Trump era.
The combination of heightened attention on local elections + QAnon/Proud Boy candidates = a very scary recipe for disaster.
We know that what these conspiracy theorists and bigots are doing works and can make a difference because it’s exactly what Run for Something has been doing for the last four years, and has led to more than 500+ young new elected officials, and nearly 80,000 young people in our candidate pipeline (all while spending $3 million or less per year.)
It has never been more urgent to scale up our work to meet this crisis and ensure the GOP, QAnon, and other extremists aren’t allowed to take over our democracy from the ground up.
Back to good news: We have more final results in NYC elections!
17 Run for Something-endorsed candidates won their primary elections - 15 are now the presumptive councilmembers for their districts, and two will have competitive general elections in November. We’ll be by their side every step of the way.
Thanks to many of our winners, the NYC council will be the most progressive in history.
And get this: We will now have the most diverse council in city history; I worked with the inimitable Dave Daley to co-author a piece on how ranked choice voting was a driving factor.
In other candidate & alumni news:
In VA, Jennifer Kitchen is writing a new blueprint for winning back rural America.
Jason Dozier came within 244 votes of unseating a 28-year incumbent when he challenged her in 2017; this time around Jason is far-and-away crushing her in the fundraising, and is off to a strong start.
“I don’t have room in my spirit for fear.” - India Walton, who absolutely will be the next mayor of Buffalo.
Rep. Fentrice Driskell was a lead sponsor of key new laws in FL that limit use of force by police, among other reforms.
Rep. Jasmine Crockett talked with Yahoo about how things are going in the Texas State House. This is worth watching.
Also from Texas: Rep. John Bucy talked with Lawrence O’Donnell about their continued fight for voting rights.
Finally , from Texas: We love to see RFS alum getting together!!
I never get sick of stories on how restaurant owner/WI Rep. Francesca Hong is proving that food is political.
DE Sen. Marie Pinkney is leading on legislation to ensure climate change policy prioritizes the communities most affected (which unsurprisingly tends to be communities of color.)
AZ Rep. Alma Hernandez’s long-standing bill mandating Holocaust education in schools has finally passed.
In Alexandria, VA, city councilmember Canek Aguirre has helped pass legislation that would move funds from school police programs over to mental health and mentorship programs.
DE Sen. Kyle Evans Gay led on passing automatic voter registration through the DMV and possibly other state agencies, starting in 2023 if not sooner.
FL Rep. Michele Rayner talked with our friends at Signal Boost about her campaign for a special congressional election.
We’re keeping a close eye on Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta’s campaign for U.S. Senate.
This week on the Run for Something podcast: Dr. Tyler Titus grew up in poverty in rural Pennsylvania, never feeling like they quite fit in -- they were bullied and struggled with suicide ideation and depression. It wasn't until they got to college and met other queer people that Tyler finally found themselves. In between working in county family services, getting a masters in counseling, and then eventually a pH.D in social work, and starting a family, Tyler ran for and won a seat on the school board, becoming the first trans person elected in Pennsylvania, and is currently one of only nine non-binary folks elected nationwide.
Now they're running for county executive, and could make history in November if they win. We talked about identity, trauma, and the power of sharing our stories. To help Tyler's campaign, go to https://www.tylertitus.com/ — and listen wherever you get your shows tomorrow.
Thank you for making all this possible. I know it’s easy and tempting to sign off for the summer to relax but I’m so grateful you’re staying in the fight.