RFS feel-good update (7/6): Back at it!
(Plus: The scariest paragraph you'll read all week.)
Hi all -
I hope you had a good long weekend! We’re back and ready to keep the momentum going.
While we still don’t have final results from NYC, the Board of Elections released preliminary ranked choice voting numbers, and a number of our city council candidates are in enough of a lead without absentee votes to declare victory, and we have more winners across New York. It’s entirely possible there are 16 RFS alum on the city council!!
Shahana Hanif, who will be the first Bangladeshi Muslim councilwoman
Lincoln Restler won in Brooklyn
Pierenia Sanchez in the Bronx
Shekar Krishnan, who will be the first Indian American on the NYC council
Chi Ossé, who at 23 will be the youngest member of the city council. (Read his Q&A in Vanity Fair!)
Felicia Singh is looking good in Queens
Clarissa Cervantes officially won a seat on the Riverside City Council, and will be only the second Latina and second LGBTQ+ person to serve on the board
There’s also been further discussion of how India Walton won the mayoral race in Buffalo — it’s worth reading this Vox story on her victory. What India did was both exceptional and ordinary: She was a great candidate running a great campaign.
In RFS alumni updates:
The New Yorker profiled Lina Hidalgo’s political rise, and how she’s creating a model for progressives can effectively govern. As Ross explained to the magazine: “So many candidates suck… They seem fine on the outside, and the moment you drill in a little bit you find a major character flaw. [Lina’s the opposite.] There’s an earnestness to her. People mistake that for being naïve—and they make that mistake at their own peril.”
This headline about ME Sen. Chloe Maxmin’s legislation!! “Every State Should Adopt Maine’s New Climate Policy: The law to divest within five years is proof young climate activists are gaining momentum.”
Kevin Morrison, the first openly LGBTQ Cook County Commissioner, led on passing a gender inclusivity ordinance that will make the county’s paperworks and government more accessible.
In Arlington, VA, school board member Christina Diaz-Torres has been leading on getting police officers out of school buildings.
Similarly, in San Jose, school board director José Magaña helped end the police officer contract with the school system.
Boone County Clerk Brianna Lennon joined with a colleague to argue in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for further investment in election infrastructure.
Three years ago, we worked with Caitlin Clarkson-Pereira in her campaign for CT state legislature. She lost, but kept fighting after Election Day to get the state elections commission to allow candidates to use funds to pay for childcare. Last week, the state legislature finally signed into law a regulation that will force the commission to change their rules. This is an incredible victory that will expand who is capable of running for office in CT!
VA Del. Danica Roem and DE Sen. Sarah McBride joined the White House for the Pride celebration - not the last time RFS alum will bein the White House!
Jose Garza has been radically transforming criminal justice in Austin, TX - he “has focused on campaign platforms like ending cash bail, bolstering diversion programs that help defendants avoid felony convictions, and focusing on violent crime rather than low-level drug violations. He’s also expanded resources for sexual assault survivors and taken steps to hold law enforcement accountable for violent on-duty incidents, including handing down seven indictments against police officers within his first five months in office.”
Congrats to Dimple Ajmera in North Carolina on her new baby!I’m grateful for many who came before me and paved the way for young women like myself. Honored to serve our great city! ❤️ Thanks to !
Joe Bruno @JoeBrunoWSOC9Councilmember @DimpleAjmera is only the second Councilwoman to have a child while in office with the previous being 33 years ago. Peace and Blessings to all.
TX Reps. Jasmine Crockett and Jessica Gonzalez were key architects of the TX Democratic walk-out in defense of voting rights — it’s no surprise two badass women of color were leading the charge.
MI Sen. Mallory McMorrow and her husband wrote for Crain’s Detroit on how raising a kid and having a career doesn’t have to be a binary choice for parents. This is personal for her, as Mallory just had her first kid!
In a bench-watch: Al Día talked with Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta about his campaign for U.S. Senate & the Philadelphia Inquirer looked at the wide and diverse group of endorsers Malcolm is racking up.
The scariest paragraph you’ll read all week: With the law enforcement spotlight on the group, Proud Boys Chairman Enrique Tarrio envisions his organization focusing on local political races rather than national ones. "I've always said my goal for this year ... was simple," Tarrio said. "Start getting more involved in local politics, running our guys for office from local seats, whether it's a simple GOP seat or a city council seat."
We partnered with our friends at Sister District to write an op-ed on the need for more LGBTQ+ representation in power — take a read at Democracy Docket.
This week on the Run for Something podcast: At least a half dozen people called in to 833-244-5382 and requested her, so here she is: Rhode Island Sen. Cynthia Mendes talks about how she grew up never seeing people like her in office, and didn't think politics was a meaningful way to make change -- until a few years ago, when a friend asked her to run for office herself. Along with a network of other progressive folks in the Rhode Island Political Coop, Cynthia ran and won against a more conservative incumbent. Since then, she's found again and again that the things she thought disqualified her actually make her even more powerful. To support Cynthia, make a donation now: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/cynthia4ri. You can also follow her on Twitter or other platforms: @Cynthia_Mendes_
Thanks for sticking with us. More to come!