Earlier this week, I wrote about some small but sweet election victories which progressives should be celebrating. I ended by asking readers to send me victories they believed were worth highlighting. The response was overwhelming. Please read a selection of the letters below. Many thanks to all those who took the time to write and apologies to those whose good letters we weren’t able to include.
In Minnesota 13 new Democrats were elected to the House of Representatives. This sharp increase in Democratic representation came about because of voter opposition to the failure of the Republican-controlled House to pass a bonding bill to fund much-needed road and higher education construction; cuts in education, welfare, and health care funding; and passage of conceal/carry gun laws, gay marriage, and regressive school standards, all driven by Republican House members’ pledges to not raise taxes. Given this voter mandate, the new legislature will no longer be able to use religious right issues to mask having to deal with declining education, welfare, and health care funding.
Richard Beach, Minneapolis, MN
Here in North Carolina, we elected our first openly gay member of the General Assembly. Democrat Julia Boseman, a former New Hanover County (Southeastern part of state) Commissioner, will represent that county in the North Carolina Senate.
B.J. Eversole, Wilmington, NC
The Los Angeles City Council unanimously adopted the nation’s most aggressive anti-sweatshop ordinance by a unanimous vote after two years of lobbying by local unions, sweatshop workers, clergy and activists.
Tom Hayden, Los Angeles, CA
Colorado replaced the Republican State Legislature (both houses) with a Democratic legislature (both houses.)
Corlyn Seifer, Littleton, CO
Bucking national trends, one third of the Dean Dozens candidates won their respective races at the national, state, and local levels.
Corinne Marasco, Kingstowne, VA
In the category of small but important victories, we should include the election of Bob Hasegawa to the Washington State House of Representatives.
Hasegawa was for nine years the principal officer of Teamsters Local 174, the largest trucking local in the Northwest, following several years as head of the State Teamsters for Democratic Union. During the WTO demonstrations in Seattle, perhaps a majority of the Teamsters in the “Teamsters and Turtles” garb were from his local. He’s a long-time leader in the progressive and Asian-American communities.