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WASHINGTON – Grassroots organizers cheered the loud and clear message in Tuesday’s election results: voters are eager for progressive candidates with the bold ideas that People’s Action and its state organizations are proposing and supporting.

Throughout the country, candidates fighting for health care for all, a $15 minimum wage, race and gender justice, ending mass incarceration, tuition-free higher education and climate justice won seats from city council to state legislature, from Washington state to Maine.

“Tuesday’s elections mark a turning point. Among the most hopeful signs of a more hopeful future were the victories down ballot, where working class progressive candidates won,” said George Goehl, co-executive director of People’s Action.

Already we have 70 people from our membership signed up to run in 2018. The new generation of truly progressive people, especially women and people of color, running for office and winning is one of the most important takeaways from this election,” he said.

Phil Murphy, governor-elect in New Jersey, supported by People’s Action member organization New Jersey Citizen Action, proposed a state-owned bank that would invest in local communities. 

In Maine, voters won Medicaid expansion that would bring health care to 77,000 more people in the state. The referendum was endorsed and led by Maine People’s Alliance and People’s Action.

In Pennsylvania, Reclaim Philadelphia and 215 People’s Alliance, endorsed Philadelphia’s Larry Krasner who was elected district attorney on a platform to end mass incarceration.

In Virginia, People’s Action leaders helped elect strong progressives in three House of Delegates districts to take out three corporate, conservative incumbents.

In Washington state, People’s Action organizations OneAmerica Votes and Washington Community Action Network helped push Manka Dhingra into the state senate giving Democrats full control of state government.  

Here are some of the newly-elected leaders who were endorsed and supported by People’s Action and its member organizations:

Colorado

Colorado People’s Action has built a progressive block on the Aurora City Council with three candidates elected: Crystal Murillo and Nicole Johnston both defeated incumbents; Allison Hiltz led in an eight-way race for two at-large seats

Iowa

Ross Grooters won a seat on the Pleasant Hill City Council running under the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement Action banner.

Maine

A ballot measure led by Maine People’s Alliance to expand Medicaid in the state passed easily with 59 percent of the vote.

Maryland

Progressive Maryland candidate Laurie-Anne Sayles was elected to Gaithersburg City Council.

Massachusetts

Neighbor to Neighbor Action members Adam Gomez and Nelson Roman were re-elected to the Springfield and Holyoke City Councils respectively.

Michigan

Michigan United member Tasha Green was elected to the Westland City Council.

Minnesota

TakeAction Minnesota’s city council candidate Andrea Jenkins won in Minneapolis and is the first transgender woman of color elected to public office in the country. Jeremiah Ellison,looks likely to claim a city council victory on the northside of Minneapolis. In Duluth, TakeAction Minnesota candidate Renee Van Nett, elected to the city council, will bring a progressive and Native American voice to the table. Justice4All leader, Londel French is poised to be elected to the Minneapolis Park Board.

New Jersey

New Jersey Citizen Action-endorsed Phil Murphy easily won the governorship. Murphy won on a platform of state-owned banks and a $15 minimum wage. His election returns the state to full Democratic control.

New York

Three candidates from Community Voices Heard Power candidates won: Corazon Pineda was re-elected to the Yonkers City Council; Ann Finney was elected to the Poughkeepsie Common Council creating a progressive majority; and Christopher Johnson to the Westchester County Board. In Albany, Citizen Action of New York candidate Alfredo Balarin won his seat on the Albany Common Council. Long Island Progressive Coalition candidate Laura Curran was elected Nassau County executive. People’s Action candidate Lynn Eckert won election to the Ulster County Legislature and Alfredo Balarin became the first Latino elected to Albany city council..

Pennsylvania

Reclaim Philadelphia and 215 People’s Alliance endorsed progressive Larry Krasner who was elected to district attorney with a strong racial justice platform.

Virginia

The People’s Action Virginia leadership team won three huge upsets in the House of Delegate races: Elizabeth Guzman, Chris Hurst and Kelly Fowler.

Washington

OneAmerica Votes and Washington Community Action Network candidate Manka Dhingra won her State Senate election giving Democrats a new majority and full control of Washington government. OneAmerica Votes candidates Lorena Gonzalez and Teresa Mosqueda were elected to Seattle City Council and De’Sean Quinn and Zak Idan won seats on the Tukwila City Council.

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About People’s Action Institute

Over five decades, People’s Action Institute and our affiliates have fought for reforms that recognize poor and working people’s dignity and make material and political improvements to millions of lives. Our victories include the Community Reinvestment Act, Superfund, the Affordable Care Act, the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act and the MAT Act.

We engage in issue campaigns, public education and training to advance a long-term agenda for racial, economic and gender justice. Our focus now is on deepening community organizing so we can build lasting power across the country. 

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