I’m overwhelmed with gratitude.
With the help of hundreds of volunteers and thousands of contributions from working New Yorkers, our campaign changed the conversation in the largest city in America about the issues that matter most.
Thanks to the activism of this movement, together, we brought attention to issues that affect millions of New Yorkers that the wealthy and powerful in this city would rather ignore or purposefully deny.
The affordability crisis. Historic levels of income inequality. The corrupting influence of real estate developer money in New York politics. The need for a $30 an hour living wage.
It was such an immense privilege to be a part of the first citywide special election in the history of New York City on behalf of this grassroots movement.
There has never been a citywide special election in New York City before, let alone a special election with 17 candidates.
Special elections are not easy. Special elections in the middle of February are definitely not easy. Running for office is not easy. Running for office as a progressive woman is even harder.
I always knew this would be an uphill battle, but we ran a powerful campaign that exceeded everyone’s expectations along the way.
It’s no secret, the decks are stacked against working people who run for office, and we had to start from the ground floor. We qualified for the ballot by collecting over 10,000 signatures in the dead of winter. We qualified for matching funds when not a single political pundit in this city thought we could. We made the final debate stage, just one of seven campaigns in this race to do so.
So many people stepped up and challenged themselves. It’s been incredible to witness the personal growth on our team.
I have no doubt that this conversation is going to continue, and it’s going to get bolder and bolder.
More candidates are going to come out and take anti-real estate developer pledges.
More candidates are going to come out and talk about a $30/hour living wage.
More candidates are going to come out and talk about a truly transformative climate change policy and climate justice.
And more candidates are going to come out about social justice and getting rid of the money in the system that makes our city so inequitable.
That’s what progress looks like.
We don’t always win. But that’s why it’s so important for us to run. Because every grassroots campaign moves the ball just that much forward, and lays the groundwork for future victories.
If you know a progressive woman that’s interested in running for office, encourage them to do so. We need a sisterhood. We need to band together. When progressive women talk about economic justice, it means more women on the frontlines of economic injustice have a voice.
I was inspired by so many incredible progressive women. This is what New York is. When you look at where the change is happening with New York, it’s not just with progressives, it’s with a whole lot of progressive women.
So even though it’s not easy. I urge you to run for local office. To run for city council. To stand up and work to make a difference in our communities.
Keep changing the conversation. Keep running. Keep supporting grassroots candidates. Keep pressuring lawmakers who are running. Keep asking them the tough questions about money. It won’t all be nice and they may attack you or try to erase you, but these candidacies make our cities better and that is what makes our voices heard. And the more we have these conversations together, the better society gets for all of us.
So many people don’t have a voice. So, if you have that ability to challenge systems that keep so many working people down, please do. The more of us that are able to speak, the stronger we will all be.