Since our founding in New York state in 1998, the Working Families Party has been fighting to end Republican rule in Albany and pave the way for a progressive majority that could make New York actually reflect the values of its people.
Together, we finally got that win — and in a big way:
On Election Day, EIGHT Working Families Party-backed Democrats flipped Republican state Senate seats, from Long Island to the Hudson Valley to upstate New York. When legislators return to Albany, there will be a decisive, progressive Democratic majority in the state Senate for the first time in generations. The Albany Times Union called us one of the big winners of the night, noting that “few groups have fought as hard for a Democratic state Senate as the WFP.”
They’ll join our SEVEN WFP-endorsed progressive primary winners who also won on Tuesday. In total, that makes 15 new WFP-endorsed state Senators who will take their seats in January. Albany has never seen this scale of turnover — and they’ve never seen a state Senate this progressive. Under the leadership of a new majority leader in Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the era of “three men in a room” will now officially be over.
We also helped flip key New York congressional seats. WFP-endorsed challengers Antonio Delgado and Max Rose defeated Republican incumbents, and Anthony Brindisi leads in his race with some absentee ballots still remaining to be counted. (What’s more, our thousands of votes on the WFP ballot line made up the margin of victory in a couple of these races!) They’ll join a progressive delegation that will now also include Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
And we made history by helping to elect Tish James our next Attorney General. Tish was the first candidate to ever win New York office running only on the WFP ballot line 15 years ago, and she will now become the first Black woman ever to hold statewide office in New York.
This kind of political earthquake doesn’t happen by itself.
These wins were the result of a grassroots movement coming together like never before in our state to fight for the many, not the few — a movement powered by activists like you, our community group and labor affiliates and allies, and countless others who put in their time, their effort, and their small dollar contributions toward these campaigns and toward building the progressive movement in New York.
Hundreds of WFP organizers and volunteers had a hand in this victory, as did thousands of WFP sustaining members who help power our work day in and day out.
But we’re under no illusions about the challenges that still lie ahead.
Tuesday was the first step toward building a New York for the many. But if we want to actually see it through, we’ll need to all stay just as active and involved. If we do, we have the chance to win some groundbreaking victories in the coming months — protecting our democracy and expanding the right to vote, public financing of elections, codifying Roe vs. Wade into law, fully funding our public schools and universities, ensuring affordable rent and housing, meeting the climate crisis head on, protecting immigrant communities, single payer health care, expanded free college, and so much more.
For two decades, we’ve been waiting for this moment. These victories for working families are now in reach — but only if we all come together to build the type of independent progressive political power that will ensure our elected leaders are accountable to their constituents, not billionaire donors.
Will you join as a sustaining member of the Working Families Party with a monthly donation of $10 or more? It’s members like you who made these historic victories in New York possible — and it’s members like you who will power our work through 2019, 2020, and beyond.