What a year. What an election. Across the board, progressive candidates and issues swept to victory. Whether it was voters rejecting Tim Eyman’s viciously regressive I-1033, affirming domestic partnership rights, or electing smart, progressive candidates to office from Spokane to Seattle, this was a stunning statement. And there’s something special going on: on the national level we saw a movement to the right – key races in New Jersey, Virginia and New York saw regressive candidates winning. But not in Washington. Here, the progressive movement stood together, and the results were evident.
Washington is not the rest of the nation – something special is happening here. Call it the Washington Way – a growing and dynamic understanding of the strength of progressive values, and the power of good ideas done well.
It is a testament to the organization of the progressive community – we have never been as united as we were this year, and it showed. When Yakima County rejects Initiative 1033, it’s not simply the changing of the times – it’s smart organizers working in concert to connect people, ideas and resources. And when Spokane elects two young, progressive candidates to its city council, it’s not simply because they are smart and capable – it’s also because the progressive community came together and built something. It is, dare we say it, a movement.
When the Bus kicked off this year, we had one major goal, and that was to keep the momentum that built to a fever pitch during last year’s presidential election. There was an energy in the progressive community that we knew needed to be captured, and a fire that needed very conscious stoking to keep alive. And look: we did. The progressive flame is burning brighter than it has in years. Young, smart candidates will be stepping into office. Equal rights have been successfully validated at the ballot box.
And this is just the beginning. The coordination, intelligence, and raw progressive talent in Washington is growing in leaps and bounds. We’ve found ourselves, we’ve found our way forward, and we’re ready to go. Let’s enjoy this feeling, let’s take some time to reflect on what worked well, and let’s recharge. But let’s also keep our heads up and our eyes on the horizon – we’ve still got work to do.
Good on you, Washington.