Stand Up, Keep Fighting
Like you, I went to bed too late on Tuesday, November 4, struggling to make sense of the results that were rolling in. Progressive candidates were losing while progressive ideas (in the form of several ballot measures) were winning, in Colorado, North Dakota, Washington, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana.
We certainly didn’t get what we wanted yesterday. And the truth is that it’s going to be a hard road ahead to 2016 for all of us who care about a politics where everybody’s in, nobody’s out, no exceptions. The Senate is firmly in the hands of radical conservatives, and our hearts and bodies ache along with yours. Losing hurts, especially when there is so much on the line for our families, our children, our communities, our collective future. Sometimes immediate victories are beyond our reach, no matter how hard we work, no matter how right we are.
But you already know what Wellstone is going to do: double down on our brand of politics – the kind that is truly about the improvement of people’s lives. Our movement is stronger than any one election – and Wellstone will continue to invest in recruiting, training, and supporting candidates, campaigners, and organizers across this country who believe that we can do better for people, who will commit to stepping off of the sidelines and into their leadership, and who will win with conviction, and govern with authenticity.
On behalf of all of us at Wellstone, I want to congratulate our alumni who won yesterday. We’re still tallying the results, but so far, we’re celebrating the candidates who won, the Wellstone Way, in: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Washington, and Wisconsin (that's 23 states!).
I also want to congratulate the Wellstone campaigners we trained, alongside our incredible partners at Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, who won some of our brightest ballot measure victories yesterday: reproductive justice in Colorado and North Dakota; earned sick leave for workers in Massachusetts; smart education policy for students in Missouri; protections for voters in Montana; groundbreaking gun-control provisions in Washington.
We’re also so proud of our Wellstone Corps class of young organizers who pulled out a commanding Senate victory in Michigan and throughout the course of this election made connections with nearly2.1 million voters.
Elections matter. But they’re a means, not an end, and just one part of the way Wellstone intends to win the kind of big, lasting change that is sometimes slower, harder, and further away than it ought to be. I wasn’t there in 1994, but I think we both know that Paul Wellstone didn’t wake up the day after Election Day and declare defeat. Neither do we.
Stand Up, Keep Fighting.