From autoworkers to online activists, WFP supporters are a diverse bunch. Here’s an open letter from New York bloggers calling for the ‘netroots’ to “vote change like they mean it” by voting for Barack Obama on the Working Families Party ballot line (“Row E”):
by: Justin Krebs
Democrats are on the ascent, nationally and in states like ours, where the decades-old Republican stranglehold on Albany may finally be broken in less than one week.
If the Democrats are victorious, then the real battle will begin: how do we hold them accountable to progressive values against the enormous pressure they will face to play it safe?
It’s going to be a big challenge, so we’ll cut to chase: we need your help. New York needs your help. The single biggest thing we can do right now to boost progressive power in the Empire State is to strengthen our very own progressive third party – the Working Families Party.
As you may well know, they’ve led many of the big battles over the last ten years, from raising the minimum wage to putting paid family leave on the map, to fighting for affordable healthcare for all, public transportation, and most recently taking on Mayor Bloomberg’s extremely undemocratic plan to extend term limits without a public vote.
The term limits fight deserves a close look. The WFP, with the help of bloggers and parts of the city’s labor movement, was able to turn what would have been an overnight power grab into a very real – and only narrowly lost – fight. They did it by quickly assembling a grassroots coalition, online and in the streets, to put pressure on a City Council that had expected none.
The term limits battle is another reminder that voter anger is not enough – winning means having progressive institutions with the resources to respond when push comes to shove.
The fights of the future will be no different. The more strength the WFP has, the better our chances are of keeping Democrats from drifting rightward in 2009.
To do it, we need to get every progressive we can reach to vote for Barack Obama – and the Democratic candidates for Congress and the state legislature – on the Working Families ballot line.
That’s where you come in. Thousands of Netroots activists in New York already vote on the Working Families line, but need a reminder. Many thousands more would find their happy home on “Row E” – if we let them know (repeatedly) about the opportunity.
They’ve set up a great website to do just that: Vote Change Like You Mean It.
Our task is to make sure enough people read what’s there. Tell your friends, family, all your fellow New York progressives. Blog, Twitter – whatever your thing is, do it.
It’s simple. Working Families votes not only let us “vote our progressive values,” they carry an important implicit threat. The WFP and its allies online and off have a track record defeating incumbent Democrats through primary challenges when those Democrats let us down.
The more Working Families votes there are this November, the greater that threat becomes, and the more likely we are to win the big votes for affordable housing, campaign finance reform, a fair budget, and everything else next January and beyond.
On November 4th we have a chance not just to kick Republicans out of the White House and Albany, but to start making Democrats better from day one.
We hope you’ll join us. Go to: www.workingfamilies.org/Obama — tell your friends, fellow activists, and every New Yorker you know. The more votes, the more progressive power.
To contact the WFP about helping directly, email Dan Levitan at firstname.lastname@example.org
Phil Anderson and Robert Harding, The Albany Project
Michael Bouldin, Daily Gotham
Justin Krebs, Political Organizer