Incredible. Two major citywide upsets. Two major milestones for civil rights and equality in New York City. And seven inspiring, progressive candidates for City Council made it across the finish line.
It’s clear: when people organize and act, we can carry on the wave of progressive change that started with Barack Obama’s victory last November.
Here are the highlights:
Progressive champion Bill de Blasio led the pack in a four-way race for Public Advocate. After finishing first just one point shy of the 40% needed to avoid a runoff, he went on to defeat Mark Green two to one.
John Liu also surged to first place in a crowded field of City Comptroller contestants. In the runoff he handily defeated opponent David Yassky by double digits, becoming the first Asian-American elected to citywide office.
On the City Council, there were even more progressive victories for WFP candidates:
Debi Rose won handily to become the first African American ever elected from Staten Island.
In Queens, not one but two WFP-endorsed Council candidates — Danny Dromm and Jimmy Van Bramer — made history as the first openly gay elected officials from the borough. All this on the heels of Julissa Ferreras’ City Council win this February to become the first Latina elected in Queens.
Tenant activist and community leader Jumaane Williams scored a major upset, defeating incumbent Councilmember Kendall Stewart in a very tight 6-way race.
Reformer Ydanis Rodriguez blew away the competition in Washington Heights.
And finally, Brad Lander — one of New York City’s leading voices on sustainable development — took victory in a hotly-contested race for Bill de Blasio’s vacated Brooklyn City Council seat. To his north, the energetic Stephen Levin cruised to victory.
We note that not every progressive winner was a newcomer – some very worthy D-WFP incumbents were also returned to office. And, one race where WFP stayed out deserves special mention: insurgent Margaret Chin became the first Asian American elected official in Manhattan.
We didn’t win every race. Four of our candidates – Richard Aborn, S.J. Jung, Lynn Schulman, and Mark Winston-Griffith – ran great campaigns and came close to pulling off big upsets.
It was a great night, but it’s only the beginning. There’s lots more work to do, and as always, we’ll need your help every step of the way.