The November elections have just ended, and we’re still digesting the results, but it’s clear that there were some major wins for the climate! Finish line by donating today!
-This was the year of the Climate Mayor! Boston, Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Dearborn all elected strong leaders running on climate and the Green New Deal!
-Michelle Wu became mayor of Boston on a plan for free and expanded public transportation that will have ripple effects across the country!
-Bibb’s win in Cleveland will lead the city’s utility to get off coal and hopefully spark similar action across the region!
Collectively we were able to bring a lot of support into these races — our Green New Deal slate with Data for Progress raised over $100k, averaging around $4,747 per candidate. And we sent hundreds of thousands of text messages to get out the vote, and spoke with hundreds of voters.
Here’s a deeper dive into the results of the races we endorsed in and what their results mean for the climate movement:
Michelle Wu will be the next mayor of Boston! Wu has run as one of the most vocal Green New Deal mayoral candidates, and actually wrote a comprehensive ‘Green New Deal for Boston” detailing climate and environmental justice measures the city can take to move to 100% clean energy and serve the city’s most marginalized in the process. Her signature “Free the T” platform will make public transit in Boston free, and give a huge boost to the movement for free public transportation in cities across the country – a huge win for the climate, accessibility, and equity! She’ll also be Boston’s first woman or person of color to act as mayor.
Abdullah Hammoud will be the next mayor of Dearborn, MI! Hammoud has been a progressive climate champion in the Michigan legislature, and is bringing that leadership to Dearborn! During his 5-years in state office, Hammoud led the votes to shut down a controversial oil pipeline (Line 5), consistently voted for urgent climate action, and stood up to the utilities and rescinded regressive caps on affordable rooftop solar. He ran on a plan to increase the city’s green jobs and resilient infrastructure as Michigan experiences record climate-induced flooding, and will be the city’s first Arab American mayor.
Justin Bibb will be the next Mayor of Cleveland! Bibb’s committed that on his first day of office he will instruct Cleveland Public Power to start transitioning off of dirty coal power, which it gets from the country’s 3rd largest emitting coal plant, and will fight for new renewable energy jobs for the city. In the last year, the utility First Energy has been at the heart of political corruption in Ohio and Bibb was the only candidate running for mayor who pledged not to receive any contributions from it or it’s associates.
Azrin Awal and Mike Mayou will both be on the Duluth City Council! Mayou and Azrin Awal ran with the backing of local progressive groups like DSA Twin Ports, Duluth for Clean Water, and Take Action MN for Duluth City Council to make MN’s 4th largest city one of the greenest. In office, they’ll push to expedite the city’s move to clean energy, require new buildings to not use gas as a primary source of heat, and fight a proposed mine that threatens Duluth’s drinking water.
Reggie Harris will be on the Cincinnati City Council! Reggie ran alongside a slate of climate candidates organized by Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund (nearly all of whom won!) who will expedite the city’s carbon reduction plans, build new public transit, and implement measures ensuring environmental justice. It was a unique year in Cincinnati where, due to a string of scandal-related resignations, the city voted for an almost entirely new city council – and we’re so excited to see what all the new progressives on Council can get done!
We’re still waiting on election results from the Port of Seattle and the Port of Tacoma, but we’re cautiously optimistic we’ll have some new climate champions on these port commissions.
It wasn’t all wins last night, and unfortunately there were some very close loses.
- In Virginia, Joshua Cole, a champion for the Green New Deal in the state house lost his re-election with 49% of the vote. He’ll be missed on state legislature but no doubt will be an important voice for VA progressive organizing for the long run. Other challengers like Debra Gardner also ran a bold campaign to flip Republican seats, but came just short a couple percentage points.
- Ma’Ko Quah Abigail Jones didn’t win a seat on the Lawrence City Commission, but 2 other progressives have won the at-large seats. Her campaign was historic not only as the only indigenouc candidate but for her advocacy for a slate of Lawrence Green New Deal bills.
- Tracy Valletti ran a strong campaign to be on the Peabody Light Commission that helped to fight a proposal for a local fracked gas peaker plant. Local organizers made the gas plant a top tier issue in the campaign, and helped unseat an incumbent, but unfortunately fell short.
- Tanya Lobo ran for Taunton City Council and helped push the demand to move MA’s largest municipal utility (14% of the state’s total energy use) to higher green energy use.
- Admittedly the hardest loss to take here is India Walton’s in Buffalo, NY from our first slate. Walton’s primary win as a black socialist running a grassroots campaign for working class people was historic for the city and the nation. We can’t wait to see where she goes next.
- Michelle Dillingham just barely didn’t make Cincinnati’s City Council (ranking 10th out of 9 at-large seats). Her longstanding advocacy for disability rights, school funding, and more helped push crucial progressive issues in the city and we’re excited to see where her community organizing takes her