US Election 2020: Some politics is local
November 6, 2020 12:57 PM   Subscribe

This week's US election included thousands of local decisions: city councils, district attorneys (as in Los Angeles), state legislatures, county recorders, school boards, judges, ballot measures (such as universal preschool in Multnomah County, Oregon), Congressmembers, and more. Queer and first-time candidates saw several victories. [If you'd like to talk about the Presidential and Senate races, please do that in the general US election thread.]

This thread is for sharing and discussing local and state results, including elections for the House of Representatives, plus historical context.
posted by brainwane (65 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
 
Several local offices in my area of the Kansas City suburbs went blue this year. We've got more Dems in City Council and in the State Legislature.

Dems need to focus on these local races to build trust with voters.
posted by reenum at 1:00 PM on November 6 [10 favorites]


The woman who won the Lt Governor's office in Vermont is a friend of mine. Chuffed.
posted by terrapin at 1:04 PM on November 6 [10 favorites]


In addition to passing Prop 207 (recreational marijuana), here in AZ we also passed Prop 208, the InvestInEd initiative. It increases taxes on high income earners in order to improved education funding in AZ, with a significant chunk going to teacher pay. AZ teacher pay is between 48-50th in the nation depending on exactly how you count (e.g. what level of teaching and if you adjust for local cost of living or use raw dollar amounts). And that's *after* the increase the Red for Ed movement got via their strikes and other actions in 2018. The usual "oh but small businesses could be hit if you tax earners over 500k" doesn't appear to have worked.

And Maricopa county reelected their D sheriff (who beat Arpaio in 2016) by about 10 pts. (He's way right of where I'd like, but yeah his R opponent was worse. Duh.)

I don't want to say anything yet about state house/senate; still waiting on the rest of the count for that. It's little less critical for redistricting anyhow because AZ has a (nominally) independent redistricting commission.
posted by nat at 1:15 PM on November 6 [7 favorites]


A few Bay Area updates:
For first time, non-citizens can serve on San Francisco boards The historic win comes as 54 percent of the voters approved Proposition C. The measure allows any person, regardless of their citizenship, to be appointed to city advisory boards and commissions, such as the art, police and health commissions that form policy, craft budgets and hold hearings.

Oakland voters overwhelmingly back police oversight measure For the second time in four years, a supermajority of Oaklanders voted to give a civilian police commission vast authority.

Prop. 17, giving Californians on parole the right to vote, wins More than 50,000 former California prisoners will be able to vote while on parole after the passage of a ballot measure Tuesday.
posted by Lexica at 1:18 PM on November 6 [6 favorites]




Katie Porter got reelected and I helped! Stoked she will continue to be my representative.
posted by sleeping bear at 1:34 PM on November 6 [10 favorites]


There are a whole whack of people like Katie Porter that I really hope aren't appointed out of their positions of strength. "Keep Legislators Legislating" or something, find instead some confirmable people from outside who have built themselves for administration-type jobs.
posted by rhizome at 1:44 PM on November 6 [3 favorites]


Also in here in AZ, Pima county elected a Native American to a county-wide office for the first time, specifically Recorder (which is in charge of, among other things, voter rolls). Since a really large area of the county is reservation, this is long overdue. (ObDisclaimer: The spouse is a friend and volunteered for her campaign.)

Also, yay both Props 207 and 208.
posted by Quasirandom at 1:48 PM on November 6 [9 favorites]


It makes me realllly happy to scroll through the Victory Fund page of winning candidates who are queer, all those smiles. I think about Harvey Milk and how happy he would be about this, you know?

Kevin Hayakawa is going to serve on a local water board - Hayakawa is a Ph.D. candidate in astronomy and astrophysics at UCLA, and "the former Captain of Taste the Rainbow, a Southern California-based exhibition dance team".

Mary Gonzalez, who won an election for a Texas House of Representatives seat, is pansexual, as is Gerri Cannon, a transgender woman re-elected to the New Hampshire House of Representatives.

The mayor of San Diego is a gay man of color.

Angie Craig, elected to the House from Minnesota, will be the first queer mother in Congress.

Charmaine McGuffey faced homophobic harassment as a police officer and lost her job because she wanted less punitive police approaches. She's now beat her old boss and been elected as county sheriff. Her campaign video is pretty good and specifically acknowledges BLM.
posted by brainwane at 1:56 PM on November 6 [15 favorites]




Florida got $15 minimum wage!
posted by saladin at 2:24 PM on November 6 [9 favorites]


In LA County, we're still counting but some stuff is locked:

PASSED: Measure J, no less than 10% of County locally generated unrestricted revenues will be used to address disproportionate impact of racial injustice through community investments and alternatives to incarceration.

Along with that is the aforementioned ousting of Jackie Lacey.

This is a good thing.
posted by linux at 2:35 PM on November 6 [2 favorites]


Jay Inslee was reelected for a third term here in Washington! His opponent, Loren Culp, is pretty darn terrible but had a surprising amount of supporters in our rural areas. I'm very happy he lost (though he has yet to concede the election 🙄). He was a big supporter of tax cuts, which makes it extra-ironic that he just lost the job of small town police chief because of them.

We also voted for public schools state-wide to start teaching consent based sex education! This is despite Republicans spreading rumors that the curriculum would be teaching 4th graders sexual positions. Nope, we are not exactly the blue oasis that people from out of state seem to think...
posted by mollywas at 2:48 PM on November 6 [7 favorites]


Adding to what @mollywas said...

Here in Thurston County, WA, we finally got rid of Gary Edwards. (Listed under All County Commissioner District No. 2)

I'm now officially waiting on Inslee to take the idea of lockdowns more seriously now that he doesn't have an election to win.
posted by deadaluspark at 2:51 PM on November 6 [3 favorites]


Xochitl Torres Small, the one term incumbent Democrat representing New Mexico’s 2nd US congressional district, was defeated by the Republican she ran against in 2018. Her district covers the southern half of NM, including Las Cruces, Roswell and southern Albuquerque.

Speculation has it that she lost because of relatively low Democratic voter turnout in a conservative area that supported trump, the amount of fracking that goes on in that part of the state (she’s an environmentalist).
posted by SteveInMaine at 2:51 PM on November 6 [2 favorites]


Fort Bend County (part of the Houston suburban and rural sprawl) just elected its first Black sheriff since Reconstruction. Even if the promised Blue wave in Texas didn't make the expected impact, in my ideal world, people realize that it made an impact and that downballot races are a foundation to build from.
posted by librarylis at 3:05 PM on November 6 [4 favorites]


I want to metafilter to know HOW MUCH FUCKING WORK people in downballot races put in, and that it's not all parachuted fucking consultants from the DCCC DNC etc.

.....like how much heart and soul and shoeleather and serious analysis by local volunteers on a relative shoestring went into places like the Long Leaf Pine Slate a progressive org who have worked their asses off since Jan 2020 (edit: this was their public face; the work to assemble the slate was at least another year) to unfuck gerrymandering, and get progressive people into positions of power in North Carolina. They failed.

I'm gutted for them; I'm one of those out-of-staters who was influenced by "the state slate" wanted to see states turn blue not just at the "fuck trump" level, but also locally (I volunteered textbanked for a bunch of downballot stuff in FL,GA, NC, AZ)...to build power......their analysis which everyone on this site who is politically engaged in the US, should read, is sobering.
posted by lalochezia at 3:08 PM on November 6 [32 favorites]



Ooof, that North Carolina post was sobering. I'm chewing on that...

The Cleveland area had very few local races; there were a handful of tax levies (fortunately the one for the City of Cleveland School district passed and the county library which has most of the libraries in Cleveland's suburbs)
posted by fizzix at 3:39 PM on November 6 [2 favorites]


Dumb question from a Canadian, lalochezia: Since Democrats keep getting a majority of the vote but a minority of the seats in North Carolina, is there any kind of option for a binding referendum question that'd somehow make gerrymandering go away? Or switch you to proportional representation, or something?
posted by clawsoon at 3:45 PM on November 6


No, the only solution to fight gerrymandering in NC was for the Democrats to take control of the General Assembly Tuesday so that they could oversee redistricting from the census results. And it didn't happen. Courts keep providing some semblance of relief, but it just is not sufficient.
posted by hydropsyche at 3:55 PM on November 6 [4 favorites]


From Hamilton County, Ohio - Cincinnati is the county seat - She says the sheriff fired her for being gay. Now, she'll be the sheriff. (Also the first woman in the position.)
posted by soundguy99 at 4:22 PM on November 6 [11 favorites]


Washington State passed R90, a referendum on our recently legislated statewide sex ed requirements for public schools. The usual suspects lost their shit about it when it passed and it seemed to be the primary thing animating the GOP in WA state, I got tons of texts about it and there was a lot of reactionary energy that went into the signature gathering, the anti-sex-ed folks put together a campaign on short notice and got the requisite signatures right when CV19 was getting real.

Now the kids in WA public schools will get to learn about consent from a very young age while the wingers get to wail about "lost innocence" and "stealing rights from parents" while learning the difference between enthusiasm and numbers.
posted by Sauce Trough at 4:35 PM on November 6 [13 favorites]


I'm watching my (if I lived in the States) district, and Laurie Underwood is currently trailing by something like 1500 votes, and it seems like the returns have been stuck at 90% for over a day. Has anyone heard anything about Illinois District 14?
posted by Ghidorah at 5:03 PM on November 6


Not my locale but Jessica Benham as the first openly autistic, openly bisexual, openly queer woman to the Pennsylvania State Legislature.
posted by _paegan_ at 5:08 PM on November 6 [6 favorites]


"I'm watching my (if I lived in the States) district, and Laurie Underwood is currently trailing by something like 1500 votes, and it seems like the returns have been stuck at 90% for over a day. Has anyone heard anything about Illinois District 14?"

Basically some of the jurisdictions involved won't turn in their mail ballot count until Nov. 17 or 18 for ... reasons. I honestly do not even know, and that's the kind of Illinois elections trivia I'm usually on top of. It's too close to call (within 1,000 votes), and it's hard to guess which way the mail ballots in that district will break -- it's traditionally an R stronghold, and Illinois has had no-excuse mail balloting that a lot of people are accustomed to using for a long time, so it hasn't been as pronounced a split as states which quickly moved to allow it during Covid.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:16 PM on November 6 [2 favorites]


I've been smarting about how things went here in Texas. I moved down here to go to law school, and if we had flipped the state House, it would have been really good timing for me professionally (as well as generally good for the state, although it wouldn't have been able to prevent another baldly unfair redistricting). The governor has made a bunch of wild threats about things like having the state take over policing in Austin that could possibly come to pass since the Republicans have maintained the trifecta, but I think a lot of it is campaign guff since something like that logistically makes no sense. I'm not convinced that the election is going to make state politics much different than it already is.

But a lot of good things happened locally, probably in part because low propensity voters were energized by the national election. This is the third time that a major public transit initiative was on the ballot, and this one finally passed. Austin is going to invest $7.1 billion in building a citywide transit system. It's not going to be world-class, but it'll be by far the best public transit system in Texas and more ambitious than any light rail system built in America in the last decade. Another proposition is going to bring more sidewalks and trails to the city.

Our criminal justice system is about to get better too. Our new district attorney (who prosecutes felonies) and county attorney (who prosecutes misdemeanors) are both more progressive than their predecessors. District Attorney Jose Garza is an especially big improvement.

Neither of these elections were a real surprise, but directly north of here in Williamson County, the embattled Sheriff Chody got resoundingly booted out of office in what seemed like it might be a competitive race. Chody was an Austin cop until he won $51 million in the Texas lottery, the biggest prize ever awarded at the time. After more than a decade of twiddling his thumbs, he ran for sheriff. The department was already notoriously thuggish, and he encouraged it. Officers were rewarded with steakhouse gift cards for using force against arrestees. Although Williamson County is starting to turn a bit bluer in general, Chody's downfall was setting up a contract with Live PD in 2018. The show features live footage of police in action, and Chody's department obliged by setting up unnecessarily dangerous dramatic situations for broadcast. In 2019, Javier Ambler, a middle-aged black postal worker, led police on an extended chase after they tried to pull him over for not properly dimming his headlights to oncoming traffic. After crashing into a tree, Ambler came out of the car with his hands up, but didn't respond immediately to commands to get down. He suffered from heart issues, and after the police tased him several times, he died of heart failure. Live PD accompanied the cops that killed him, and Chody had Live PD destroy the footage of the arrest. He was indicted for felony evidence tampering a few months ago. His replacement seems like your average county sheriff, which, you know, not great, but this guy was like Arpaio in my backyard, and one of the best things to come out of this election is that his reign of terror is over.
posted by vathek at 5:24 PM on November 6 [13 favorites]


Here in OR, we decriminalized small amounts of all drugs, which is is fantastic for those of us who hate the racist AF war on drugs, and dedicated some of our sweet, sweet cannabis money to harm reduction. The devil is in the details, of course, but that is giving me hope. Additionally, we legalized psilocybin for therapeutic uses and that is exciting on a professional and personal level. One county even got universal pre-k.

The political composition of our state stayed mostly the same, though I am dismayed that Merkley’s QAnon supporting competitor got a much larger percentage of the vote than she should have.

Portland passed a measure on a re-haul of public oversight of the police. I think it is shameful we put human rights to a fucking vote, I am still pleased it passed. The police union meltdown over it is predictable and the city is going to have to spend money to defend it.

But I am going to hold onto that decriminalization. It does my cynical heart a lot of good.
posted by Hopeful and Cynical at 5:33 PM on November 6 [7 favorites]


Here in Denver we passed a ballot initiative that allows the city to offer municipal internet - hooray! And it passed by a wide margin. https://dii2020.org/

Of course we had to do this because the telecos made it illegal at the state level for anyone to offer alternative level.
But! One step closer!
posted by lalunamel at 5:40 PM on November 6 [4 favorites]


sleeping bear and rhizome, the only position I want to see Katie Porter appointed to is another legislative job. How about filling Kamala's Senate seat?
posted by Gotanda at 6:10 PM on November 6


The city of Spokane Valley, WA (next to Spokane, WA) finally got rid of Matt Shea once and for all. He was a Republican state representative who was best known for his right wing extremist views and actions, including participating in the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation. Also of note was his plan for training young people for "Biblical Warfare", whatever that is. Well, he's out of office now, finally. Yay!
posted by hippybear at 6:21 PM on November 6 [16 favorites]


Fuck yeah, I remember hearing about that Shea tool from Malhuer and that Xtian warrior crap. Good riddance.
posted by soundguy99 at 6:52 PM on November 6 [1 favorite]


Eyebrows McGee, any other noteworthy Illinois results? Or - since you maybe still have your finger on the pulse of school board trends - any interesting patterns in school board elections around the state or country?
posted by brainwane at 7:00 PM on November 6


I am posting this over because it is local to me. The newest elected board member of the Kern High School District, the largest school district in California, has held off on is acceptance because of the vote counts. Here is the copied over post.

"130,000 votes remain uncounted in Kern County, California. The get out the vote movement got out 330,000 votes, where they broke the record last election with 250,000. So they were supposed to post an update today, but haven't, and this is the home turf of Kevin McCarthy, vs Kim Mangione, who out raised anyone who has ever run against him, she is an Engineer, ex military, mom, and patiently waiting for the vote. Then there is TJ Cox, needing the votes to beat Valadao, but the county left all the Republican wins up, when there are so many uncounted ballots. So it is annoying as some candidates are lawyering up and getting ready to demand a recount, when they haven't even finished the first count. It is not great. Then, there is my little race, where only 10,000 of 48,420 votes have been counted, they estimate a 75% vote rate. So a lot of votes, like 20,000+ of them are still uncounted. Anyway, i didn't expect a win, but I worked like I did, I ran a really low key campaign. I am just bad at waiting for resolution." No race is really settled with this many votes out, it is more than half of the vote, there are actually more than 130,000 they are just coming to grips with the numbers around here.
posted by Oyéah at 7:40 PM on November 6


It is 178,000 uncounted votes, with no update on numbers since Wed AM in the 2 o'clock hour. They said they would update today, but didn't.
posted by Oyéah at 8:30 PM on November 6


The city of Spokane Valley, WA (next to Spokane, WA) finally got rid of Matt Shea once and for all.

Holy cats! I was so stoked about Culp losing the race and his job that I completely missed Matt Shea losing!! Saw him leading what to me amounted to a hate rally on the capitol steps once, and knew he was dangerous right away. There's a moment that sticks with me, where he began with a conciliatory tone, saying, "We don't have a problem with real refugees," then he brought his energy up like a high school basketball coach at a pep rally to add, "but we don't. Want. TERRORISTS!!!" On that last word, he hopped up and came down, bend his knees, really belting the word to the delight of his followers. He comes off like a youth pastor of white supremacy. Delighted he's out of office, dreading what he'll do in the private sector.
posted by EatTheWeak at 9:54 PM on November 6 [2 favorites]


Shea was a blight on the state of Washington. So glad to see him gone. Can someone make Tim Eyman more irrelevant?
posted by Windopaene at 9:58 PM on November 6 [2 favorites]


It's good to be reminded that there *are* surprising and good results in local elections.

Where I live, every terrible judge except the one who quit before the election has been re-elected. I've never seen more organizing, excitement, media, and discussion about local elections. That so little of it worked is frustrating. I wonder if trying to convince people they should skip voting on the judges they don't know anything about would be more effective than asking people to vote against the bad ones. But, at least we kept the best State's Attorney in living memory. (I've got many complaints, but they're better than any plausible alternative.)
posted by eotvos at 10:46 PM on November 6


I have been noticing a lot of Americans of African heritage (Nigerians, Somalis, etc) winning place... I'll try to come back later today and pull together a list.
posted by infini at 11:21 PM on November 6


Cori Bush will be Missouri's first Black congresswoman, representing St. Louis city and North St. Louis County (MO-1), where she was an activist in Ferguson in 2014. This was expected after her August primary win, where she unseated William Lacy Clay, who between him and his father represented the district for over 50 years. Also, it's 2020 and so in the general election one of her opponents was, according to the local alt-weekly, a drug smuggler-turned-Proud Boy (she got nearly 240,000 more votes than he did).

[disclosure: I work for the station in the first link, but I did not work on this story. If you'd prefer, here's the local daily's story on Bush's win Tuesday]
posted by brentajones at 12:33 AM on November 7 [7 favorites]


Eyebrows, thanks for that. Otherwise I would’ve been refreshing the sun times waiting for something new. The article I did read said that a good number of the outstanding votes were from Lake county, and likely to be better for her than her opponent. Here’s hoping.
posted by Ghidorah at 1:04 AM on November 7


In WA, the school superintendent position did not get yoinked by a Republican (this was a concern after the incumbent adult human got well below 50% in the primaries) who lied a bunch about sexual positions and would probably have been pro-COVID given politics. So there's that too.
posted by away for regrooving at 1:08 AM on November 7 [1 favorite]


26/30 DSA nationally endorsed races have won
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 3:37 AM on November 7 [5 favorites]


EatTheWeak: ...like a youth pastor of white supremacy

Phrase of the week.
posted by clawsoon at 6:22 AM on November 7


I just saw this news this morning, although I am not in California, the idea could spread: California passed Proposition 22, which keeps as contractor drivers for Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing companies.
posted by NotLost at 6:36 AM on November 7


New Mexico elected six LGBTQ candidates to the state Legislature. We previously had two.
posted by NotLost at 6:49 AM on November 7 [3 favorites]


Meet Adrian Tam, the Gay Man Who Beat a ‘Proud Boys’ Leader in Hawaii’s Election - a young first-time candidate who also beat a longtime Dem incumbent in the primary and who will be the only out LGBTQ person in the state of Hawaii's House of Representatives.
posted by soundguy99 at 7:59 AM on November 7 [7 favorites]


Our long national nightmare....
posted by St. Oops at 8:30 AM on November 7


Voters approve charter amendment and make Florida the epicenter of Rights of Nature:
On Election Day, a breathtaking 89% of Orange County voters approved the Right to Clean Water Charter Amendment. Orange County is now the largest jurisdiction in the nation to pass this kind of legislation. ...

After decades of chronic pollution — of repeated blue-green algae blooms and red tides; of hundreds of thousands of tons of dead marine life repeatedly lining our beaches; of industry-orchestrated, in-your-face state preemptions of common-sense community environmental efforts; of the state Legislature thwarting the people’s intent by raiding the 2014 Land Acquisition Trust Fund, which voters earmarked for conservation efforts—after all these environmental issues and more, this mandate says Floridians are ready for a new approach. ...

Yes, the Legislature, in its much-ballyhooed 2020 Clean Waterways Act, preempted local jurisdictions from granting rights to nature, but the constitutionality of that preemption is already being challenged in court. Furthermore, the preemption does not apply to new Right to Clean Water/ Rights of Nature laws being pursued elsewhere in the state.
posted by clawsoon at 10:16 AM on November 7 [3 favorites]


I hope it was worth it, Cal.
posted by anshuman at 11:44 AM on November 7


Yeah, I hear your sentiment, anshuman. I don't think there's much hope for Cunningham, but there is a sliver: >10k ballots need curing in NC. It could also affect races like Chief Justice.

Here are upcoming events doing ballot curing in NC: https://www.mobilize.us/nc2020victory/
posted by nat at 4:12 PM on November 7 [1 favorite]


For people interested in AZ ballot curing (available until Monday), here's a roundup:

In person events, in Pima county:
https://pimadems.org/2020cure/
On the same page, scroll down for events in Phoenix, Marydale, Mesa, and Scottsdale.

For people who are not in AZ itself, or for people who cannot do in-person socially distanced canvassing, there's phonebanking: https://norcalblue.org/event/az-voter-protection-ballot-cure-phone-textbanks-with-together-for-2020/all/
posted by nat at 4:25 PM on November 7


argh I lied! AZ ballot curing is through TUESDAY. Still several more days!
posted by nat at 4:36 PM on November 7


Arizona Corporation Commission results. Super in the weeds as far as local elections go, but the Corporation Comission here determines local utility rates, how much of that comes from renewables, ect. Currently, it's 2R/1D, with the GOP keeping control of the commission until the next round of elections for it. Bummer dudes.
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 10:31 AM on November 8 [1 favorite]


Doesn't look like this update was posted - Lauren Underwood (IL-14) has taken the lead!
On Wednesday, GOP challenger Jim Oberweis, ahead by 895 votes, declared victory, asserting incorrectly only a “handful” of ballots were out when there were thousands of ballots still to be counted in the seven counties in the suburban and rural 14th Congressional District.

On Sunday, according to the Associated Press, Democratic Rep. Lauren Underwood was ahead by 1,137, with 192,580 votes to 191,443 for Oberweis. Most of the remaining uncounted ballots are in heavily Democratic areas of Lake, DuPage and Will Counties — where Biden beat President Donald Trump.
posted by Glinn at 9:33 AM on November 9 [1 favorite]


Holy heck, I only just now learned that Marie Newman won her race for Congress in Illinois!

Maybe it was inevitable (sort of) that she win the general after beating barely-a-Democrat Dan Lipinski in the March primary (it's a pretty safe Dem district) - but she did NOT beat him in the first primary she ran against him, two years ago, and I hadn't even really thought about her again this year until just now.

Instead of an anti-choice, anti-Obamacare barely-Democrat like Lipinski, Illinois's District 3 will now get a woman who supports Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, and reproductive rights.

I was reminded of her when I went to look up Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Courage to Change PAC; Newman is one of 11 candidates on their endorsements page.

Yay Marie!

(And a great example of how even a seat that didn't flip from a Republican to a Democrat can be a great shift toward a more progressive Democrat!)
posted by kristi at 5:27 PM on November 9 [6 favorites]


As of today, most Illinois politics outlets do think that Lauren Underwood (D-awesomeness) HAS beaten Jim Oberweis (R-massive suckitude), so yaaaaaaay!

For anyone who's interested, Illinois still has 530,000ish votes that have yet to be counted! It's just that Biden's up 700,000 votes from those already counted, so nobody's complaining about our slow counting. :) A little more than 6 million ballots were cast, with some uncertainty based on mail-in ballots postmarked but not yet received. But yeah we've still got half a million that HAVE arrived to finish counting.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:14 PM on November 9 [3 favorites]


@Redistrict: Increasingly, when Dem donors see a shiny object in a red/purple state, they flood the zone w/ out-of-state $$. And in combing through Tuesday's down-ballot wreckage, it's not clear that $$ did more good than harm.

Erik Loomis, LGM: Problematizing Crowdsourced Political Donations
On Wasserman’s point that it’s possible nationalizing every election hurts, I think there’s at least some evidence to this. Friends of mine in Omaha noted that when Bernie Sanders came to town to rally for the progressive mayoral candidate in the city right after the 2016 elections, it nationalized the election and gained tons of conservative attention, turning the potential for a low-turnout victory into a high-turnout loss. And I do think that’s part of what is happening when we give a ton of money to candidates. It is necessary. It also probably gets the attention of the other side as well. [...]

My own critique–and again, I don’t see any way around it at this time, is that the individualized form of class donations has a strong class impact to it that could have long-term implications.
In other words, it used to be that unions were the big fundraisers for huge parts of the Democratic Party. And while existing American unions are a flawed vehicle for working-class mobilization, they are the vehicles that exist and in doing so, bring the voices of workers into politics with the specific demands that workers have. That is really lost with this individualized funding model because most of the people who can donate have a lot more money than a housekeeper or grocery store clerk. They are doctors and lawyers and professors and they work in businesses. This helps to replace a working class agenda with a middle class agenda.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:40 PM on November 9 [4 favorites]


Here in Colorado we continue to harvest the same fruits of shifting to universal vote by mail and shifting demographics that brought us control of both halves of the state legislature and a new Democratic governor in 2018, with a mandate so sweeping they felt empowered to make us the only state in the union to abolish qualified immunity for police this summer. Ballot initiatives were a mixed bag, as they often are, but the wins were sweet: Voters rejected yet another amendment seeking to restrict abortion, chipped away at TABOR, the law created by a right wing activist and enshrined in our state constitution that absolutely hamstrings state budgets. We passed an amendment to begin providing up to 12 weeks of paid family leave to almost all workers! And particularly exciting to me, since I work at a public university, we flipped the last statewide body to Democratic control by winning two seats on the University of Colorado board of regents, which has made some truly questionable decisions over the past few years.
posted by deludingmyself at 5:50 AM on November 10 [3 favorites]


A look at a few unopposed candidate races in New York City this year. "What’s more, while no one on this list faced any threat of losing their race, it is interesting to consider the write-in votes, which were minuscule everywhere, but slightly less so in a few races, and wonder what message those voters were trying to send."
posted by brainwane at 11:27 AM on November 10


The One Niche Election Victory That Most Delights Me
Last week, San Francisco voters approved a ballot measure entitled the “Overpaid Executive Tax,” which addressed the absurd disparity in pay between CEOs and the people who work for them. In the 1960s, when unions were strong enough to win decent pay for workers, and taxes on the highest incomes were at least three times higher than they are today, the average ratio between CEO pay and the pay of the company’s median worker stood at roughly 20 to 1. Today, it stands at 320 to 1, which either means that today’s CEOs are 16 times more productive than their CEO predecessors, or else that corporate overlords have attained vastly more power than workers in the subsequent half-century.

Believing, rightly, that it’s the power disparity that’s changed, rather than CEOs’ relative financial (much less, social) merits, San Franciscans voted to act in last week’s election. Any company doing business in the City by the Bay whose CEO makes more than 100 times the company’s median worker will now have to pay the city a 0.1 percent surcharge on its annual business tax. If that ratio exceeds 200 to 1, the surcharge goes to 0.2 percent, and so on up the inequity chain.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:12 AM on November 11 [6 favorites]




which either means that today’s CEOs are 16 times more productive than their CEO predecessors, or else that corporate overlords have attained vastly more power than workers in the subsequent half-century.

I feel like this framing is rooted in meritocratic naïveté. What happens is that the people who see the numbers coming in are in charge of a) disseminating that information; b) salaries. Companies can be making 16x whatever a company would make in the 1x days, but when the rubber hits the road, that candidate for Social Media Manager is still going to be offered $45K in Manhattan for a position that motivates 80% of the company's revenue.

CEOs are in charge of the relationship of the company's performance to the people it hires. They're just giving themselves all the money. All of it. "Tech CEO" is a club, and that's the rule.

If these companies were doing the same business they're doing now back in the 20x days, the office manager would be making $500K/yr. While all my numbers are made-up, I bet there's a company or five who have existed through this transition long enough to calculate what the actual numbers of an alternate future would be. However, I think a more accurate test would be a company making the same money as a 320x company with 1/20th (or 1/320th) the staff. Which do exist.
posted by rhizome at 7:55 PM on November 15


Oakland North: Why did Oakland’s Measure QQ fare so much better than other youth vote propositions in California?
Oakland’s Measure QQ, which allows 16-year-olds to vote in school board elections, became the sole youth vote measure in California to pass in this election, with over 67% of the vote.

San Francisco’s Proposition G—which would have let 16-year-olds vote in all city elections—is projected to fail by a margin of less than two percentage points, as of Friday. California Prop. 18—which would have granted the right to vote to 17-year-olds who would turn 18 by the general election—failed by about 11 points.
posted by Lexica at 3:17 PM on November 16


Rising Star Mayor Who Championed Guaranteed Income Loses Hometown Race - "Michael Tubbs pushed an ambitious agenda for Stockton, California. Four years later, a blog campaign against him fanned criticism of his national profile."
posted by kliuless at 10:40 PM on November 19


Well in some sort of referendum on my ballotpedia page, voter's edge page, and a few local appearances, with a lot to say, at this time 8060 people voted for me. They had to choose because it is a non partisan race, so no straight party line votes did this. My opponent has twice the votes, and there have to be a few thousand more come in. I did OK for the new kid.
posted by Oyéah at 6:14 PM on November 22 [2 favorites]


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