Some decent news
Amid a pandemic and a national uprising coupled with a series of police riots, cities and states across the country held elections on Tuesday. There were a number of races that we’d call “closely watched” if we weren’t spending our energy closely watching much more pressing events. But in Pennsylvania, New Mexico and Washington, DC, progressive challengers scored the kind of impressive victories that suggest the left is gaining when it comes to down ballot strength. And the wins in Pennsylvania bode particularly well for Democrats in November, as increased turnout fueled by progressive energy and organizing could help Biden close the 2016 gap with Trump in the Keystone State.
In New Mexico, a coalition called “No Corporate Democrats” took on a group of five incumbents who consistently stood in the way of the progressive agenda. Four of those five challengers won, which will majorly shakeup the state legislature. (A fifth incumbent was also beaten by a progressive challenger, though not an official part of the coalition.) In Pennsylvania, a democratic socialist won an iconic South Philly Senate seat, ousting a longtime incumbent. (The race was won by Niki Saval, a democratic socialist and writer/editor for the literary magazine n+1.) Democratic socialists in Pittsburgh picked up new seats and held on to the ones they won earlier. Progressives in Allentown might knock off Peter Schweyer, a part of the local machine in the state House. And in Coatesville, PA, progressives elected a founder of Chester County Stands Up, an offshoot of the group Lancaster Stands Up, which I’ve written about before.
Even here in Washington, DC, a democratic socialists took out the business-friendly ally of the city’s mayor, busting up a machine that had controlled the Ward 4 seat for a very long time. She was helped along by an endorsement from Elissa Silverman, who I’m proud to say is also an alum of Washington City Paper. More alt-weekly writers in a position of power is a good thing.
Judging by the traffic analytics on a story I wrote earlier this week with Aida Chavez, you may already have seen this one, but the head of the Minneapolis police union, Bob Kroll, in an interview in April, boasted about how he’s been involved in 3 shootings and over half of his board has been involved in at least one, and none of them are bothered by it. This is the kind of story where, as you dive into it, the context of his quotes makes the comments look even worse than they might out of context. That story is here.
Run The Jewels rushed out its latest album, RTJ4. I haven’t listened yet but I hear it’s tremendous, and it’s also free -- but gives an opportunity for you to donate to the National Lawyers Guild, which is representing protesters getting swept up by police (and which you can give to here as well).