On a day in which abortion access, health care, and the rights of the LGBTQ community, people of color, and immigrants were all on the ballot, voters overwhelmingly supported progressive candidates, showing up in unexpectedly high numbers to shift the balance of power in key cities and states.
At the local level, progressive incumbent mayors in multiple cities won, including Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City, Mayor Marty Walsh of Boston, Mayor Byron Brown of Buffalo, Mayor Lovely Warren of Rochester, and Mayor Kathy Sheehan of Albany. Additionally, newly elected mayors made history across the country. Vi Lyles will become Charlotte, NC’s first Black woman mayor, Jenny Durkin will be Seattle’s first openly lesbian woman to become mayor, and Ravi Bhalla will become the first Sikh to be mayor of Hoboken, NJ. Andrea Jenkins was elected to the city council in Minneapolis, MN, becoming the first transgender person to be elected to a major city’s governing body and first trans person of color elected to any office in the U.S. In Iowa City, IA, Sudanese-American Muslim woman Mazahir Salih won a seat on the City Council with 77% of the vote, and in Cleveland, OH Jasmin Santana ousted an incumbent by 46 votes to become the first Latina elected to the city council. In Boston, City Council newcomers Andrea Campbell, Lydia Edwards and Kim Janey have joined as councilors, making six out of the thirteen Councilmembers women of color.
The results on November 7, 2017 show that progressives can win in cities of all types. NIRH looks forward to supporting these leaders as they capitalize on their momentum to push forward a progressive agenda that includes reproductive freedom.