Our Leadership Team- Elgin Bailey, Angel Savell, Nydea Graves, and our Staff Organizer, Rafael Diaz- made recommendations for our endorsement to help support our members in making what will certainly prove to be tough decisions These are candidates that we believe share our values, are willing to build relationships with us so they'll be accountable to our communities rather than corporate and Party special interests, and that we have currently enough power to make an impact on their races.
Over the next few days we'll be posting more in depth thoughts regarding our support- and criticisms- of these candidates and sharing them via email and on our website.
We recommend Bernie due to his consistent commitment to transforming our political economic system through a powerful mass movement of poor and working folks to address racism, gender inequality, and poverty. While he closely matches Warren in terms of policy, he's the only candidate to support a Homes Guarantee, Medicare for All, free universal childcare, and voting rights for currently incarcerated people.
This decision is strategic as well as moral- it is an absolute priority to defeat Donald Trump. Given Bernie's victories in the early Primary and Caucus states and his widespread support throughout the country, he stands the best chance of actually winning in November- and we can't take the risk of entering the Democratic National Convention without a candidate entering with a majority of delegates behind them. If that happens, elite Party operatives in the form of Super Delegates are standing in wait to install a less popular candidate, threatening to throw the Party into chaos and hand Donald Trump the nomination.
That said, we have our criticisms- namely around his lack of clear support for reparations and difficulty articulating a vision for change that fully addresses the impact of racism throughout the country. It's hard to imagine universal policies getting us all the way toward winning a future of justice and equality for all if we don't fully address past and present realities of racism throughout the institutions of our country. We look forward to stepping in and holding him accountable to his campaign slogan of #NotMeUs when it comes to these and other issues.
Coatesville City Council At-Large
Nydea is a member of our Leadership Team and, in full transparency and in accordance with election law, this recommendation was made without her input. But beyond any inherent biases we have through our relationship with her, we know she's the real deal. She's been committed to this work for over a year and has grown dramatically as a leader and an organizer. She's devoted to the issues that will transform our community and understands that even with the limitations of a City Council seat, she will use her position and relationships to build a base of leaders throughout Coatesville, support others to run for office, and push officials throughout the county and state to respond to our needs in housing, incarceration, education, and more.
State House District 74
Since Rep. Williams is running uncontested in this Primary, we believe it would be best to revisit a decision to endorse him ahead of the general election. Given our limited resources and capacity, we feel it would be unwise to devote canvassing efforts to a race he will assuredly win.
State House District 155
Danielle Friel Otten
Rep. Friel Otten has her roots in the anti-pipeline movement in her area of Chester County and is committed to building a progressive force to represent the needs of Chester County's working people in Harrisburg. Our support will give us the opportunity to negotiate a powerful relationship with her office and collaborate around building an authentic multiracial movement throughout the County so the people can be in power.
State House District 167
This was a difficult decision given that both candidates lead with strong progressive values. Ginny Kerslake comes out of the movement to stop the Mariner East Pipeline along with Danielle Friel Otten, staking her campaign around a vision to end our dependence on fossil fuels so we can have good jobs and clean air and water for all of our communities. She also believes in ending the punitive nature of criminal justice system so we can responsibly address mental illness and addiction, which are key issues for building a multiracial movement. While we've seen that Rep. Howard hasn't been the champion against the pipeline that many of constituents have needed, she stands with us on a significant number of issues and has been a key ally in standing against State Senator Daylin Leach as he's refused to resign after numerous allegations of sexual harassment and assault. Either way, we believe we should take a stand in this race and look forward to supporting the candidate our members vote to endorse.
State Senate District 19
All of these candidates displayed a strong alignment with our values and vision through their responses to our questionnaire. We also have a few criticisms of each of them- neither Don Vymazal and Carolyn Committa committed to reject campaign contributions from private developers and big landlords, though Don offered an explanation as to why. And while Kyle Boyer made this commitment, he doesn't stand with us on fully abolishing standardized testing. Given all of these considerations, we don't feel strongly enough about any individual candidate at this time to make a recommendation, but still believe we should endorse in this race.