“We need your time, treasure, and talent now — to avoid tears later”
-Nina Turner, Our Revolution
We know elections matter because the wealthiest most powerful people and corporations on the planet spend huge amounts of money to win.
Their money is spent on a range of tried and tested communication tactics implemented by consultants and political operatives. There is an entire ecosystem of businesses built on the cyclical nature of elections and persuading likely voters.
Through the first half of my campaign for Assembly District 45, I’ve gotten my head out of the fishbowl and can more clearly see the role of monied political interests on our system and the corrupting influence money has on democracy and our society.
Instead of deep conversations on the problems facing society, we have forests being cut down to send mailers with catchy phrases and poll-tested bullet points. Instead of detailing how to implement real solutions using the massive resources available to government, we have identity politics. Instead of visionary leadership that lifts all people, we have back-patting for a job barely started. We are changing that.
For the special election primary on April 3rd, over $1,100,000 was spent by the 9 candidates and independent expenditures. A total of 32,272 people voted. That is about $32 per vote, but that is going to increase when all of the financial reporting is completed. You can check out how much money candidates spent here.
Jesse Gabriel at over $100 per vote, and Justin Clark at less than a $1 per vote — will be in the runoff for the Special Election. Tricia Robbins Kasson finished in 3rd place at $30 per vote and we finished in 4th place at about $10 per vote.
Basically, Democrats spent a lot of money on mail, social media, phone calls, and hiring folks to compete for likely Democratic voters, while Republicans voted for their party without much direction or communication.
This means that Jesse is very likely going to win the Special Election runoff on June 5th. These dynamics, along with the fact that Dennis Zine will not be on the ballot, Tricia Robbins Kasson and Daniel Brin are not campaigning, and more attention is going to be put on races like Governor and U.S. Senate, leaves us with a narrow path to make the top-two for the Regular Primary on June 5th.
Our campaign and our efforts are about more than one vote for one person to take one office. However, holding elected office would allow me to implement and organize at a higher level to reduce the influence of money on politics, while increasing the influence of regular people.
So how important was my one vote on election day compared to all the time and energy put into the campaign as a candidate? I don’t know. It felt good to vote, and I do know my time, energy, and actions joined with yours and so many others is what is necessary for us to build the best future for the next seven generations. Trying to shift the language, I don’t see Jesse Gabriel or Justin Clark as opponents, but as fellow community members looking to do good work, solve problems, and make government better.
With long-term organizing, real relationship building, and honest conversation about the state of our democracy — we can make each of our votes matter more. Join our campaign, forward this email, respond and ask me to write about something you care about.