Well, the November mid-term elections have come and gone as has my initiation into grassroots politics. I ran for State Representative of the southern hilltowns of the Berkshires out in the most-Western part of the state. My campaign focused on truth and transparency and called to question the practice of unrecorded votes in the Statehouse. While that is an important topic and worthy of representation it was not a klaxon call to action for the electorate. Combine that with a twenty-year incumbent with a $200,000 war chest who put billboards up all over the county, it was a hard-fought campaign and I garnered 10% of the vote in a two-person race. Before election day I was hoping for between 8-15% and would consider that a showing of interest in a “third-party” GRP candidate. So I am hopeful in the end, that I can run again and/or another GRP candidate can run in my place.
My biggest disappointment, this time around, was failing to energize young progressives in the area. They know that the system must change and are essential in helping with the “ground game” of leafleting, door-knocking, and phone banking. I had high hopes of getting young members of groups like the Democratic Socialists active in my campaign. However, I found that the Green-Rainbow Party was an unknown commodity out here. The support that I did receive from statewide members of the Green-Rainbow Party, including Co-Chairs Lois and Rick, Communications co-chairs, Eileen and Jack, and of course our energizer bunny Jamie Guerin was tremendous. But in the end, all politics is local. Before the next election cycle, we must become better known to folks living in my District.
I look forward to helping the GRP with its website and newsletter readership and communications reach. With Zach, myself, Eileen, Jack, and others in the Comm-Comm and Tech committees, we will drive membership, social media followers & viewer numbers into the stratosphere, especially in the oft-forgotten western edge of the state! Onwards and upwards!