What a great gorgeous blue wave we have to be thankful for this holiday weekend! In PA we resoundingly re-affirmed the sanity and decency of the State by sweeping to victory our candidates for Governor and Senator, while taking four Congressional seats, almost a dozen State House seats, and almost half a dozen State Senate seats. Turnout was up everywhere, but especially in those sweet, blue areas.
Now we have an electoral breather and move on to some of the issues that we hope and will demand that our newly elected Democratic majorities take up. We’ll be looking for a real infrastructure plan coming from D.C., re-enactment of the Voting Rights Act, a (much) higher minimum wage and protection against the orange one’s attacks on Obamacare. A carbon tax should also be on the agenda, and protection for immigrants, in addition to protection against every effort to further subvert our democracy.
At the state level, we still don’t control any legislative chamber, but the Republican super-majority in the Senate is gone. Hopefully, we’ll get better funding for schools, and ongoing protections against state pre-emption of the City’s Home Rule powers.
A lot of action during the rest of this year and next will take place at the local level. In Council we will soon have a final Council vote to insure that 130,000 Philadelphia workers can depend on a fair and predictable work-week. Also, the City’s living wage legislation for employees of City contractors and sub-contractors should get that wage bumped up to $15/hour. In addition, we will be going all out to get the Mayor and Council to create a Philadelphia Public Bank, to rid ourselves of Wall Street’s grip on our City finances once and for all.
Early next year, campaigns for all 17 City Council seats, the Mayor and a raft of judgeships will get under way. We know there will be exciting new progressive faces for us to rally around, while we also work hard to keep our existing champions in office.
Stay tuned to this space. More details on all the exciting opportunities for progress that lay ahead of us will soon be coming.