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Then Boston mayoral candidate Marty Walsh speaks at Communities of Color endorsement event.
Boston Mayor-elect Marty Walsh
Tuesday's elections brought a number of contests, scattered across the country and in many cases under the radar, with real implications for working people and unions. Some of them made national headlines: the landslide election of Bill de Blasio in New York City, for instance. But let's look around at some of the other progressive wins.

While de Blasio's victory was pretty much a foregone conclusion by Tuesday (surprising, given that just a few months ago he wasn't given much of a chance in the primary), no one really knew how the Boston mayoral race would come out. The win, by four points, went to Marty Walsh, who started his working life as a union worker and went on to become president of Laborers Local 223 and general agent of the Boston Building Trades Council. Walsh defeated City Councilor John Connolly, who was running on an education platform—backed by corporate education reform groups like Democrats for Education Reform.

Corporate education reformers also took a loss in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where:

The city Board of Education slipped out of the hands of Mayor Bill Finch and Schools Superintendent Paul Vallas on Tuesday, despite the surprise win of a Republican school board candidate.

In the election, the majority of the nine-member school board tipped in favor of the Connecticut Working Families Party.

Vallas was originally put in place after the elected board was dissolved by the state; an elected board was brought back by a court decision and now this election has shifted the balance of power. In Douglas County, Colorado, on the other hand, right-wing pro-voucher school board incumbents won, boosted by money from the Koch brothers and Jeb Bush.

Public workers in Cincinnati also had a win, with voters overwhelmingly defeating a measure to replace the city's pension plan with a defined contribution system.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 08:34 AM PST.

Also republished by Massachusetts Kosmopolitans, In Support of Labor and Unions, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  i was very pleasantly surprised by the Walsh win (18+ / 0-)

    after several prominent political activists who are people of color endorsed Walsh, lines were drawn between, shall we say, people who identify with the rainbow coalition and those who do not.  

    There are still a considerable number of the latter type of voters in Boston, and Connolly's ads were careful not to offer any words or images that would disturb them.

    Connolly had the Menino machine (Menino having been in a famous feud with Walsh for many years), and the famous father (former MA Sec of Commonwealth Michael Connolly).

    Connolly's signs were blue and Walsh's were red.  Some people assumed Walsh was a Republican.  So he started using the word progressive in his television ads, and put the word DEMOCRAT in blue at the top of his red signs.

    Every time a pollster called me I answered the phone and answered all the questions in the hope that Walsh's support would start to register.  The first poll that showed him with a slight lead was a great encouragement to folks on the ground.  The polls stayed close.  

    No one would have been surprised by a Connolly win last night.  Walsh is an upset on several levels.  I hope this coalition can continue working together for a long time to come

    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
    Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 09:20:17 AM PST

    •  I think it was more new vs old (12+ / 0-)

      Boston. I thought Connolly was a wolf in sheep's clothing whose base was mainly made up of the gentrification class here in Boston. The folks (developers) who want to see multi-million dollar condos and $2500+ rents be the norm. What won it for Walsh was a good showing of minority precincts, traditional "old Boston" voters and the thousands of volunteers from the National Union Trades Council.... they were everywhere!! Marty had about 4000 volunteers against Connolly's 800. Also endorsements mattered allot from monitory mayoral candidates who lost in the first round.

      Somos América, nuestros números lo dicen!

      by HGM MA on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 09:29:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Connolly Canvassers (4+ / 0-)

        I volunteered for the Walsh campaign after Arroyo (for whom I volunteered first) endorsed him. Last weekend, when I was canvassing in Mission Hill, I came across Connolly canvassers, and they looked like the stereotype of Connolly supporters: late 30s white upper middle class professional couple pushing their child in a stroller.

      •  I just hate this premise (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I'm sorry, I'm an assbroke gay union bartender who voted Connolly; I had a co worker who is a recently divorced latina mom, also union, who voted Connolly, and two recent American citizens, also union members, who voted Connolly, as well as my manager.  I assume we all had our reasons.  But maybe I am too close, but these broad strokes of who voted for Walsh and who voted for Connolly, just do not strike true with me.  I feel it was much more of a personal choice, than a political choice for many.  We had two good candidates and made our choice.  Welcome to a city like Boston.  Large, yet small. :)

    •  I just have to say (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I'm sorry.  I did vote for Connolly, but am totally happy that Marty won.  I know Marty Walsh personally, and really like him, I've spent several times with him socially, this was not an easy choice.    He is a great man!! I have met Connolly also, and I know several people who are close to him, he is not the horrible candidate you are trying to portray or others commenting on this.  He is a good man, who could also be a good Mayor, which I expect Marty Walsh to be.  I think we were fortunate in Boston to have two good candidates fight for the position.  Not every loser is a bad candidate.  So, please, lets congratulate Marty on his win, and be happy to have a good Democrat in office. However, having a parent who has also served the public does not translate to you being some sort of bad candidate.  John Connolly is a good man.   Also, as a bartender, who is in a union, and gay, I do not think I am "anti rainbow coalition"  a fight amongst democrats shouldn't be drawing blood.  I'm happy for Marty.

      •  Where did I say he was a horrible candidate? (0+ / 0-)

        Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
        Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

        by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 06:59:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think its inferred... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          "lines were drawn between, shall we say, people who identify with the rainbow coalition and those who do not."  Listen we are both on team Dem, and I am fully supportive of Marty, I'm just asking we do no denigrate, a guy I think to be a good man. I just think he is an empathetic person, and was a good candidate, we had a spoil of riches.  Marty is great too, in my opinion, I could not lose. :)

          •  but I didn't say Connolly himself drew those lines (0+ / 0-)

            right after the runoff, a lot of people said I don't care who wins now because I don't know the difference between them.

            then all the minority activist endorsements came out and it was clear the "Reagan Democrats" and GWB voters and Boston Herald readers and R-leaning independents and hateradio listeners had to go to Connolly.

            Not Connolly's fault, but he did benefit from it.

            And if Connolly did not want those lines to be drawn, he could have called himself a progressive.  He did not.  He could have drawn attention to the fact that he is a Democrat.  He did not.  He could have have used black adults in his ads.  He did not, until the very last ad with the elderly social worker (which to his credit was a very good ad).  

            Not doing those things does not make him a horrible candidate.  It makes him a pragmatic one who can count, because until Tuesday night I thought the minority endorsements would make Marty lose.  There are still a LOT of unreconstructed anti-busing anti-rainbow coalition people in Boston.

            The only factual thing I ever said in opposition to Connolly is not something he can do anything about--I felt 39 was just too young and I wanted a mayor who was a little more seasoned.

            Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
            Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

            by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 07:37:28 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm not going to argue (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I'm not worried about whether or not he claimed progressive.  I've met him, I know people who know him, I know his former law associates, he is a good, empathetic, fairly liberal man, and this comes from a very liberal guy.  I am not upset he lost, I just do not like veiled attacks against him.  As I said before, not every loser is wrong.  We can all celebrate Marty's win, I'm not regretting it!  But we do not need to tear down, what I believe to be a good, caring, service oriented man.  :):)  We had a spoil of riches.  Marty has his own flaws, I assure you.

              •  it's not an attack on HIM, veiled or otherwise! (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                it's an attack on the politics of the city and it's being honest about the way the city is still deeply racially divided.

                it's not an attack on you or anyone else who voted for him!

                it is similar to this statement:  not everyone who voted for McCain or Rmoney was a racist.  But all the racists had to vote for Rmoney and McCain once the Dem nominee turned out to be Obama.

                I am not tearing down Connolly or you.  I know Marty has flaws and I expect him to reveal them shortly.  Connolly will run again for something else--he has a long political career in front of him.

                Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
                Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

                by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 08:28:00 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  and (0+ / 0-)

            having a famous parent is not a bad thing and does not make him a bad candidate.  it was just one more advantage he had.

            It is an open secret that Menino has been feuding with Walsh for many years and I figured a famous name and the Menino machine would be enough to win the election for him.   amazingly it did not.

            I am not saying that everyone who voted for Connolly was in negative response to his minority endorsements.  some people I highly respect voted for Connolly.  But let's be real here.  The minority endorsements did cause a certain voting bloc of people to react by abandoning Walsh.

            Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
            Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

            by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 07:43:41 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm sorry (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              which "minority bloc" abandoned Walsh for his endorsements?  and how did this show Walsh was the "rainbow coalition" choice?  Im just not following the logic....

              •  Oh, I think I am now following.... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                You think somehow white people ran to Connolly because Walsh got endorsements from minority leaders?  I think thats just a basic and judgmental decision.  There will aways be people who vote anti color, anti union, anti woman, anti gay, anti old.  I don't know, I'm just one liberal dem voter in Boston, but I just felt like we had two good Dems running, and we won either way.  Marty is no liberal hero either.  Don't fool yourself.  But he is also a great solid, democrat. :)

                •  yes (0+ / 0-)
                  You think somehow white people ran to Connolly because Walsh got endorsements from minority leaders
                  some white people did.  that's just the truth of Boston politics.
                  There will aways be people who vote anti color, anti union, anti woman, anti gay, anti old.
                  that's all I am saying.  those people had to go to Connolly.  i am still shocked he lost because there are a lot of those people around.

                  it does not mean that YOU are one of those people, or that Marty is a perfect liberal hero, or anything like that

                  Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
                  Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

                  by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 08:30:15 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  but let's agree on this (0+ / 0-)

                  we had two good dems running

                  Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
                  Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

                  by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 08:48:08 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  and why are "advatanges" (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              a bad thing.  We seem to like them if we think they "advantage" what we believe.    I actually reconsidered my vote because he came from "privilege."  But I thought about it and realized, being born lucky does not diminish your desire and will to do good work.  Kennedy, Pell, Rockerfeller, we have had plenty of those born to privilege, who fight for justice.

  •  The Bush's have done well in education publishing (4+ / 0-)

    thanks to the no child left behind program which directed much spending into education publishing; surprise, that is another Bush family business.

  •  Martin Walsh has a hell of a personal story... (8+ / 0-)

    ...overcoming cancer at a young age, and alcoholism later in his life. Additionally, the guy is exceptionally unpretentious for a pol. This is a great win for Boston.

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 09:29:09 AM PST

  •  $15 Minimum wage winning in Seattle suburb SeaTac (8+ / 0-)

    "It's a good day for low-wage workers in New Jersey and the city of SeaTac, Wash., after residents on Tuesday favored ballot measures that will raise the minimum wage.

    "The SeaTac initiative will raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour for hospitality and transportation workers in and near Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The current minimum wage in Washington State is $9.19.

    "With all precincts counted, the 'Yes' vote was leading by 54% to 46%, but opponents say it is still too close to call. There are still uncounted votes, due to Washington's mail-in voting system."

    There's no such thing as a free market!

    by Albanius on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 10:34:22 AM PST

  •  Some actual good news. (3+ / 0-)

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 12:59:47 PM PST

  •  That's good news! n/t (3+ / 0-)

    Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

    by Dirtandiron on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 01:40:45 PM PST

  •  Look at that picture (3+ / 0-)

       Marty Walsh just looks like a fighter.

    "Le ciel est bleu, l'enfer est rouge."

    by Buzzer on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 03:35:42 PM PST

  •  i don't know who cares more ... (0+ / 0-)

    at guardian-uk right now:

    US ordered to hand over Red Cross files on conditions at Guantánamo Bay

    Military judge in trial of 9/11 suspects says correspondence must be disclosed, but ICRC insists its assessments are confidential

    ... The extraordinary ruling, issued by Col James Pohl on Tuesday at Guantánamo, represents a rare opportunity for disclosure of the assessments of the only human rights group with access to the detention facility since 2002.

    Pohl’s ruling comes expressly against the wishes of the Red Cross, which argued at Guantánamo in June that its communications with governments enjoy an “absolute privilege”, placing them beyond the purview of the military commission currently preparing to hear the fate of the 9/11 defendants.

    Addington's perpwalk? TRAILHEAD of accountability for Bush-2 Crimes. @Hugh: There is no Article II power which says the Executive can violate the Constitution.

    by greenbird on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 03:40:34 PM PST

  •  Betsy Hodges is going to win in Mpls. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    samddobermann, Larsstephens, begone

    She leads greenwashed corporatist weathervane Mark Andrew by eleven points in Minneapolis' first IRV mayoral contest.

    Visit for Minnesota news as it happens.

    by Phoenix Woman on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 03:41:25 PM PST

  •  So glad the Corporate Education Raiders (4+ / 0-)

    Lost in Connecticut.  The Raiders won the Denver, Jefferson County and Douglas County school board races.  The tea party PAC's poured $$ into these races, outspending everyone else, and bought themselves some school boards.  

  •  Connolly's "education platform" was in reality (6+ / 0-)

    a thinly veiled anti-union platform, as the major component of his critique of public education in the city of Boston was the power of the Boston Teacher's Union, and one major objective of his reform was simply to break the union.

    Walsh's victory in that context is a huge progressive step forward.  When you add in the fact that what propelled him to victory was his successful outreach to the minority communities in town, which he achieved by winning the endorsements of the major candidates of color in the mayoral primary, his win becomes even more significant.

    Boston's new mayor came to power through a labor, black, and latino coalition, and he defeated an openly anti-labor opponent.  We've got real possibilities for progressive action in the city now.

    The efforts to repeal Obamacare are the GOP Abort Obamacare Act. lynneinfla

    by litho on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 03:47:25 PM PST

  •  What's the Matter with Colorado? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Mostel26

    That is one weird state!  They love their marahootch, granting the crop some sort of semi-legal status (hooray), while also granting the KochBros and One Percenters the legal authority to run roughshod over their school kids. Weird.

  •  Thank you Laura for all you do and (0+ / 0-)

    thank you to all of you who have worked for these heartening victories.

    I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

    by samddobermann on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 03:58:06 PM PST

  •  Walsh winning (4+ / 0-)

    Sends a message that Boston voters get what is at issue. It's not labor, unions, or public teacher unions that are to blame for the woes facing society and our youth, it's the pro corporatization of America and resulting wealth inequality/class war.

    And being corporate reform education wise won't fly when MA students with highly unionized teaching force, typically perform at the top of national and even international test scores. (If MA were its own country it would be very high up when comparing test scores internationally.)Many  Parents are savvy and onto that fact and the accompanying finger pointing blame game coming primarily from wealthy corporate education calling for "reform". They are not all fooled. Much of the same electorate that gave us Elizabeth Warren. Kudos!

    Government of, for, and by the wealthy corporate political ruling class elites. We are the 99%-OWS.

    by emal on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 04:11:24 PM PST

  •  Douglas county (0+ / 0-)

    is a right wing s****e that deserves every bad thing that will flow from this.

  •  Major elext Marty Walsh has a united city behind (0+ / 0-)

    him and we have high hopes for him and the City of Boston.  Great win, we had two excellent candidtates, but Marty won, yea.

    •  Let me try again. There is now a tremendous (0+ / 0-)

      pressure, burden on the Irish-Italian community to deliver a positive agenda for the City of Boston.  I have not ever met Marty Walsh, Mayor-Elect  and I only met one other candidate for the job, an African-American, who was an accomplished businessman.  We have in Dudley the makings of a great African Market in which I hope, we will now join in to help create.  I work in Dudley Square, Boston, Massachusetts,  one of the center's of African-American culture with others, truely, there is  a great integration in the market community with those who work in Dudey.  There are so many Black people that I feel I am in Africa where I spent years of my life, 3 that is.

  •  Is it just me, or does the tall guy next to Walsh (0+ / 0-)

    look like Rep Tom Cotton of Arkansas?

    Leftist Mormon in Utah, Born in Washington State, live in UT-04 (Matheson).

    by Gygaxian on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 08:13:43 PM PST

  •  Progressive boots on the ground (0+ / 0-)

    kicked some corporate butt, and established political families out, in the Pittsburgh elections as well. Neighborhoods were canvased by union members and those hoping to bring a union into the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Funny thing about illegally firing workers - said workers have a lot of time on their hands to get out the vote and raise some hell. Mayor-elect Bill Peduto has been extremely impressive, a true progressive looking to rebuild Pittsburgh from the neighborhoods up. We managed to get Deb Gross and Dan Gilman elected to City Council, and re-elected Natalia Rudiak, giving the new Mayor the majority votes he needs to push forward his agenda. I saw some of that agenda put forward at the annual Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network meeting tonight. Gun violence, public transportation, using green technology to tackle the sewer overflow problem while creating family providing local jobs and developing viable green spaces in all our neighborhoods, and studying ways to ensure that all our children get great public education. Sad that the voter turnout was around 20%, but then the primary elections are where the real decisions get made. Oh, and my wife also got elected to the PPS School Board, the largest volunteer position she's taken to date...

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