What a night!
After the disastrous results of 2016, we were determined to step up our work to protect our communities and elect a new generation of progressive leaders, and last night that work paid off.
Washington voters sent a message to the nation by electing Manka Dhingra and flipping control of our state Senate to Democrats. They voted for progressive leaders and against Trumpism in races across Washington, and rejected the influence of Big Oil in several key races with high stakes for our environment.
Thank you to every Fuse member who knocked on doors, made phone calls, donated money, shared the Progressive Voters Guide, and voted! All your hard work boosted progressive candidates and measures across Washington and we picked up some huge wins in King, Pierce, Spokane, Whatcom, and Clark Counties.
As we celebrate great results, there’s one takeaway that stands out: this is just the beginning. One-seat majorities in our state House and state Senate are not enough and we need to help flip the U.S House. We must build on these wins to make 2018 a year for progress in Washington state and our country.
Here’s a rundown on what happened across the state on Tuesday:
The 45th District state Senate Race: In the biggest victory of the night, progressive Manka Dhingra defeated Republican Jinyoung Englund, flipping control of our state Senate to Democrats after five long years. We’re optimistic that this will open the door to fighting climate change, fixing our state’s upside down tax code, and fully funding schools.
Fuse helped lead the Our Votes Count coalition in a powerful campaign to increase voter turnout by engaging progressives who don’t vote reliably. Together, we knocked on 7,500 doors and made 11,000 phone calls to progressive voters in this critical race.
Fuse staff canvassing for Manka Dhingra
Spokane: Our Fuse Spokane Activist Council has become one of the biggest and most powerful forces for change in the community. Together, we filled 120 volunteer shifts and contacted 4,000 households in Spokane. Now we’re looking forward to seeing the changes that will come along with Spokane City Council members that we supported - Kate Burke and Breean Beggs - and School District Director Mike Wiser, along with many others.
A record-breaking Progressive Voters Guide: Thanks to Fuse members donating and sharing the guide, our voters guide continues to get bigger and better every year. More than 137,000 people across the state used our recommendations for 180 candidates and ballot measures in the general election, an increase of nearly 60 percent over the 2015 local elections. We were able to reach more than one out of every five voters who cast a ballot in some of our key races.
Moving forward in Pierce County: We’re happy to report that both Fuse endorsed candidates in Pierce County were victorious - Victoria Woodards as next Mayor of Tacoma and Chris Beale for City Council. We’re looking forward to working with Woodards and Beale to protect the Tideflats area from new fossil fuel exports, create good jobs, and push for racial justice in Tacoma.
Fuse Spokane members protesting Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers
Electing local progressive across the state: We believe progress starts at the local level, which is why we were proud to support amazing progressive candidates in dozens of other cities and counties across the state. We’re thrilled that labor leader and former Fuse board member Teresa Mosquedawas elected to the Seattle City Council. You can read our blogpost about why we are so excited about Teresa. In Bellevue, Janice Zahn will maintain the progressive majority on the city council in this important, rapidly growing city. In Walla Walla, we supported Riley Clubb and Yazmin Bahena, who both won their city council races.
Environmental advocate Don Orange won an unusually high profile election for the Port of Vancouver. Fossil Fuel companies spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to oppose Orange because he is against a proposal to build the largest oil by rail terminal in the nation in Vancouver. Thanks in particular to our partners at Washington Conversation Voters for leading a grassroots campaign to support Orange and keep fossil fuel exports out of our communities.
In Whatcom County, voters re-elected a progressive majority to the County Council despite major investments from the Washington Realtors and other conservative interests. Additionally, voters once again rejected an expensive and regressive plan to build a new county jail. We hope county leaders take this to heart and come back with a new plan focused more on prevention and restorative justice.
Fuse Senior Organizer for Trump Resistance Marquese Averett speaking at a Federal Way ballot party
Federal Way: This year we prioritized building community and voter education as we continue to grow our organizing program into new regions. We invested in an ambitious program to connect with and turnout infrequent voters in Federal Way, and organized a local ballot party as well. We’re happy that this work has helped elect Jesse Johnson to the Federal Way City Council.
From Spokane to Seattle, we continue to be inspired by the dedication of Fuse volunteers across the state who fight for a better future. Your dedication to building a progressive Washington is the heart of our work.
While we celebrate all of our wins this year, we’re already looking ahead to 2018. Next year is shaping up to be a critical election for the future of our state and country, and your ongoing support is needed to create even more progressive victories in 2018. Nearly 400 people are part of the Fuse Powersource team who donate $5 or more every month. Will you join them and provide us the ongoing support we need to win in 2018?
Thanks for all that you do,
Aaron and the entire team at Fuse