Thursday, June 1, 2017

Christine Pellegrino wins in New York and we celebrate in Oregon

Long Island public school teacher Christine Pellegrino has become the first Democratic Party Assemblyperson to defeat a Republican in the history of the 9th Assembly District, a usually conservative-voting district which takes in sections of Long Island's Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

Pellegrino is a Sanders supporter, a teacher, and a newcomer to electoral politics. Her campaign brought together labor and progressive forces and the Working Families Party and forced a reluctant Democratic establishment to support her. It was coalition politics, but in that experience there is something of the united front approach as well which has been discussed a great deal on this blog.

Given Pellegrino's victory and how it was won and the blance of political forces, this election has special national significance. People will look at this from many sides, but right now this looks like a victory for progressive forces and as a playbook for what needs to happen next year and in 2020.

It has to be said that Christine Pellegrino joins a diminishing but loud number of progressive Italian-American politicians at a time when so many Italians have been coopted by the Trump movement and administration. These good-hearted politicians owe much to Fiorello La Guardia, Vito Marcantonio, Pete Cacchione and Frank Barbaro, whether that debt is acknowledged or not. For us here in Oregon, we can point with pride to the progressive Latino/a, Native American and African American representatives Teresa Alonso Leon, Diego Hernandez, Tawna Sanchez and James Manning, Jr. as our best hopes.  

Read more here.

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