The votes have been tabulated and the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and left-leaning progressives have shown it is their time indeed.
Their clean primary sweep for DSA Senate Candidate Jabari Bristort (Fort Greene, Boerum Hill, Red Hook, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Sunset Park, Gowanus, Park Slope) and Assembly Candidates Phara Souffrant Forrest (Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights) and Marcela Mitaynes (Sunset Park, Red Hook) as well as progressive candidate Emily Gallagher is a testament to great organizing, fundraising ability, selfless volunteerism and an unwavering belief in their ideology and cause.
Primary elections in Brooklyn are rarely pretty and this one was ugly, particularly for much of the borough’s rank-and-file Black community. For in the DSA victory, they threw the baby out with the bathwater in disassembling more than 50 years of building local Black empowerment starting with the Federal government having to come into Brooklyn in 1968 to create a Black Voting Rights District, which led to the election of the late political pioneer, U.S. Rep. Shirley Chisholm.
But that’s water under the bridge now. It is only proper that the DSA, Working Families Party and their candidates – all but Gallagher being people of color – to take a well-deserved victory lap. As for those who have lost, it is time to lick their wounds, re-strategize and work to come back in the next election stronger than ever.
Come January, things move away from the election season. And as the growing DSA contingent of electeds sit at their legislative lunch table they must discuss the business of governing.
Garbage must be picked up in a timely manner. If cancel rent and defund police legislation is passed, crime must be kept low and tenants, including NYCHA tenants, must have heat every winter. If new roofs, plumbing and electrical wiring is needed in century-old buildings, these legislators need to get it done and find a way to pay for it.
These lawmakers must also find a way to bring the best and brightest union public school teachers to the schools in the poorest neighborhoods as they work to get rid of charter schools and giving parents a choice of where to send their kids to good schools in their neighborhood, without having to be bussed in a brain drain to more affluent neighborhoods.
These lawmakers must also deliver balanced budgets in a timely manner as they throw a greater tax burden on the wealthy and big business, while further regulating smaller businesses in the name of employee rights. And they must do all this while putting a tourniquet on the city and state to stop the bleeding of people and businesses leaving to other places around the country for more opportunity.
As comrades in the media, we look forward to watching and covering all that you do now that you’re in power and are our public servants.
There’s an often-used chant that both DSA and WFP protesters are well familiar with. It goes, ‘Whose streets? Our streets! Whose streets? Our streets!’
So to Brisport, Forrest, Mitaynes, Gallagher, the DSA and all the far left-leaning Democrats, it’s your streets now.
The best of luck in taking care of them.