We beat back the oil giant, and post-elections, we’re honoring the strength of people power.
This past election came with its fair share of wins and losses in the movement for environmental and economic justice. Nationally, Republicans gained control of the Senate and won gubernatorial elections throughout the country. This national trend stopped in California, where progressive policies like Prop 47, which reclassifies some nonviolent felonies as misdemeanors, passed by an overwhelming margin. In Richmond and Oakland, local elections received national attention and provide us with hope and optimism. Bay Area residents came out in favor of progressive leadership, fair pay for workers, and investing in our infrastructure.
In Richmond, despite Chevron’s overwhelming campaign spending, we saw environmental justice and community organizing win. Our allies at APEN Action helped elect a slate of progressive leaders that will stand up to Big Oil. The secret behind this victory over the oil giant is simple: organized people overcame organized money! The power of organizing, neighbors talking with neighbors about what they value and their solutions to Richmond’s challenges, moved Richmond voters to action. Real people power defeated every dollar of Chevron’s money. Despite Chevron’s campaign spending, despite their pollution in our skies and soil, our communities deserve to be healthy, just, and resilient–and they made that clear at the ballot box.
In Oakland, we’re celebrating immigrants, refugees, and working class families that will benefit from a higher minimum wage and the shared prosperity it will bring our city. Oakland voters turned out strong in favor of Measure FF, which won with 81 percent of the vote.
Voters in Alameda County turned out for transportation investments, when Measure BB won 70 percent of the vote. We’re looking forward to investments in transit-oriented development and public transit discounts for seniors, youth, and disabled riders.
We educated and registered API voters across the state, and this election reminded us how grassroots organizing is such an important and irreplaceable means for building power in our communities. We flexed our power at the polls, and in the end, we got equitable policy, elected leaders we believe in, and a People’s victory against the oil giant.