Looking back, looking forward

The results of this year's election were not what we had hoped they would be. Historically, the President's party loses seats in the sixth year of an Administration. As Juan Williams wrote, this year was not bad by historical standards.

Defeat should not obscure the good things we accomplished. Governor Quinn ran a great campaign, articulating the differences between the parties. Unlike Democrats in other states, he took pride in the success of Obamacare and other accomplishments of Democrats at the state and Federal levels. His field organization (of which we were a part) was the best I've seen other than the Obama campaigns. Voters strongly supported Democratic positions on all the referenda, including raising the minimum wage.

Laddi Singh ran a wonderful campaign for State Representative. For the first time, Indian-American and Asian-American voters saw a candidate they could relate to. Laddi built bridges between the Democratic Party and growing communities in our area. By showing that a Punjabi woman could represent the mainstream views of suburban voters, Laddi blazed a trail that she and other candidates will follow to victory.

Many new volunteers came out to help Governor Quinn and Laddi. We welcome them to the progressive community in the northwest suburbs. Elections are not isolated events. We build our party and our coalition brick by brick, year by year, election by election.

So what happens next? We will encourage and support progressive candidates for local office in the April election. We will work to build our database of local Democrats so that the next campaign will begin where this year's campaigns ended. We plan to have programs on issues of interest including gun violence prevention, immigration reform, income inequality, and others. 
We also encourage you to participate in the activities of other progressive organizations in our area.

We need your help. Some people like voter contact. Others like to help plan and run events, like issue meetings or our fall fundraiser. Some people like to do data entry, which we need in order build our database. Still others write letters to the editor or help build our online prence, incluuding this website. Let me know what you like to do, and we'll show you how you can make a difference.

There is a Zen principle that one should never get too high or too low. The last four elections make a great example: two historic victories for President Obama followed by two setbacks for Democrats. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that the next election will be the same as the last one. Recent history shows otherwise.

We have many long-term assets. The northwest suburbs are changing, and the growing groups (young voters, Asian-Americans, Muslims, and Hispanics) tend strongly to vote Democratic. Voters support Democrats on most issues, even if they don't always realize it. Our party is strong and growing. I hope you will be a part of that growth and eventual success.

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