Two years ago if someone had said we have a good chance of flipping Ted Cruz’ seat, I would have laughed. But tomorrow I will be crushed if we don’t. While I’m optimistic I’m also anxious.
On the eve of the election in which progressives in Texas have invested so much, I am fearful that our efforts won’t be enough to flip the seats we’ve worked so hard for. But I want to talk about the tangible goals we’ve already achieved even before a single ballot is counted.
Here are four things that we should celebrate:
- We have created a broad network of progressive activists like nothing that ever existed before in Texas. We have developed relationships with the leaders of more established progressive groups and learned from them. We have earned trust and friendship along the way. Those coalitions are the foundation that will change Texas for the better.
- We have succeeded in changing the conversation in policy areas such as healthcare and immigration. By strongly advocating with and for affected communities, we have put lawmakers on the defensive. We have successfully moved the center to the left.
- We have developed tools to make our elected officials more accountable to progressives and we have learned new ways to engage them more effectively. Elected officials on both sides of the aisle recognize the movement power we have, and they have to respect it.
- We have become a more knowledgeable and engaged electorate. Get out the vote efforts have changed the face of voters in Texas; we are younger and we are more diverse than previous elections. This was a critical step in moving Texas from a non-voting state to a state that works for all its people.
The election may leave some of us feeling devastated again. Please be kind to yourselves and each other. Flipping statewide and carefully gerrymandered seats here in Texas was always a long shot.
Regardless of the results of the November 6 election, we have not reached the finish line. We have just reached a waypoint, and regardless of who wins any given seat, we’ve accomplished a lot.