Stronger together.

There was one moment in this months-long campaign that really sticks in my mind, and that I think is relevant to why progressives were able to defeat Gov. Schwarzenegger and his corporate-backed initiatives on Tuesday.
It was at the training for the Castro precinct walk in San Francisco last Saturday. Organizers were explaining to volunteers that we were targetting and trying to move only those voters who would be voting no all the first six initiatives. One of the volunteers asked, “What if they say they are going to vote No on 73, but yes on 75? Shouldn’t we try to get them to the polls?” Nora Dye, one of the chief organizers from Planned Parenthood who was decked out in a “No on 73” T-shirt and buttons, didn’t hesitiate. “We’re all in this together,” she said simply. “A vote for Prop 75 is a vote against all of us.”
Each of the initiatives Schwarzenegger backed in this election touched on a piece of the conservative ideology that is failing us as a nation: government intrusion into personal medical decisions, attacking school teachers for problems in public education while at the same time cutting school funding, and the “it’s my money” mentality that disregards the notion that we are all in this together, for the greater good.
Progressives are often criticized for infighting; we are too often defined by our inability to agree on anything. But we showed in this special election that on a very basic level, we know that our strength is in working together. A diverse group of public employees, private unions like the United Farm Workers, Planned Parenthood, consumer groups, good-government groups, the Democratic Party and multi-issue progressive groups like MoveOn, PowerPAC, the Courage Campaign and Speak Out California all came together to help in a beautifully coordinated campaign.
We didn’t all agree uniformly on the details of absolutely everything, but we agreed to work together. Our voter guide was a great visual example of that. We were proud to be a part of it, and we look forward to the great things we know we can accomplish as we move ahead.