Same old Congress, and same old story for District 9

Democratic Primary

Yvette Clarke* 14,804 51.9%
Adem Bunkeddeko 13,729 48.1%

28,533 votes, 99% reporting (528 of 532 precincts)

* Incumbent

Is this tight margin a wake-up for Yvette Clarke? Will she enjoy the expense of another challenge in 2020?  Adem’s job was difficult. He is a highly qualified male with the smarts to do the job of a congress member, but that does not defeat an incumbent, and in a decade hopefully dedicated to the empowerment of women, his most difficult communication problem.  A massive call-out on Clarke’s record, that is on the surface reasonably good, required extensive analysis.  Her failures are clear – she has not “brought home bacon”, injected substantial funding into anti-displacement organizations, or protect constituents (especially Haitians) and others from the threat of deportation.  These failures will be the legacy of her next two years.  Why? Clarke, her staff, and her utility (gas, elec. com) PACs have never written legislation that could get out of committee or put money in District 9 favoring working families facing increases in the cost of living, led by the crisis in housing affordability.

The second lesson is in knowing that less than 30,000 votes occurred among more than 300,000 registered Democrats in a District with nearly 800,000 residents. This means one thing, the Congressmember’s staff will continue to ignore “off-list” letters and phone calls, and continue to vote with a leadership that has demonstrated an ability to fail nationally.  Lastly, one candidate right out of the Bernie Sanders camp is worthy of further analysis.  She won the 14th District using solid community organizing skills, not political organizing expertise.  It was geographically organized by election district (See District Nine example). In my opinion, I believe the reliance on a Crown Heights base was the failure of the challenger’s strategy in the Ninth District.  A look at the whole district would have produced two the four thousand more votes.  Ocasio-Cortez won with straightforward organizing throughout the entire district.

One person working to get the vote out in nearly every district (mostly Bronx) was all Alexandria needed in a non-presidential election year. In her district, the threat to the people there was as tangible as it is in CD9 for the threatened people of the Carribean, but she got that message out.  This is a  huge deal, Crowley was a boss-machine player among Democrats. (See Time Mag Story) It was her organizing performance that produced a substantial margin for victory.  Something Democrats seem to forget.

If the pressure for real leadership is to occur one for a challenger, a person will be needed in every ED by June 2020.  See District Nine example

The Big News Maker was: U.S. House District 14

Democratic Primary

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez 15,897 57.5%
Joseph Crowley* 11,761 42.5%

27,658 votes, 98% reporting (440 of 449 precincts)

* Incumbent


The rest of 26 June’s pathetic primary voting turnout can be reviewed here


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