Local elections in the Commonwealth are officially considered nonpartisan. Typically, the two highest vote-getters in a primary, regardless of political affiliation, move on to the general election. This is often misinterpreted to mean that political ideology plays no role in local elections. Conservatives, progressives, and everyone in between are elected to serve at the local level and they do not leave their ideology on the town hall steps.
Radical right wing ideology is creeping into city and town halls across the state. We see the impact when citizens and school districts seek to protect immigrant students and are met with bigotry and vitriol from their elected local leaders. We see the impact when town meetings erupt into hate-filled rants directed at transgender men, women and children. We see it when county officials, apparently unaware that America abolished slavery, offer to ship incarcerated citizens thousands of miles away to build a wall along the southern border.
This phenomenon is not accidental. Billions of dollars have been spent in support of Republican municipal candidates. The right does not adhere to the apolitical theory of local elections in Massachusetts and neither should we.
It is with all of this in mind that we launch Progress351. It will be our mission to support progressive Democratic candidates and incumbents at the local level.