We are building lasting infrastructure to grow progressive power in Kentucky for the long haul. Despite the defeat of Attica Scott in a Democratic primary on Tuesday, we are inspired, driven, and hopeful. Landscapes don’t shift overnight– and this is just the beginning of the momentum we are building to carry into the days and years ahead.
Progressive victories led by Black women in Georgia in 2020 and 2021 showed the nation that transforming conditions requires a commitment to building power for the long-haul, not just in election cycles.
We knew that Attica – a working class, Black mother who has a long history of standing up for justice– was the underdog, facing off with a millionaire lawyer who received donations from the likes of billionaire tech bros. Instead of relying on high dollar donations, we ran our campaign on people power- and moved thousands of white Lousvillians to see their futures tied up with the movement values Attica stands for. As Attica wrote, “It took nearly $2 million to defeat our people-powered campaign.”
Over 200 SURJ members from the Louisville chapter and National Membership program contacted 133,471 white voters in KY-03 to organize them to support Attica Scott. In white working class precincts where we knocked doors, support for Attica was over 7 points higher than in similar precincts where we did not canvass. And the campaign has been a strong catalyst for recruiting new SURJ members and moving seasoned SURJ members deeper into action. As one LSURJ member, Lindsay, shared with us:
“Working with SURJ has given me hope. It’s been this galvanizing force that it is possible to organize people who don’t have a lot of funding behind them to fight for what’s right and to fight for all of us. The racial justice side of it is what got me into it- and now I see how possible it is to politically mobilize and go up against the corporate establishment Democrats who have just completely failed us- and how interconnected all of this work is.”
We have our work cut out for us in the days ahead. We’ll continue mobilizing white people to support progressive people of color in Kentucky, Georgia, and other key states leading up to the midterms. And we’ll be organizing in those communities long after the elections to make sure the work continues.