Thank You for Standing with Me
Thank you for standing with me. Thank you for letting me stand with you and with our community.
It is incredibly difficult to choose the right words to express my deep gratitude for your support and strength. Difficult because, writing them down officially ends this campaign.
On Tuesday, we fought the fight of our political lives. More than 100 of you stepped up to work Election Day. Some of you volunteered because you are my neighbor and friend. Some of you volunteered because you want a political leader who will listen to activist movements. Some of you volunteered because you are a die-hard Green. Many of you volunteered because you were pestered into signing a volunteer sheet at the farmers' market or a community event… and we never let you forget it.
We didn't win the race. We did, however, win the hearts and the votes of more than a third of the people in our community. We stood as an example of how to build an electoral movement that comes from the people, and is accountable only to the people.
We met every goal we set for this campaign. We raised more than $30,000 and spent every cent (plus an additional $1,000 that we need to make up - but we can talk about that later…) on direct voter outreach and support for our volunteers. We opened an office in the community that gave a face to the Green Party and to participatory democracy. We received every endorsement we pursued, and a few that we didn't. We knocked on more than 9,000 doors, and put volunteers on the streets nearly 6 days a week for 6 months this year. We put 113 volunteers at precincts on Election Day to help get out the vote. We won 35% of the vote in a district with a long history of Democratic loyalty.
More important than meeting our goals, we ran our campaign with integrity and honesty. We encouraged voters to research candidates and vote their conscience, rather than voting a party line.
We advanced a comprehensive agenda for moving Illinois forward. We focused on single-payer health care, school funding, affordable housing, equal rights regardless of citizenship or sexual orientation, and a commitment to put the needs of working families and the principles of social, economic, and ecological justice before personal interests.
On Election Day, I heard again and again that we inspired people to vote. In the 39th District, 16,000 people came out to vote. All day long, I heard voters tell me that they were either voting to keep Bill Brady out of Springfield or voting to send me there. I am proud that our campaign wasn't about voting against Berrios, but voting for Karpen.
I gave up my life for this campaign. I know many of you did, too. When I was tired and beat down, when I had to make another fundraising call, when I stayed up to draft a mailer or work on endorsement questionnaires, when I stood nervously on the porch of a 3-flat debating how many buzzers to push, when I woke up at 3am on Tuesday, or when my fingers were freezing and my feet were sore on Tuesday night… I thought of all of you, and the sacrifices you made on my behalf and the behalf of our community.
You built this. Your dedication to this campaign and your idea of what I could be for our community kept me going, and kept me from giving up.
We left nothing on the table and we have everything to be proud of. I honestly believe that we did everything in our power to win this race. I think that 35% was exactly what our community was prepared to give, and we earned every single vote.
Whether or not I run for office in the future, please know that I will continue to stand with each and every one of you as you stood with me. I may not be able to serve our community in Springfield, but I will make every effort to serve our community and fight for the spirit of democracy from our community.
Thank you for this amazing opportunity. Thank you for standing with me.
Your neighbor and partner,
Share a campaign story here.