Incorruptible Mass

Local election results! Boston, Worcester, Medford, Malden, Somerville, Everett, Revere & more

November 21, 2023 Anna Callahan Season 5 Episode 31
Local election results! Boston, Worcester, Medford, Malden, Somerville, Everett, Revere & more
Incorruptible Mass
More Info
Incorruptible Mass
Local election results! Boston, Worcester, Medford, Malden, Somerville, Everett, Revere & more
Nov 21, 2023 Season 5 Episode 31
Anna Callahan

Please donate to the show!

Today we talk about the results of the local elections from Nov 7. We'll go over Boston, Worcester, and Medford in some detail, as well as quick updates for Malden, Somerville, Everett, Revere, Springfield, Newton, Marlborough, & Waltham. We also talk about how the electorate for local and state elections has changed since mail-in voting started during COVID and what that means for progressives.

Jordan Berg Powers, Jonathan Cohn, and Anna Callahan chat about Massachusetts politics. This is the audio version of the Incorruptible Mass podcast, season 5 episode 31. You can watch the video version on our YouTube channel.

You’re listening to Incorruptible Mass. Our goal is to help people transform state politics: we investigate why it’s so broken, imagine what we could have here in MA if we fixed it, and report on how you can get involved.

To stay informed:
* Subscribe to our YouTube channel
* Subscribe to the podcast (
* Sign up to get updates at
* Donate to the show at

Show Notes Transcript

Please donate to the show!

Today we talk about the results of the local elections from Nov 7. We'll go over Boston, Worcester, and Medford in some detail, as well as quick updates for Malden, Somerville, Everett, Revere, Springfield, Newton, Marlborough, & Waltham. We also talk about how the electorate for local and state elections has changed since mail-in voting started during COVID and what that means for progressives.

Jordan Berg Powers, Jonathan Cohn, and Anna Callahan chat about Massachusetts politics. This is the audio version of the Incorruptible Mass podcast, season 5 episode 31. You can watch the video version on our YouTube channel.

You’re listening to Incorruptible Mass. Our goal is to help people transform state politics: we investigate why it’s so broken, imagine what we could have here in MA if we fixed it, and report on how you can get involved.

To stay informed:
* Subscribe to our YouTube channel
* Subscribe to the podcast (
* Sign up to get updates at
* Donate to the show at

Hello and welcome to Incorruptible Mass. We are here, we are here to help you and all of us transform state politics. We know that together we can have a state that truly represents the needs of the vast majority of the residents of our beautiful Commonwealth. 

And today we are talking about local elections. They just happened on November 7.

And we're going to cover what happened in a number of different cities, starting with the three that we live in, Boston, Worcester and Medford. We are also going to cover some other cities. We'll talk a little bit about the demographics of voters and as they are changing with mail-in voting.

And we may cover a few other topics that happen to come up. So we are happy to have you. I will, of course, have my fantabulous co-hosts introduce themselves.

I will start with Jordan, Jordan Berg Powers. He him. I live in Worcester and I obviously have worked in politics for a long time and worked on elections for a long time. And happy to dive in. 

And Jonathan, Jonathan Cohn, he him, his joining from Boston and have been active on various issue and electoral campaigns here in Boston and statewide for about a decade. Wonderful.

I am Anna Callahan. She her coming at you from Medford and been doing local political stuff for a very long time also here in Medford for a little bit as well as state politics. 

So I think what we want to start off with is who is voting and how is that changing? There have been a number of changes in the last few years with COVID of course, came mail-in voting in Massachusetts.

And the idea, one of the ideas is that it will make more people participate in the democratic process. And of course, that has turned out to be true in many places that, in fact, more people are voting. But we are going to dive in a little bit.

Before we get to the results of some of these elections that happened last week, let's talk a little bit about what are the demographics that we can tell about those voters that are being added in because of mail in voting. And how else has the voting population changed in Massachusetts in recent years for local elections? 

Yeah, well, what we know for sure from the early voting processes and the processes we've done to make it easier to vote is actually from statewide elections. And we can surmise some of the same things are happening in local elections.

So what we know for sure with certainty for statewide elections is that the people who have taken advantage of the increased enfranchisement, the making it easier to vote, have been older, have been whiter and have been more conservative voters. So they themselves identify themselves as either moderate or unenrolled, which is usually a code sign for Republicans. They in the past have voted.

They have sometimes voted in Republican primaries and sort of come in one or the other, and they are over the age of 55. And so these are voters who were. We tend to think in Massachusetts that the conservative vote has been maximized, that actually we maximize it.

But what we found is that actually, for some of these lower voting elections, which local elections definitely fit into, actually, we haven't maximized the amount of conservative voters, even though the amount of people who like the most number of people who are not, who are missing from our franchisement are people of color, are more progressive voters. I always say those separately because they're not synonymous, but those voters far outweigh the other people. But it doesn't mean that there aren't other people who can.

Those non voters. Right. Those people who don't tend to vote.

And that's especially true in local elections. So what we know from two years ago, in local elections, the majority of the people who turned out to vote, who availed themselves, not every city had early voting or some sort of easy voting, but two years ago, in the places that did it was almost exclusively white conservative voters who availed themselves of that. What we've seen is that it's spotty.

Some places we've seen more diversity of people who are voting. And again, we don't know for sure. There's still a lot of analysis.

We don't have all the data back. We're seeing that there's probably a little bit more diversity, for example, in Boston and some of the areas around Boston, about who's availing themselves of voting. But the people who are coming into the system in Worcester and Springfield and some of these other places were almost entirely sort of voters who sort of are not aligned with some of the things that we would like to see.

And the problem is that that's already a problem in local elections. So in Massachusetts, the average voting age for a local election, again, it depends if there's a mayor's race in Boston or not. There's lots of other factors, but it's roughly, over the last decade, 62 to 65.

It sometimes gets down to 58, but that's the median voting age. So who's voting is not representative of who. Right.

Worcester is a really good example. We have 70,000 statewide voters for. There's a statewide election, in an even numbered year, we're anywhere from 15 to 19,000 for a municipal election.

It's just like a huge loss of people. Right. And who are those people? They're younger, they're more diverse, they're more progressive.

So that's true across the state. That's an average. It gets complicated.

I could endlessly talk to you about that, but if we're going to give a real big snapshot. So you already have a problem that this is already more conservative portion of voters. The average voter for school committee across Massachusetts and across the country are too old to have kids in school and most don't.

So that tells you something about who's controlling our schools. And we've definitely saw it play out. Yeah.

I will only add to that that certainly during the state elections or the primaries for state Reps in 2022, it was really fascinating to see that the most diverse, the majority minority districts, were the ones that had the lowest voter turnout and the ones that, ones like mine, that have some diversity. But a lot of gentrification that has been happening for the last ten years, the increase in the voting population due to mail in voting was much, much higher than it was in these majority minority districts. So to see that somebody can win a state rep seat with only 3000 votes, which used to be the case in my district, but now it's more than 5000 votes, that's necessary.

It is an interesting way to sort of look at who is being increased in the voter rolls, and it is not the people of color and as you would call, the more progressive voters. I can say at least kind of my understanding of with Boston in terms of who uses vote by mail is that I know that wards three, four and five have the highest vote by mail takeup rate in the city, which are kind of the areas largely around downtown Boston. So kind of, let's say like downtown Boston, South End, Back Bay, Beacon Hill, a kind of white, upper middle class, somewhat moderately liberal population that dominates there, have the highest vote by mail rate.

You often see in terms of just like local elections in general, there's always that very huge homeowner versus renter phenomenon where a lot of renters, where young people are going to be disproportionately renters, but renters, if they don't think that they're going to be there long term, can often then just be like, oh, I'm not paying attention, or I don't want to vote. And candidates, that influences how candidates see them as people not likely to vote or be there long term. So it's a disproportionately older and homeowner electorate.

I know that in Boston, I had looked at which precincts across the city had turnout above 30% and which ones had turnout below ten? Because if you look at the turnout below ten in Boston, it was the college student precincts, and then pretty much every precinct beyond there was, like, a heavily black or brown precinct. So a lot of them would either be able to say, like, in Roxbury and Matapan, in the more diverse parts of Dorchester, where you didn't even break 10%, even though, like. And then for the highest turnout in the city, and highest turnout in the city typically is Ward 16, precinct twelve in Boston, which is kind of both known for Florian Hall's polling location, basically, it's, like, filled with cops and the family members of cops, and it's the most conservative precinct in the city, and they had 52% turnout.

Wow. Really? For a local election, which is how higher than some places would even get on a presidential is, they're low. And then you have all the other places above 30% were either conservative parts of Dorchester, West Roxbury, Roslyndale, or Jamaica Plain.

So, like, you have some more progressive areas, particularly in JP Roslyn, Dale and the parts of West Roxbury, that are increasingly politically similar to Roslyndale. But it is largely because it is a stable homeowner population in a number of those places. So that even though they're not like the Conservative electorate, it's a stable electorate, which helps get the higher turn.

Like a stable and engaged electorate. But, for instance, let's say down the block from me and one of the college student precincts, which had abysmal turnout, you can see that such, because the numbers are so small. See the striking gap between a municipal election and a statewide election.

Whereas only five people voted last Tuesday, 35 voted last year. So, like, 35, still terrible. But, like, seven times as many people voted a year ago as did last week.

Wow. So it's the difference between, like, 4%. It was like, they're a little over 4% turnout, and it would have been, like, 30% turnout last year.

Both are bad, but strikingly striking difference in the extent of how bad they were. Wow. Well, Jonathan, we want to go ahead.

We're diving into results now. So we're going to talk about a number of different cities results. We'll focus on our cities first because we have a little more details about those.

And let's start with Boston. I'm sure a lot of our listeners are in Boston and are going to be really interested in the results there and your analysis of the results. So if you can kind of dive in. Let us know what happened and what you think of it. 

Sure can talk a little bit about the at large as well as the district races. So on the at large race, one was happy.

So there was guaranteed to be one candidate elected for city council at large because longtime councillor Michael Flaherty decided not to run again. At least I will not miss him. And what was exciting to see is that of the candidates running, the most progressive option that could be elected for city council at large Henry Santana, who was the former director of civic organizing for the city and was an aide to City councilor Kenzie Bach and immigrant from the Dominican Republic, won the open seat.

So, like, definitely a step up from Michael Flaherty, who is kind of a fairly reliably conservative city councilor. And that was, it was largely believed that it was either going to be Henry or would have been Bridget nee Walsh, who's kind of conservative from Southeast, kind of on the executive committee of the Iron Workers, who had a lot of labor support. And it was nice to see that it actually wasn't that close between the two of them, even though it was like, and I was very happy to see at the end of all, the incumbents got reelected, which is kind of largely expected to happen.

Two of them were progressive Russian, Luigian, I'm afraid I'm going to butcher her name, last name, probably Luigian and Julie Mejia. And then, unfortunately, Erin Murphy as well. The green Cumbers reelected.

I was happy that Rusty topped the ticket. It was basically like neck and neck for a while as votes were coming in between Rusty and Aaron to see who had topped the ticket and was very happy that that did not go to the conservative of the returning city councilors. And then for the dish, since Ruthie is already expected to be the city council president in the next term for the district races, the person who got the highest votes in the prelim ended up winning, which is ultimately not surprising of the ones that are, let's say, kind of open coming for November.

Whether it's because of District Three, with Frank Baker not running again, it went to John Fitzgerald, who's at least not as publicly angry and unpleasant of a person as Frank Baker, but is still a part of a more conservative faction in the city and just had significantly more money than his challenger and also had the precinct denoted before. That's the most conservative and also the highest turnout in the city. That makes it very difficult for kind of a more progressive candidate to win based on the numbers.

And then in, say, District five and six, which ended up being, let's say, open for the general because of Kendra Lara and Ricardo Arroyo having lost in the preliminary election, the more progressive of the two candidates in both cases, one, Ben Weber in District six and Enrique Pepen in District Five. So even though I'd been disappointed to see Ricardo and Kendra not make it past the prelim, happy that it still went to the more progressive of the candidates on the back ballot and didn't become seats that flipped to a more conservative faction on the city council, and then none of the other ones felt like as contested, Althea Garrison is going, this may be her last race. She has said it.

We'll see if it's true. Challenged my city. Right.

She said it was her last one. Has she said that before? I don't know. And she said she's writing a memoir.

Yes. And like, I'm down for it. We should do a book club on the like.

She was never really in play to beat city council. Tanya Fernandes Anderson There was a kind of a rerun of a special election that happened over the summer between Sharon Durkin, who won the special election, won the general, Amantez Haywood and then Austin Brighton had a contested race where city councilor Liz Brayden was challenged by Jacob Diblacourt, who is the former agent. City councilor Julian Mia and I think was recently at the Boston foundation as well.

That ended up not being a particularly close race either. Whereas the three, five and six really and the at large were the main things overall in terms of Boston, I'd say it was kind of the better versions of what seemed possible for the election results. So there wasn't, let's say, the more progressive people who could have won.

I had supported Joel Richards in District three. He was heavily outspent, so was not deemed as a front runner. But let's say that the progressive and the other races, the progressives who were deemed people who might win.

Can you speak a little bit about spending in Boston? What does it take in that particular district? What, what was the spending there? Is that standard in Boston? Yeah, I can even tell you. So total spending I don't have, but I do actually have the information for the amount of money that people had on hand, how much they spent. Actually, I do have it for how much people raised and spent across the year.

So in kind of the difference, as I was noting, for, say, District three, where there was a huge spending difference, John Fitzgerald, who ended up winning, had raised $221,245 and spent 133,732. Probably spent more of that in the final days. Of the election, whereas Joel Richards had raised 68,438 and spent 76,292.

He started with some money on hand because he had declared last year in terms of being, if somebody else is raising like three times as much as you are, it can be difficult, and especially when the conservative parts of the district are going to vote highly. I think he did well, considering. I think Joel did well considering what he was up against.

But it's ultimately, until we can get other parts of that district to vote as even close to as high of rates as the most conservative parts are, it's a very difficult district to say. Again, also, that a lot of these races, like that one was decided in redistricting when Michelle Wu's administration decided not to protect or defend in court the plan that really maximized the opportunities for people of color to have say and then proposed a plan that mostly helped white conservatives and really hurt people of color. Her plan did that.

And that played out. Yeah. One of the things when I was looking at District Three that it's unclear to me if Joel could have won under the alternate map, but it would have been a close race as opposed to what it was just because when you have the most conservative precincts in that with such high of turnout on the basis of just mass becomes very difficult to make it work.

And even that was a compromise to try to maximize some organizations desires. There's maps out there that I drew, that other people drew, which actually would have been centering people of color and making sure that people of color have a real say in who they're electing. And none of those were even really up before it.

And those would have ensured a better representation and opportunity for people of color instead of what's happening in that district, which is people of color, unless we do a lot of work to bring people out to vote, we'll never have a say for another ten years lost. And not just there across the city. Sorry, just a quick aside before we move to other parts of the state.

Jordan, I thought you'd appreciate. I remember during redistricting, looking at the numbers, and if you wanted to, you could have drawn it like the council could draw a district that connects South Boston and the most conservative parts of Dorchester into one district, view it as a lost cause forever getting a progressive candidate elected, and then actually giving the more diverse parts of Dorchester, connecting them differently and giving them better representation. Yes.

By actually, let's say, limiting where kind of Conservative candidates could even win in a district seat which just wasn't even at play. Exactly. We will go ahead.

And after that amazing rundown of Boston, we are going to move over to Worcester. Give us a little sense of where Worcester has been, the changes that have happened in Worcester in terms of wards and what happened in election. So let's just start with the city council, which is the easiest.

So Worcester City Council, literally nothing happened. There was one seat where it was open and somebody mildly better got in. But other than that, nothing actually changed at all in terms of word representation.

There was a big change for the school committee, for city council. I just want to focus on city council first. Nothing changed.

I think it's really important because people are like, it's so terrible. And I was like, what happened is voters weren't asked for a change. So no one said they weren't running for reelection.

Everybody said they were running for reelection. Historically, when that happens in Worcester, it's actually really hard to get change. We've never had a change in at large or mayor when all the people and incumbents ran for reelection.

And guess what? That's what played out. Nothing changed. I think it's really important because the same people voted and the same people voted for the same people they always vote for.

So that's an important context for what happened on the school committee because I think that's important. Nothing changed on the city council. We had hopes that we would have a lot of change.

The only people running for the at large races were progressives. If anybody got off, the only people coming on were also progressive. So there was a lot of energy, because the energy was from our people running.

But actually nothing ended up changing. And I think that feels like a loss, but that's an important context. So for school committee in Worcester, school committee, we went through a process of suing the city because we had an all at large school committee.

And that came at a weird time because at the time of that lawsuit, our school committee was very progressive. And more importantly, it wasn't all progressive people. There were people who were fairly conservative on it, but people were willing to work together.

It was a school committee that was willing to work together across ideological differences to address some of the things. And that worked out really well. So, for example, Mayor Petty is not a staunch progressive, but he's on the school committee, and he was working with people to get things done.

And we got a fantastic superintendent through a process of community, really had input. As that never happened, it didn't happen on the city manager. And there was a lot of work done to get really good people.

The school committee changed by law from an all at large to a district. And when you redistrict, we redistricted districts of opportunity, districts where people of color will have an opportunity to have a say. That meant that there then were going to be some districts that are of not opportunity for people of color, where because we put people of color together in such a way that there's enough of them to have a say, there's a bunch of districts, people of color to live.

And unfortunately, those are places where two candidates of color decided to run. So they were districts that are predominantly not people of color. They were designed that people of color to put them in other places, and those got taken over.

So our Gemma Kamara, who's an incredible city councilor, former graduate of our schools, master's degree, really talented, lost to Diana Biancaria, who is a reactionary racist, who got onto our school committee, and then somebody who helped send buses and probably was at the January 6 insurrection. I've been telling people that we should check the footage for her, for the FBI, for sure, was there. We have images of her collecting money for buses down to January 6.

She won against a community activist and long term public education advocate for people. So we have a January 6 insurrectionist, out and out racist got added to our school committee. And then in the people of color districts, the chamber ran, the only people really running.

So we have conservative people of color. And so that's a real lesson about what happens when you do these changes. You really have to invest in organizing.

You can't just have a change and expect it will go well. You need to actually invest in explaining it to people. Advocating for people, getting people prepared, like by Dip Lowell, when they went through that process, had a long process to ensure that people of color and community were ready for the opportunity in that moment to elect people who better represent the community.

And out of that, we got janitors and young people of color, regular people in the community, elected. And in Worcester, we got none of that because there was no organizing done to ensure that we were ready for that moment of that change. And then in our at large system, so we went from all at large to just two at large seats.

We got one good person, and then we also got Maureen Benyenda, who has the name of our former state Rep, who was there for like 40 or 60 years, and also was the former superintendent, and largely, I think, won on name recognition. She got basically the same number of votes as Joe Petty. So again, it's sort of just the old people voted for the same old people who they knew really well, that's why it's really important, I think, to get the context that nothing changes the city council.

It's not that people lurched rightward or left. It's just that people voted for the names they knew. And in the absence of a media system that's educating them and telling them what's happening.

And I think really importantly for context for, you know, I watched a lot of spectrum, which is our local news service. I read the Telegram as best I could underneath its paywall, and they portrayed her as the former superintendent. They never talked about the fact that she's the only superintendent that anyone can find in Massachusetts where students were literally protesting her, where there's a lawsuit because she was an out and out racist towards the way she was implementing decisions of punishment.

That never got into the coverage of her in the thing and that never got into the coverage that she was associated with. And even up into Election Day was covering up for somebody who has credible allegations of sexual assault towards of children and was campaigning with that person that never got into the mainstream media. And so the absence of actual coverage of who this person is never got in.

And so name recognition of the same old same olds. And that's how you get the sort of outcome that you get in Western. Once again, sizes of.

So Boston is like, what, 800,000 technically, in the city of Boston. Worcester is. How large is Worcester? It's like 130,000 people.

I don't know how many people is something like that? Boston is like getting up towards 700,000. I think it's probably at 700,000 when the college kids are in. Okay, so like 700,000, 130,000.

Medford is about 65,000. Worcester is 206,000. I forgot.

I forgot. Wow. 200,000.

200,000 for Worcester. Great. And 19,000 people voted.

Yeah. It's like, yeah, so I'll start off the Medford discussion. 

Okay, Medford. We saved this for last. Best for last. Right?

In terms of progressives, all the folks who listen to this, most of the folks who listen to this are on the progressive side. And you'll be happy to hear we have six of the seven city council seats and also four of the six school committee seats. And the other folks are not January 6 people.

You know what I'm saying? It's not like six progressives and one horrible person. Right. So we had a very clean, very respectful election cycle.

Again, as I think in Worcester and probably everywhere with nowhere near enough ability for people to find information, there used to be the Medford transcript newspaper, and there's no newspaper. Now, it is difficult for people to understand what's going on in the city, or to really get information about the elections or anything. But after those results, I want to give a little bit more sort of information for folks who haven't heard me talk about it on the background.

And what's happening in Medford, just demographically speaking. Medford followed quickly after Somerville in terms of housing prices skyrocketing and gentrification happening very quickly. So it was a pretty sleepy bedroom community.

A lot of lower income folks bought houses there 30, 40 years ago because it was cheap, and now it ain't cheap. So there's an older population of people who are on fixed incomes and cannot afford even just the property taxes that have gone up because of the appraised land, the appraised housing values. 

We've never even put on the ballot any kind of prop two and a half override or debt exclusion. So we're one of the only, I believe, only four cities in all of Massachusetts that have never had any sort of increase in taxes above the two and a half limit. 

And more interestingly to me is that this theory of the strategy for electoral organizing, local electoral organizing, that I have been training people in for like eight years. Medford, the folks in Medford took a deep, like five session, 2 hours each session, like 10 hours of training on it.

They walked through the whole thing, and they have followed it more closely than any other city in the whole country of anyone I've ever trained. And because of that, the Our Revolution Medford, which is the hub of an electoral strategy, which involves a large coalition of progressive organizations and people, spends months creating a single platform for housing and climate and the built environment and streets and sidewalks and everything, transportation, whatever you can think of, and then runs slates of candidates. And these candidates. I was on that slate this time, so I got to see it from the inside.

And these are now people, after meeting with them to make decisions and difficult decisions sometimes, with the other candidates, including the incumbents, we would meet every two weeks, and then near the end, every week, taking an evening out of our precious campaigning time to meet with the other candidates, just to work together on what are our flyers going to look like? Things like that, like nitty gritty details of how our joint part of the campaign would go. And it has paid off. We have picked up every open seat for the last three cycles, which is how long we've been doing this particular strategy of a joint slate and a joint platform.

And that means two seats four years ago, two more seats two years ago, and then one person stepped down. There were three open seats.

So we now have six folks who are committed to that platform who are on a city council of seven. Six on a city council of seven. So it is really a story of progressive success.

And when anybody wants to reach out to me, I'm always happy to talk to people about how to do it. That was my life for many years, just training people to do this. So that's the happy story, the happiest story, I guess, of the day in terms of elections that happened on November 7.

And I think unless there's any questions about Medford, I think we can go ahead and talk through some of these other cities just to give, like, a basic rundown of what happened in some of the other cities in Massachusetts that might be interesting to our listeners. Yeah, I'm happy to tag in with a few of these, and then whenever I say anything, if folks want to comment for free. Malden next door also had a good election night because you had, particularly with the flip in Ward Five, where Ari Taylor, who had run two years ago against an incumbent, lost about 55 45.

Two years ago. The incumbent did not run again, but re did, and she managed and then she won, this time giving Maldon a progressive majority on the city council, which is very exciting to see. Somerville City Council still like a progressive was in the one open seat that there was, had a good result with the candidate who is being backed by DSA.

Naima, what's savant last name? I don't want to mispronounce her last name. That I've heard great things. I don't know her, but I know she's a teacher and she's very active in teacher organizing in Somerville.

Just kind of confirming. Thank you. I just wanted to look up.

I was like, I hate butchering people's last names. Nema sayt Everett did get some good new people elected to the city council. I had a progressive success on the school committee.

Shout out to Sam Lambert, who is the top vote getter and is a great activist who does work with theater Club in Revere. That Revere, Juan Haramillo, who is kind of labor environmental organizer, became the first person of color ever elected to the Revere City Council, which has been a long time coming in revere because it is a place that has a very large and kind of growing immigrant population that has never seen its face. Represent, I think is the second person of color to hold a seat in the first on the city council because it's been hard for to try to improve the face of revere politics.

Jordan, if you want to tag in anything there because of the facial expressions. Yeah. That the people of color make up a lot of the city.

And it's an incredibly reactionary city council. And so it's really exciting that Juan has been able to cobble together support that's sort of a multiracial democracy, multiracial support. Because I think also when we think about these things, the media also talks about these things as if, like, oh, the people of color got it together to elect the person of color.

But that's not the story. The story is that Juan happens to be a person of color and will represent through his experience, that viewpoint. But he brought together people of color and white folks.

Right. And that way, I think that reductionism leads to the authoritarianism that we see, actually. And it's actually important to remind people that good candidates of color often build together and that experience that they have. Juan's experience of being in the city and his lived experience is going to help everyone. It's not going to help just the people of color. No.

And I can say that from phone banking for Juan is that Juan's basic support was not just, say, of the Latino population. There were plenty of likely born and raised older Italian Americans in Revere who are very supportive of Hans campaign. And they'll get benefits from it.

They have the same self interest as everyone else. His lived experience will actually add to being a good advocate for them.  I want to just hit Springfield really quickly because it looks like Worcester, nothing changed.

Jonathan did the. I'll give a shout out to Jonathan who did the actual work, defined that the number of votes that Sarno has had are basically stayed the same. And that's true, we've known that for some time that if you're going to win that seat, you have to add voters. You're not going to change people's minds. They're old, they're angry. They like Sarno.

He represents them actually pretty well. And so it was a loss on the mayor's race. Otherwise it was fine. They added some good people to the at large, but missed opportunity. But also hard to see. Unless we do deeper work to figure out how to get people to the polls, it's just going to be hard to win those races.

Newton had a bad election night, which was what was unfortunate to see in Newton is a number of the candidates who were supporting efforts to kind of increase affordable housing in the city of Newton kind of lost their seat. That the kind of the NIMBY population in Newton has been very engaged because of local zoning fights. And so that they have a number people, part of the active progressive faction on the city council, ended up losing their seats, replaced by sometimes people who are just, let's say, totally out there in their conservatism, which, unfortunately, one interesting takeaway from Newton that I feel like probably applies to many places, from a friend of mine there who noted that regardless of win or lose, one correlation is that people tended to do better if they actually had a newsletter.

And that speaks to the lack of media infrastructure, because nobody knows that you're doing good things if you're not telling them you're doing good things. So true. That's a really important.

I feel like elections takeaway, that it's easy to think, well, clearly the voters all know all of this work that I'm doing and they will come out and vote for me. It's like most of them aren't paying attention to any of this. And if you want them to know any of it, you need to tell them.

Well, it's one thing I've always wondered about is why elected officials, they keep up these weekly or more than once a week information during the campaign cycle for like five months, and then they stop emailing people for a year and a half like, hello, this is when you're doing the work. Why would you tell people about the work that you're doing? It's very strange to me. I genuinely don't get it.

Yeah, no. And it just feels basic. It's like a great way of both engaging people, of building goodwill for yourself.

Because I'm sure that if you're one of the elect officials with good newsletters will always have people come up to them at events probably like, oh, I read your recent newsletter. Because people like feeling like that they know what's going on.

Yeah. And Marlborough was disappointed to see Sam Perlman, who was a great at large city councilor, came short in her campaign for mayor was about 52-48 ultimately. Sam was the top vote getter in the prelim.

But it was somewhat difficult going to the general because even though the total electorate will be larger for a general than a prelim, the candidate who got kicked out in the prelim was the most conservative of them running. And that candidate, the voters were going to disproportionately go to the other candidate in the general election. And so that she got it as close as it was, I think is a testament to her work of engaging new voters in Marlborough.

And her campaign had a really good operation to engage young people and I'm excited to see what she does next and would have loved for that. Have to vote as mayor. I'll just say really quickly, for Walt Fam, it looks the same as Worcester and Springfield.

The number of people who sort of voted for the current mayor are the same number of people. Almost exactly the same 6000 people.

Voter turnout was almost the exact same as 15 and 19. So again, it was really hard to overcome for Jonathan Paz, who's a fantastic elected official. I think the lesson, I hope, for this local thing is that we have to both figure out how to get more people accessing early voting and easy voting opportunities in elections, in statewide elections. And we also have to figure out how to get more people voting in local elections. That's the only way we're going to sort of turn this around. Around the Cities.

And Medford is a good way, is a good guidepost for us. Luckily, we don't have to create the wheel out of nowhere. We have things that we can learn from successes.

And I also want to say that the thing I'm currently super interested in because Medford is doing a good job of almost all of the strategy, there's a piece of the strategy that I'm super interested in. It's where the elected officials go directly to the bottom of the democracy pyramid, right? So if you look at elected officials on top, activists under them, people who always vote under them. If you vote sometimes for presidential elections but don't vote in local are next, and then there's a whole segment of people who don't vote at all, right? Think about that pyramid, and the elected officials themselves going to that bottom structure of people who aren't voting and talking to them and engaging them, hearing their ideas and just helping connect them with other people to get them engaged in making their community better.

You don't have to engage them in boring zoning stuff. You can engage them in something that is interesting to them, right, doing some volunteer project at their school or putting together a CSA because there isn't a good grocery store near any of their neighbors. There are things that you can engage them to do.

And when they see that that's coming from an elected official, it builds trust in that process and gets them to see elected officials as someone who like, wow, this person is helping me make my community a better place and it begins to build that trust and move those people up the ladder of democracy. So I'm very excited about that particular piece. Any final thoughts before we close this one? 

You know, congratulations. Thanks for everybody who ran. It's never easy to put yourself out, you know. I guess the other lesson is we should all learn to operate as viciously and as effectively as Michelle Wu. May we all learn from one of the best politicians. I've said it for a decade, for years and years now. May we all learn to operate as shrewdly. 

Wonderful.  Thank you both. Thanks to everyone who is listening.

And we really look forward to seeing you all. It might be after Thanksgiving when the next time we chat with you. But if we don't talk to you with you before then, have an amazing Thanksgiving holiday and we will see you in a week or two.

Bye bye.