The Joel Brooks campaign for the Ward B/West Side of Jersey City came very close to winning — only 200 votes away. For first time candidate, first DSA endorsed candidate and first socialist to run in NJ in generations, this was a remarkable achievement! This campaign revealed people would come out and vote for a campaign that spoke to their needs – fully funded schools, affordable housing, clean air and water, and protections from predatory landlords and corporate developers.
Unfortunately, real estate developers and corporate donors were able to just barely keep us from victory. Team Fulop raised over $1 million dollars and had hundreds of paid staff across the city. Even with all that opposition, we still came within 200 votes. We will continue to organize together to build a Jersey City for All.
Dear North NJ DSA Family,
For those of you don’t me, I am Joel Brooks, and I ran for City Council in Jersey City last year. Although our campaign for a “West Side for All” in Ward B of Jersey City came up short by 185 votes, we built something really special together. If you knocked on doors, donated money, made phone calls, helped design our literature, took pictures, ran canvasses, THANK YOU!
The disappointment I felt when the vote totals were final was surpassed by the hope that we can win in the future, and gratitude to all of our volunteers and supporters.
I came to DSA in 2016, right before the Bernie Sanders surge in membership. I was fortunate to work for Bernie 2016 briefly in Pennsylvania, and came back to NJ energized to help build DSA and working class power.
Although we lost the election, we actually won Election Day! The energy of volunteers and supporters during in-person voting on November 2nd was electric, and voters felt that. Part of our mission was to inspire working class people to cast a vote for someone who would stand up to developers, landlords and police unions.
Lessons learned: we need a bigger coalition to win. I am open to how we build that, and I look forward to doing it together.
If you are interested in building democratic socialism in NJ electoral politics there are two things you can do RIGHT NOW!
1. Join our electoral working group to help plan how we win in the future
2. Sign up to canvass for Chigozie Onyema in Newark. His election is May 10th and we need all hands on deck to elect a Black open socialist to the Newark City Council.
Love and solidarity,