By virtue of my dual US-Canadian nationality, I’ve been voting in U.S. elections for as long as I’ve known I’ve had that right (that I voted for Ralph Nader means that, essentially, it’s my fault that George Bush became President).
When you register to vote in the USA, at least in New York, you have the option of declaring a party affiliation, and if you take this option you’re allowed to vote in the primary elections, held in advance of the general elections to allow parties to select their candidate. As I’ve never been a joiner, I’ve always checked the “Independent” box when registering, but this year I decided I would declare as a Democrat because, well, if there was ever a year when every Democratic vote counted, this is it.
In all general elections for New York’s 25th Congressional district to this point I’ve voted for Louise Slaughter, a well-regarded progressive feminist Democrat who was elected to serve the district 16 times, from 1986 to 2016; it was a no-brainer.
For this fall’s election, however, given Slaughter’s death in March, the Democrats are looking for a new candidate, and because I’ve registered as a Democrat, I’m eligible to vote in the June 26, 2018 New York primary. To this end, my ballot arrived today, and there are four candidates plus the option to write-in:
I have my work cut out for me, as it seems, on first blush, like there are four excellent candidates to choose between; from their own websites:
I am inspired by the promise of a future that is as strong, as resilient, and as bold as the people who call this great community home. I believe that, together, we can pick up Louise Slaughter’s mantle and fight to protect the fundamental ideals we all share: the need to ensure universal healthcare for all; to protect a woman’s right to choose; to keep our streets and children safe from the terror of gun violence; to create stronger economic opportunities for our working families; to fight against the opioid epidemic plaguing communities across our nation; and to dismantle the racial inequities that keep us all from achieving our full potential.
Adam McFadden, a native of Rochester, NY. Currently, serves as the Vice-President of the Rochester City Council representing the south district of the City of Rochester. He is the Chair of the Finance committee and past president of the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials where he helped to establish national initiatives that are implemented at the local level of government by black officials across the United States. Adam, also serves as the Executive Director of Quad A for Kids a not for profit organization committed to breaking the cycle of childhood poverty in the City of Rochester.
I’m Robin Wilt, a native to the Rochester area who has lived in Brighton with my husband, Nick, and our three sons since 2003. Having lived in other parts of the country, we chose to reside in this region because we believe it is the best region to raise a family. My 13-year-old son is a student in public schools, while my two older sons attend college at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and Bard College of Simon’s Rock.
In addition to my work as a real estate professional, I have spent my entire adult life advocating for grassroots involvement and political engagement. In my role on the Brighton Town Board, I consistently offer a diversity of perspective that aligns with our community’s core values of education, equity and environmental justice.
A lifelong Democrat, Rachel has the skills and experience to fight the Trump administration’s corrosive policies and major ethical lapses. She has a proven track record of holding the powerful accountable and fighting for transparent and ethical government.
Rachel started speaking truth to power at Rochester’s John Marshall High School. She showed courage by publishing an underground newspaper about educational inequality that resulted in her suspension. Rachel went on to graduate from Cornell University, where she was the editor of an alternative newspaper, The Cornell Perspective.
I have a few weeks to educate myself; it’s good to be reminded that there are progressives still at work in America, despite (or because of) the Trump-related chaos.
One of the things I learned in the process, from Robin Wilt’s campaign video, is that two great figures of American history, Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony, were neighbours and friends in Rochester. The two are memorialized in statue in a downtown park and in the Frederick Douglass–Susan B. Anthony Memorial Bridge over the Genesee River.