In an election newsletter, Sochie Nnaemeka, NY Working Families Director, writes “In this past election, we saw the impact of this overlap and coordination in the Hudson Valley, with strong field energy and progressive momentum behind WFP-endorsed Assembly candidate Sarahana Shrestha helping to fuel Pat Ryan’s successful election bid to Congress.”

Actually, having lived in Kingston, I believe Pat Ryan’s successful bid for Congress, not once, but twice, fueled and brought Sarahana Shrestha across the finish line, not the other way around. Ryan is a very popular, well respected political leader in the Hudson Valley. Prior to running for Congress, he was the county executive of Ulster County. including at the height of the Covid pandemic. And in that capacity he performed his responsibilities skillfully and in close consultation with county residents.

Am I making a big deal out of nothing? I don’t think so. An understanding of the relationship between the left and others in the anti-MAGA coalition is crucial at this conjuncture. It isn’t a one way street or zero sum game. To the contrary, it should be cooperative and mutually reinforcing as well as contested. Dynamic not static. Rooted in concrete conditions, not abstractions and past experience. And the strenghening and unity of the movement as a whole should figure as an overarching task of the social justice movement.

As an old comrade of mine loved to say, if it only took the left to change the world, we would have done it a long time ago.