As you know, our Independent campaign for Allegheny County Council fell short of victory in the election. Still, I am proud of the campaign we ran, and deeply grateful for all the support we received from you and many, many more.
Our campaign for County Council clearly named capitalism as the root cause for most of our big problems and proposed reorganizing our society around socialist principles as the solution. We said it is important to keep our focus on a liberatory socialist vision of the world we are trying to build while we organize around immediate reforms that will benefit poor and working-class families.
We were able to convince 8,346 people in District 10 to vote for an Independent campaign running on those ideas. I see this as an important step forward in our long struggle to build a more just future. This is a struggle we must continue, and I will ask for your help as we work to turn the campaign we built toward that long struggle.
We’ll be in touch to talk about how we can keep building from this campaign in the coming weeks, but for now, here’s a few initial things you can do:
Click here to let us know that you want to get updates on the People’s Assembly and if you can help make it possible. My campaign was never just a campaign to win an election. I was always running to use the campaign to build power for the poor and working class through the campaign itself as well, and even though we fell short of victory in the election, the plan remains to now begin moving toward using the connections we made through the campaign to build a working class, anticapitalist People’s Assembly. Please fill out this form if you’d like to be the first to get updates on the People’s Assembly or let us know if you want to help make it possible.
Click here to sign up for PGH DSA’s next round of their Campaign Leadership School. Pittsburgh DSA’s work to develop organizers with skills and experience in running socialist campaigns was critical to making my campaign and Sam Schmidt’s campaigns possible. In recent years, Pittsburgh DSA has organized a campaign leadership school to approach that work through an extensive training program. Please fill out this form if you are interested in participating in a next round of PGH DSA’s Campaign Leadership School.
Click here to apply for Pittsburgh Black Worker Center’s Pittsburgh Black Socialist Study Group. Pittsburgh Black Worker Center is building a cohort of Black Socialists in Pittsburgh to begin to build a movement for socialist self-determination and is looking for Black people who would like to be part of such a project. The program will meet on a schedule to be determined but will include text, film, and music that spark conversation about what an Afro-socialism entails and what kinds of solutions could be put into practice today to strengthen such a movement in Pittsburgh. Please fill out this form if you are interested.
Lastly, I want to share with you some of my remarks on Election Night once the results became clear, you can continue below to read them.
Carl Redwood Jr.
First, I want to thank my wife Tawnya for supporting this campaign process. I also want to thank Claire Cohen, Justin Laing and Randall Taylor who are the Friends of Carl Redwood Political Committee. I also want to Thank Kirsten Rooke and Eric Oas who provided extraordinary support as part of our campaign committee and I want to give special thanks to Matt Rubin, my Campaign Manager, and Daeja Baker, the Deputy Campaign Manager, for taking care of all the behind the scenes coordination and labor.
Our campaign has focused on issues. My main issue is the rent is too damn high. We need to stop and reverse the process of gentrification. Rents are rising causing housing to become increasingly unaffordable for the lowest-income residents, displacing black communities, and creating a growing affordability crisis for homeowners and renters while corporate landlords profit.
We need rent control protections for vulnerable renters: a system of tenant and rent protections that can curb the crisis of evictions, displacement, and affordability and protect tenants from profiteering landlords, providing immediate relief to renters. Rent control can be implemented with little to no cost to the public. Rent control is the fastest and most cost-effective policy solution to address Allegheny County’s housing crisis.
As we move forward, our fight for housing for all should have the following three components:
- Rent control
- Tenants’ Bill of Rights, including a right-to-counsel
- Just Cause eviction protections
Additionally, a few of the other main reasons I chose to run are:
- The human cost of climate change is too high. We need to move aggressively towards eliminating fossil fuels and replacing them with renewable energy.
- We also need to support workers’ right to organize in every way possible.
- We must divest from the military and police and police and prison systems and invest in community alternatives.
It was my intention to use the position of Allegheny County council person to build a people’s assembly in the district and the county. Like our campaign, this progressive alternative people’s assembly must be independent and socialist.
It is still my intention to use this campaign to build such a people’s assembly. Every supporter in the district we talked with, everyone who helped this campaign, each person is someone we can talk with about coming together to build the people’s assembly.
Together, we took a stand for a just and moral future and built an amazing campaign that broadened the imagination of political possibilities for thousands of voters across District 10.
Your work to support anti-capitalist independence made this possible.
You walked neighborhoods and knocked on doors. You got petition signatures. You made hundreds of phone calls. You made donations. You made this possible.
And many community organizations and elected officials also made this possible.
Pittsburgh Democratic Socialists of America’s support, particularly the work of the Elections and Pressure Campaigns Committee developed a strong team and developed more and more people with the skills and experience to support socialist campaigns. You made this possible.
Green Party of Allegheny County organized members to support as we carried forward the Green Party pillars of peace ecology social justice and democracy. You made this possible.
The Pittsburgh Party for Socialism & Liberation and Pittsburgh Socialist Alternative both know that both the Democratic and Republican parties are parties for capitalism and big business, and they are clear that we need to develop independent socialist parties. You made this possible.
UNITE!, Pennsylvania United, and PA Working Families Party shared their deep experience and insight into electoral campaigns and provided incredible financial support. You made this possible.
Politicians who share my vision of a county that puts people over profits endorsed our campaign in spite of attacks by Allegheny County Democratic Party leadership, including:
- Elected Democrats Congresswoman Summer Lee, Allegheny Councilor Bethany Hallam, Allegheny Councilor Anita Prizio, Pittsburgh City Councilor Deb Gross, and Pittsburgh City Councilor Barb Warwick
- Elected Green Edgewood Borough Councilor Tara Yaney
- Fellow Independent socialist candidate for County Council Sam Schmidt
- Recent Democratic candidates for office Carlos Thomas, Darwin Leuba, Dennis McDermott, Lita Brillman
You made this possible.
Many others who endorsed our campaign: Straight Ahead!, UE Eastern Region, Food & Water Action, Sunrise Movement Pittsburgh, Western Pennsylvania Black Political Assembly, Clean Water Action, Lead Locally, 1Hood Power, and Pitt College Democrats.
You made this possible.
Even though the campaign is over, the work continues and in some respects, it’s just begun. It’s important that we move forward towards continued collective organizing, movement building, and collective action around the ideals this campaign was all about.