Contact: Johanna Kichton, [email protected], 202.660.0605
WASHINGTON, D.C.—People’s Action and its member organization, Our City Action Buffalo, today released the following statement by Movement Politics Director Brooke Adams and Our City Action Buffalo President Maria Ta after the results were finalized for the mayoral race in Buffalo, New York:
“India Walton’s campaign changed the game for tenants everywhere. Her candidacy challenged the status quo politics of American cities—where big developers call the shots—demonstrating who should actually hold power in places like Buffalo.
“India’s insurgent campaign showed that people power can seriously challenge the establishment while rejecting developer money and standing for policies that put people first. She won the mayoral primary, proving that policies like a Tenants’ Bill of Rights are popular with everyday people. In the general election, People’s Action and Our City Action Buffalo secured a win for India in three out of the four districts where we ran a field operation including Ellicott and Masten which are Byron Brown’s home districts. But greedy developers bought the general election, spending $650,000 to fuel Byron Brown’s write-in campaign, and conspired with Brown and the GOP to maintain business-as-usual politics that puts profit before people.
“A single election does not define this bigger movement. Tenants across the country are rising up together to win safe, sustainable, and affordable housing. Buffalo’s two biggest developers, Carl Paladino and Nick Sinatra, poured millions of dollars into Byron Brown’s campaign to protect their bottom line. The tenants who powered India Walton’s campaign will keep organizing to fight for a better Buffalo and a Homes Guarantee because this is our city and we have every right to it.”
Our City Action Buffalo helped India Walton obtain an endorsement by People’s Action in March. Walton is a Home’s Guarantee Candidate who pledged to reject developer and real estate contributions and govern alongside tenants if elected to office. Walton hosted People’s Action’s Movement Politics 2021 live stream kickoff event, Reimagine Safety Up and Down the Ballot.
Together, the organizations conducted a robust field program in which they:
- Created a policy platform informed by over 1,500 Buffalo residents;
- Organized over 350 community leaders;
- Knocked over 11,200 doors;
- Sent over 104,000 texts;
- Talked to over 3,700 people in Masten, Ellicott, Delaware, and Niagara; and
- Designed campaign posters and yard signs.
People’s Action is a national network of 40 state and local grassroots, power-building organizations in 30 states, united in fighting for justice. We operate the largest progressive rural organizing project in the country. People’s Action and its member organizations coordinated one of the biggest distributed organizing programs in rural areas this past election season.