In the past four years, electoral politics has increasingly served as an introduction to movement work. Elections draw people in by being more visible and well-funded than most political fights. The sense of urgency that comes with a high-stakes deadline fuels motivation that people don’t often feel in the long-term fight for a more just world. At its best, electoral politics funnels people into the anticolonial movement and the fight for a workers’ democracy outside of the electoral arena.

As leftists, our participation in electoral politics should never be our only engagement with the political. The legitimacy of electoral organizing…

I have felt truly free twice in my life. The first time was the moment we broke through the police line as all of us charged onto Brooklyn Bridge. The NYPD tried to tell us how to protest police violence, but that night we set the terms of our resistance. It was December 4th, 2014, the day after we all found out that Daniel Pantaleo was cleared of criminal wrongdoing by a Staten Island grand jury. All of us were there to get justice for Eric Garner, but we also had our own stories.

This was the only picture I was able to take of that moment

The Great Recession resulted in me…

Another inside look at the war in AOC’s district between socialists and Democrats

During my time in NYC-DSA, I have seen us go from a cute political spectacle to a strongly considered influencer. I have seen a member of Congress raise money for a project we care about, a state assembly member give allegiance, a city council member try to get us to overlook past wrongs to secure their run for higher office, and a horde of grifters circle in the hopes of receiving our endorsement. These political victories were won, not by politely asking for favor from those in power. No political victory for the working class and colonized people was ever…

An inside look at the war in AOC’s district between socialists and democrats

Right now, New York City Democrats are proposing a plan to spend $11 billion on an expansion of the carceral state. This vote will determine the fate of many lives and many political careers. Elected officials are maneuvering behind the scenes. I am sure that is why I recently received my first email from my city council member, Jimmy Van Bramer. …

Jonathan Bailey

Candidate for New York City Council District 26

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store