Democrats need progressive policies

Progressives proved their place in the Democratic party after several local election wins


In multiple elections across the country progressive policy was approved in large numbers at the local level. While it wasn’t a shock that multiple red states decided to support Donald Trump for the second time, voters at the local level chose policy that was in opposition of the right. It’s becoming more clear that the Democratic party should embrace the progressive movement within their party once Joe Biden takes office. Even though Democrats won the presidency, they lost seats in the house, and are entering a contentious senate runoff, which I would call a non-starter.

   It was not surprising when Florida decided to stick with Trump in the 2020 election, contributing a total of 29 electoral votes to his campaign. However, the state did make a shocking decision that night; Florida voted to raise their minimum wage to $15 an hour. Thus, Florida became the first southern state and the eighth state overall to adopt this progressive policy.

Democrats have already started blaming progressive policies, such as Medicare-for-All, as something that cost them the election. However, every Democratic candidate in support of Medicare-for-All was reelected along with seven candidates replacing Democratic incumbents who did not support the policy.

Prop A is an example of a progressive policy that passed here in Austin. It’s a very ambitious transit plan which calls for a permanent raise to the city’s property tax rate to fund a $7.1 billion mass transit system. It will provide $300 million for affordable housing to address housing displacement. It will create exciting new rapid bus routes along with a downtown tunnel system. This proposal has been criticized by Republicans due to its cost, while Democrats argue that the cost is justifiable based on what Prop A provides such as jobs, housing, and of course transit.

The passing of Prop A proves that it’s easy to convince people how well progressive policy will serve them and the rest of the Democrat party should catch on.

15 states have voted to pass legislation to legalize the adult use of marijuana and 36 states have legalized the medical use of marijuana. The legalization of weed has only recently become a feasible option for the future with some Democrats still not coming out in full support of the policy. Most Democrats will support the decriminalization of weed but tend to be more silent on legalizing the manufacturing and selling of marijuana even though more Americans have become open to the idea.

The 2020 election exposed fundamental issues within the Democratic party. Democrats need to learn how to market and embrace progressive policy in order to maintain a chance in competition against Republicans going forward.