Our Candidates (might) Make History!

photo of Zekiah Wright, a Black nonbinary person with short twists and glasses, wearing a grey jacket, white shirt and bow tie. Photo of Stephanie Wade, a white trans woman in a blue patterned dress, sitting in a grey Adirondack chair on a brick patio with a palm tree behind her.
(l to r) Zekiah Wright and Stephanie Wade

You’ve heard all the election recaps right? Democrats did better than expected. Some races still too close to call. No red wave. Blah, blah, blah. Let’s move on. . .

. . . . to runoffs. No, not that runoff.

The Organizing to Win runoff!

In addition to working with clients on organizing structure, I worked with two candidates this cycle, both in local races.

Stephanie Wade – Seal Beach

Stephanie Wade is running for city council in the lovely, little beachside city of Seal Beach, CA. She made it to the runoff and will face her main opponent again in January. We’re confident that Stephanie’s lead (at press time) of 56 votes will hold up – if we do everything right.

If (when!) she wins, Stephanie will be the only veteran on the council in a city with a major Naval installation and the only surfer on the council in this surfer town. Her progress is historic, as she would be the first trans woman elected in Orange County.

Our biggest challenge is showing Stephanie’s deep commitment to a community where she’s lived for just a year. (She jokes that she’s so Seal Beach that she’s like a Soviet dissident who reminds us how much we love America.) With a side of transphobia. The good news is that she is a master at building relationships. With her charm, my strategy and a powerhouse team of volunteers, we’ve built a winning campaign.

Zekiah Wright – West Hollywood

I also worked with Zekiah Wright, a quiet star on the West Hollywood leadership scene. They take on issues with a values-first approach, accepting the challenge of talking about their bold, progressive views. They are one of the most authentic and uncompromising candidates with whom I’ve worked.

Z was one of 12 candidates running for 3 seats on the WeHo city council. For two weeks after election day, they were in 6th place and I thought “we ran a good race, but it wasn’t enough this time.”

But wait a minute now . . . .

In one day, they leapfrogged into fourth place! At press time, they are only 18 votes out of third place. And counting.

Z would make history as the first non-binary person and first Black person on the WeHo city council.

So how did these two relative newcomers make such an impact?

Relationships and communication.

Stephanie never met someone she didn’t want to get to know better. Zekiah never met a hard question they didn’t want to answer. Both candidates focused on building relationships – and the rest comes naturally. Win or not, they are both well-positioned to have impacts on their communities from now on.

Stay tuned to OTW social media for updates!

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