Heroes are not giant statues framed against a red sky. They are people who say:
This is my community, and it’s my responsibility to make it better. — Governor Tom McCall
Dear Salem Progressive:
In the spring of 2014 a small group of us worked to elect Tom Andersen to the Salem City Council by running a progressive campaign in Ward 2. Tom did not shy away from progressive issues, and the voters responded with a 52% majority vote for Tom in a 3-way contest against two strong opponents.
Our group also nearly pulled off a major upset in Ward 4, the most conservative ward in Salem. Our candidate, Scott Bassett came within about 200 votes of knocking off the conservative candidate who outspent Scott 3 to 1.
In 2015, in the May 19th Transit District Board election, we recruited a strong progressive, Kathy Lincoln, to run for an open seat. We also supported four other candidates for the Transit District and School Board. Out of the five seats up for election, our candidates won four of them.
In the May 17, 2016, Primary election, we worked to elect three young progressives to the Salem City Council. In Ward 1 we helped to elect Cara Kaser, who won against an opponent funded by the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce, with 73% of the vote. In Ward 5 we helped elect Matt Ausec, with 51% of the vote. And perhaps most impressively, in the Ward 7 race we helped Sally Cook beat an incumbent Chamber candidate who outspent her nearly 3 to 1. She won with 61% of the vote.
Most recently, in the March 16, 2017 special election for a vacated City Council seat in Ward 6, Progressive Salem recruited a highly qualified candidate, Chris Hoy, to run against three opponents with considerably fewer qualifications for office. We put together an outstanding campaign on very short notice and Chris won easily with 56% of the vote. His closest opponent managed only 28% of the vote.
With the experience gained in these campaigns we are going to continue to work to elect many more progressive candidates to local office in Salem. Not possible you say? We think it is possible. Salem has a more progressive electorate than you may think. For example, did you know that Democrats hold a registration edge in all but two of the eight City Council wards in Salem? And Republicans make up less than one third of the Salem electorate.
We will bring about progressive change in Salem by recruiting the best progressive candidates to run for office, helping them to raise campaign funds, and most importantly, deploying a large team of volunteers to help them canvass and phone bank to get out the progressive vote. This is the strategy that brought us success, and we think it will continue to work for us going forward.
Now we need you to consider joining us. First, read “Who We Are” and what “We Are Working For” on the home page of this website. If you agree with our vision for Salem’s future you can become part of a movement that is going to realize that vision. Just send in your $25 annual membership dues to get on our mailing list and receive invitations to our meetings. We also ask that you consider a $50 donation to the Progressive Salem Political Action Committee, or whatever you can afford. These are the funds that we use to elect progressive candidates to local office. Go to the Donate page to learn more.
Join and donate today. With your help we will create a Progressive Salem!
In the fall of 2014, after his election to the Salem City Council in May, Tom Andersen made this video that explains
how a group of committed progressives recruited and elected him with a “people power” campaign, soundly defeating
a candidate funded by special interest groups. Please watch Tom’s video to learn more.
Progressive Salem Board of Directors
Tina Calos, Chair – Gail Warner – Evan White – Jim Scheppke – Kathy Graham – Alex Kohan – Geoff James