Heather McGhee, the president of the leftist think tank Demos, kicked off the proceedings. “You ain’t seen nothing yet from the Working Families Party,” she said. “We’re electing leaders, we’re winning on issues, and most importantly, we’re changing what’s politically possible.”
McGhee, a black woman with long light-brown braids, ticked off the party’s victories, starting with minimum-wage hikes and paid sick days. “We took down the Rockefeller drug laws, we won police body cameras, and we helped stop the abuse of stop-and-frisk,” she said. “We stood up to the hedge funders who look at our schools and see dollar signs, from Bridgeport to Newark, from Philadelphia to Chicago.
“We’ve been working day in and day out to win on these issues and change the debate,” she added. “And this here, tonight, what you’re at, is our coming-out party. Because we are the people who believe that our economy should be measured in the health, happiness, and security of our families, not in corporate profits. We are the people who believe that democracy is for the people, not the super PACs. We are the people who know that economic inequality in America has always been built on the scaffolding of racial injustice.”