Does the name the Working Families Party ring a bell? If so, you may be in one of the states where the Working Families Party was on the ballot in November. Established in 1998, the Working Families Party originally was an alliance of labor unions, where small community organizations came together to work towards improving the welfare of America’s working class. Today, over twenty years later, the Working Families Party works daily to ensure that regardless of your race, or income, you will have enough resources for you and your family to thrive. Their website states, “Together, we can make the future and build a country where everyone can thrive.”
In this past election, the Working Families Party had ballot lines in several states, including New York, Connecticut, California, Pennsylvania, and numerous others. The system for the ballot lines made it so voters were able to vote for Democratic candidates- like President-Elect Joe Biden- under the Working Families Party ballot line. A sample ballot from Connecticut shows that below the major parties, there is a line with the title “Working Families Party.” On that line, you can vote directly for the candidate listed. Statistics from the New York Times share that at least 283,000 New Yorkers voted for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on the Working Families Party line in the 2020 presidential election. This statistic will only provide hope that the Working Families Party will stay on track to retain its spot on future ballots.
Another common question regarding the Working Families Party is whether they are an up and coming third political party. In this day and age, garnering support for a third party in America’s traditionally two-party system is nearly impossible. Even some of the third parties with the most supporters, such as the Libertarian party, only got slightly over one percent of the popular vote at this past presidential election. Although the die-hard supporters of the Working Families Party are hopeful that someday, their party will enter mainstream politics, that goal is far away. Maurice Mitchell, the national director of the Working Families Party, even understands how difficult that will be. In November of 2019, Mitchell told The Philadelphia Inquirer, “Third-party victories are not easy. There’s a level of voter education involved.” It’s hard to put the large population of America into only two parties, so adding in a third party could potentially widen America’s political “horizons.”
Within the past five years, the Working Families Party has grown in parallel with politicians like Senator Bernie Sanders. With the endorsement of Bernie Sanders, the Working Families Party was brought into the realm of democratic socialism. More recently, soon-to-be New York City congressman, Jamaal Bowman, recommended his voters to vote for him using the Working Families Party line.
To get in touch with the Working Families Party, call their phone number at (718) 222-3796. Additionally, the Working Families Party hosts events almost every day of the week. These events include text parties, phone banks, assemblies, and welcome events. Also, if you know someone who is running for office, and has views that align with the Working Family Party’s mission, consider nominating that candidate for a Working Families Party endorsement. On their website, workingfamilies.org, there is information to join, volunteer, and research. Although the people at the Working Families Party will have to work hard to fight for relevance, there’s hope that their now minor party may someday add variation to American politics.