Politics

Zachary Parker Delivered Another Win for Progressive Organizers in Ward 5. Can They Keep Repeating This Success?



Zachary Parker wasn’t up against a Green Team incumbent in Ward 5, but in many other other respects, his convincing primary win sure feels a lot like the one Ward 4 Councilmember Janeese Lewis George pulled off two years ago.

In both cases, most politicos were expecting things to come down to the wire; instead, both won handily. The candidates themselves aren’t so different either: young, Black, and generally outspoken about their left leanings. Lewis George even endorsed Parker, one of just a few sitting elected officials to do so.

And perhaps most crucially, both benefited from a small army of volunteers from D.C.’s coterie of left-leaning groups, such as D.C. for Democracy, a constellation of labor unions, and the local chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America. The latter group alone says its 60 volunteers knocked on a total of 40,000 doors for Parker since late January—for context, there’s about 53,300 registered Democrats in the entire ward, per elections officials’ latest estimates. Loose Lips is beginning to suspect they’ve found a model for winning ward races that’s replicable.

“DSA has a very focused strategy and it’s clearly a smart one,” says Zach Teutsch, who helped manage Lewis George’s 2020 bid and supported Parker this time around. “They knew that if they could knock 30,000 to 40,000 doors it would be the difference in the race, and they were correct.”





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