WFP National gala
In mid-November 2015, Working Families Party staffers from across the country gathered for their first-ever national gala. Held in a dimly lit foyer of the national AFL-CIO headquarters, two blocks from the White House, the event featured a modest bar and forlorn-looking cheese tray. To one side, an imposing, 1950s-era, gilt-heavy mural of heroic laborers with a motto from Virgil (“Labor Omnia Vincit”); to the other, a canvas banner color-printed with WFP activists, carrying signs like “The Seas Are Rising & So Are We,” “Hands Up Don’t Shoot,” and “I Am a Woman.” A plaque identified the venue as the Samuel Gompers Room.
Diana Richardson, a member of the New York State Assembly from Crown Heights, Brooklyn; in a May special election, she became the first-ever New York state legislator elected solely on the WFP ballot line. Her campaign hinged on railing against gentrification and the “greedy developers” leaving the neighborhood’s historic residents behind.
Richardson proclaimed, “The local Democrats didn’t want someone like me. Listen to my voice—it’s very strong! You can’t push me around.” The audience laughed and cheered. “But another party did want me,” she added. “The Working Families Party.”