In a remarkable, unexpected down-ballot election victory in Austin, Texas, DSA member and Sanders campaign activist Julie Ann Nitsch won her runoff for Austin Community College (ACC) Board of Trustees on December 13th.
Nitsch started her campaign at a clear disadvantage, lacking name recognition or a political resume. She had never held a public office, or served on any local boards or commissions. Meanwhile, her strongest opponent had served as ACC trustee for the previous 6 years, had a long resume of community activism, and received endorsements from most local Democratic elected officials and leaders.
But Nitsch did have the strong backing of a huge Bernie movement in Central Texas, a DSA chapter whose large membership provided over 100 block walkers and phone bankers, and the full support of Our Revolution (the national organization that grew out of the Sanders campaign) in the runoff election.
Nitsch’s leadership in the Sanders campaign gained her the respect and support of hundreds of volunteers. After volunteering for the campaign in the summer of 2015, Nitsch became the Campaign Coordinator of Texans for Bernie for Travis County and, later, one of five Austin DSA members who served as Sanders delegates at the DNC.
Following Bernie’s loss in the primary, Nitsch’s campaign manager and digital director Liz Webster said “we realized we were no longer alone. We didn’t have to fight on our own.” She adds that in the wake of the Democratic National Convention in August, “These people were fired up and needed a candidate and Julie was the real deal. She was ready to do it and she was ready to stand up for them.”.
- [http://www.dsausa.org/down_ballot_victory_for_dsa_member_in_austin_texas_dl DL Down-Ballot Victory for DSA Member in Austin, Texas Posted by Democratic Socialists of America on 01.16.17]