These days it can often feel like we’re in a never-ending cycle of violence, trauma, and general fuckery, so it’s always great when you come across a piece of news that’s just a certifiable dub for the culture. India Walton, a Black woman who ran for office for the first time in Buffalo, N.Y., is projected to become the city’s first female mayor.
You love to see it, truly.
According to CBS News, Walton will also be the first socialist mayor of an American city since Frank Zeidler, who was the socialist mayor of Milwaukee from 1948-1960. Walton’s win is considered an upset as she defeated Byron Brown, the incumbent mayor who has been in charge of the city since 2006. While Brown has yet to concede, citing the absentee ballots that haven’t been counted, the Associated Press notes that the ballots that remain to be counted aren’t enough to derail Walton’s current seven point lead. Given that there was no Republican challenger, Walton is all but guaranteed to become the city’s new mayor
A reporter from the Buffalo News caught Walton making a call to her mother after she learned she won. “Mommy, I won! Mommy, I’m the mayor of Buffalo! Well, not ‘til January, but yeah!,” Walton says in the video. She later gave a victory speech where she gave credit to “the work of a well-meaning group of rebels and revolutionaries that had a bold vision on what we want the future of our city to look like.”
Walton ran as a Democratic socialist, and her platform included removing police from mental health calls, creating a comprehensive plan for the city to combat climate change, and reallocating funds from the police department to other services.
The thing that makes her story so inspiring is that she doesn’t remotely come from the traditional background that you would expect from a politician. Walton became pregnant at 14, dropped out of high school, and worked at a McDonald’s before earning her GED. She eventually became a public school nurse and a community leader, becoming instrumental in the city’s protests against police violence last year.
“My story is remarkable, but not uncommon,” Walton told WIVB on Wednesday. “And I just want to be the example for people like me. That you can do whatever you set your mind to.”