We Did it Again!

In the May 19, 2020 Election for the Salem City Council, Organized People Beat Organized Money

Only six years ago there was just one progressive member of the Salem City Council. This year there are six — a working majority. This despite the fact that powerful business interests went all out to flip the Council in 2020. Their candidates spent over $122,000 to try to win in Wards 1, 3 and 7. But once again Progressive Salem was able to prove that organized people can beat organized money. The assistance we provided to Virginia, Trevor and Vanessa helped to win the election handily for these three candidates. It wasn't even close. We beat big money and we will do it again to make sure the Salem City Council is working to benefit the citizens of Salem and not the special interests.







Since 2014, when a group of activists who would establish Progressive Salem in 2015 worked to elect Tom Andersen to the the City Council, we have successfully elected progressives in 10 City Council elections:

Tom Andersen (2014)

Cara Kaser (2016)

Matt Ausec (2016)

Sally Cook (2016)

Chris Hoy (2017)

Tom Andersen (2018)

Chris Hoy (2018)

Virginia Stapleton (2020)

Trevor Phillips (2020)

Vanessa Nordyke (2020)

How did we do it? Our mantra is "Organized People Beat Organized Money." Our conservative opposition raises big bucks from special interest groups and then floods voters' mailboxes with negative postcards. We do it differently. We knock on doors and talk to voters. We make phone calls, and we give Democrats and other progressives a positive message about our outstanding candidates. Then we get out the vote with more phone calls and door knocking. To do this we need a lot of volunteers. We need you!

In May of 2022 we will have the opportunity to make it 14 City Council victories for Progressive Salem! You can be a part of it. Please join Progressive Salem today.

What is Progressive Salem?

  • We are citizens of Salem, united in our commitment to see Salem prosper in ways that benefit all who live and work here.

  • We value honesty, transparency, inclusiveness and integrity in government.

  • We value fairness and opportunity for all.

  • We envision a Salem where progress preserves choices for future generations.

What We Are Working For
  • Local government that represents the public interest.

  • Enhancement of economic opportunities and environmental health.

  • Respect and fair treatment for all people.

  • A community that works together to promote public health and alleviate poverty.

  • Local government that both understands and engages with wider justice, sustainability, and other political issues.

  • A transportation network that is safe and accessible to everyone.

  • Options to power our homes and businesses with clean and sustainable energy.

  • Education that prepares all youth for meaningful lives as participating citizens and that values our cultural diversity.

  • We pledge to work in the electoral arena toward a Salem united by this vision for our future.

Virginia Stapleton beat Jan Kailuweit by 10 percentage points in Ward 1 despite being outspent two to one. Eighty percent of her opponent's contributions came from special interest political action committees.

Dr. Trevor Phillips unseated 20-year incumbent Brad Nanke in Ward 3, winning by 12 percentage points despite being heavily outspent. Seventy-three percent of his opponent's contributions came from special interest political action committees.

Vanessa Nordyke faced the hardest challenge of all. Her opponent, Reid Sund, raised a record $74,215, to defeat her. She was outspent three to one. And yet she won by 13 percentage points. Fifty-six percent of her opponent's contributions came from special interest political action committees.

Our Motto: Organized People Beat Organized Money!

Our Mission

The mission of Progressive Salem is to elect Progressive candidates to local offices in Salem, Oregon. We achieve our mission by carefully vetting and endorsing the best candidates and by supporting them with our volunteer time and generous donations.