Excerpt: Interview with David Soares

TEMPLETON: You were the outsider and the underdog. Were you surprised that you won?
SOARES: No, we put in the work. We didn’t have the money but we had the people. Money allows you to reach people in sound bites. My campaign was door-to-door. We could really talk through things with people. And it worked.

TEMPLETON: Who was in the coalition that supported you?
SOARES: It was built up from people I’d already worked with when I was in the DA’s office. I was assigned to deal with the most challenged areas in Albany. I had to build a coalition not for political purposes but for the purpose of public safety—teaching [people] how to hold agencies accountable. [The coalition] included churches, neighborhood associations, progressives, the drug treatment community—a rainbow of many preexisting coalitions.

TEMPLETON: How does your local victory differ from the Republicans’ national victory?
SOARES: In my case, you had someone finally say, “Enough is enough—this is wrong.” Someone who had every reason to continue on in the institution that was paying my mortgage and car payment like it was all okay. I think this resonated with people.

TEMPLETON: The media says that the Republicans won on moral values. Was there anything comparable in your race that made people vote for you?
SOARES: The inherent sense of unfairness in a system that’s supposed to represent justice. We have this vision of justice—she . . . [has] her scales, her sword, and blinders. But the Rockefeller drug laws in their application violate all of that. The thing that my opponents don’t see is that most people have a person in their family with either a drug or drinking problem; addiction isn’t confined to a particular zip code.

TEMPLETON: What’s your advice to the Democratic leadership?
SOARES: You cannot take people for granted. Demographics have shifted, but you still haven’t gone back to the communities you’ve taken for granted for so long. Get back to your base; do not underestimate the power of the door-to-door campaign. Organizations that exist in your area that you may deem to have opposing views—look to them for the common views and [to] bring people in. Look at what brings people together.
#story_page_ below_article

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.