Growing up, the excitement I gained from public speaking gave me grand visions of the future. My grandmother, Gloria, who immigrated from Panama in 1962, fashioned I would make a good preacher some day. But I liked to debate too much. Especially with my grandfather Alric, a political junkie who challenged me and continues to challenge me on my views. Convinced I had ideas that could change the world and make my grandfather proud, I decided at fourteen I would one day run for office.
Yet, as time went on and political scandals, corruption, and bickering made me question my faith in our leaders, I repeatedly fell in and out of love with politics. I figured I could have a more positive impact on society as a public speaker, business owner, and author. I’d let the politicians politic, while I concentrated my efforts on things I could actually change. I concluded Texas was too much of a big, red state for me to impact politically.
In the past eighteen months, I’ve watched neo-fascism become mainstream. I’ve watched politicians suppress Black and Latino votes. I’ve watched women fight for their voices to be heard. I’ve watched the bullying of the LGBTQ community.
On top of that, I’ve watched one of my best friends narrowly escape the Tax Day flood. Another was airlifted with his wife and kids from the roof of his home during Hurricane Harvey. At Clay Road and Highway 6, many of my favorite businesses and restaurants remain closed.
While these issues seem like products of Washington’s incompetence, each of these problems have local roots. In my district, 138, a district that is 60% Black and Latino, the incumbent state representative proudly boasts of “co-authoring the state’s Voter ID law.” Since Reconstruction, Voter ID laws have been used to suppress the votes of people of color. After Mayor Annise Parker and the Houston City Council passed the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, (which banned discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, religion, disability, pregnancy, genetic information, family, marital, and military status), the incumbent led the charge to repeal the ordinance. Additionally, the incumbent has co-authored legislation that has no scientific merit and only serves to emotionally traumatize women after they’ve made the difficult decision to terminate a pregnancy.
I can no longer sit idly as my district, in the most diverse city in America, is represented by someone who does not share our interests. I will not allow him to skate into office again.
I want to make my district, my city, my state, my country the most unified and progressive place to live in the world. I also want to make it the safest place to live. I want to protect it from catastrophic flooding by legalizing marijuana and using the tax revenue to improve our flood infrastructure. Texas is big on freedom; there’s no reason the federal or state government should prevent citizens from using marijuana medicinally or recreationally. Legalizing marijuana will create businesses, jobs, and much needed revenue. It will also make our neighborhoods safer by taking money out the hands of drug cartels and eliminating drug dealers in our children’s schools.
So……. A lot is at stake on November 6, 2018. I want to be the next District 138 State Representative because I know Texas can do better. I need your support. I need your help in mobilizing the masses. I need your vote. Please join me in this fight!