Home > Uncategorized > When You Question Your Right To Speak Truth

When You Question Your Right To Speak Truth

So this is a pre/post blog post. It’s a fairly long post.

This is why:

Pre:

5:45pm

Tonight, I’m a attending a Progressive Voter Alliance meeting, something I’ve been doing most fourth Thursday’s of the month since relocating to Las Cruces nearly three years ago. It’s one of my favorite things to do because it is a gathering of a lot of people who think a lot like me. It is a group that has also been very supportive throughout my organizing work, folks who have evolved into allies for the Las Cruces Raise the Wage campaign, and/or employing volunteers for my candidate’s city council race in the fall, and even now, supporting my own candidacy for NM House District 35.

Although I’ll be among friends tonight, I’m going to spend my two minutes at PVA speaking to why I am the best candidate in the June 7th Democratic three-way primary contest. It’s nothing new, right? It’s politics. Even in primaries, we hear candidates share and speak to why they’re more qualified than their opponents all the time.

In fact, so far in this race, I can’t tell you how many times I have heard well meaning 12900981_10156696149975066_9159493965592782415_odemocrats say, “No worries about 35. With three good candidates like yourself in the race, we’re good no matter how it turns out.” 

Maybe that’s true in a strictly political sense. If we’re just talking about regaining the New Mexico House…

But if we’re talking about the wellbeing and future of the good people of District 35, I beg to differ. The fact is, there are some clear differences between me and my opponents–and now is the time to get real about them. For starters, I am the only organizer in this race. I am not driven by a single issue or position. Organizing is my life’s work. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose — but the heart of my work is the understanding that I will always be in the fight. That said, I am also the only candidate in the race with a proven track record of success when it comes to complex and contentious political fights such as raising the minimum wage in Las Cruces — a win which continues to benefit thousands of workers and families in our community to this day.  Finally — on top of being a badass politically savvy organizer — I am the only candidate in this race who is a woman.

Candidates always make distinctions about their opponents all the time.

Except that I’m not your “typical” candidate.

Listen, while it’s easy for me to write out what I am going to say and share some of my reflections with you, my challenge for tonight–to ask friends to choose a side, has lead me to feel some tension. This internalized racism/sexism rises from within, whispering to me to be “polite” and “don’t share how you really feel.”

And what I realize now, sitting down and writing this all out–right before I head out to Munson Center, is that all I have been doing today is questioning my right to speak truth.

Let me type that again. I am questioning my right to speak truth.

As uneasy as speaking my truth might be for me, imagine what it will do for those listening. My truth will probably make someone uncomfortable.

Probably a guy.

As I pack up my things and get ready to head out, I carry in my heart something a good friend told me this afternoon. “I must do every woman–a tower of women, those who carry me on their shoulders, especially my mother, the favor of speaking up. My mother raised me to be the Amazon I am and to fight battles. That’s how wonderful I am and it is how much I matter to her and this world.”

So here’s to another battle. Here is my opportunity to speak my truth…unapologetically.

Post:

11:30pm

So I’ve had a couple hours to let things settle down from this evening. Overall, I feel great. I was nervous, of course–typical feeling I get when I have to speak in front of a crowd. As the campaign goes on though, I know I will improve and I’m excited about that evolution.

Also, having knocked on doors before blogging, dinner and PVA, I feel like that really made the difference. You know? Pounding the pavement, introducing myself to new neighborhoods in the district, and talking to voters.

(Funny story: A guy at one of the door’s asked me if my dad played the trombone lol I guess Rubio’s are well known for their musical talents)

Listen, door to door democracy is what this whole thing is about.

OK, which brings me to tonight’s PVA.

I arrived and everyone was super cool, per usual. Right away I noticed that there was a really small crowd, nothing like the last couple months. Nonetheless, I say hello to folks and then head over to one of the the front rows, where I tend to sit most of the time. I begin to scan the room–mostly all familiar faces.

I wait a good forty-five minutes of hearing other speakers speak and share the things that they’re working on before I decide to go up and do my two minutes.

You can listen to those two minutes here

Now, despite the fact that I said, “um” a lot (which I’m working on haha) I realize now that I was at my best when I said, “on top of being a badass politically savvy organizer.” The person to point that out to me tonight was my right hand Campaign Manager/Putting Me In Check/Friend, who said, “that’s the part when I knew you were really feeling it from your heart.”

The funny thing is that when I break into myself, just like I did at that very moment, I have always thought that that was my lowest. Interesting, right? Not only was tonight a challenge of overcoming the internalized stuff and speaking truth, there’s also that self-critical stuff we carry too, right?

The audience was feeling it. Well, most of the audience.

Remember earlier in my pre when I wrote,

“My truth will probably also make someone uncomfortable…Probably a guy.”

Yeah. That happened.

An older white gentleman, who later stood up to speak, shared what he needed to share and then referenced my campaign and my “I am the only candidate in this race who is a woman.” Of all the things I said, it was that statement that provoked him to joke about our current governor, Susana Martinez, and then proceed to say what I heard was something like, “and look where that got us.”

I can’t remember what was going on with the rest of the room at that moment, but I couldn’t believe he said that. And I was relieved to know that I wasn’t alone.

It was obvious that some women were disappointed in his joke. But it was the men that I was mostly surprised by.

As I was leaving, a guy friend who attended and heard the remarks, texted me saying, “that was a bit harsh.”

Another guy who I spoke with outside said to me, “I regret not using my time to respond to that. I was really offended by his comment.”

Nonetheless, I left there understanding even more the importance of turning out my supporters and not wasting my time on those who are not. At least, for now.

One day at a time.
One door at a time.
One voter at a time.

And just as I did earlier, I’m packing up and heading to bed and will once again attempt to do all women, especially my mother, the favor of speaking up and speaking proud and to battle yet another day.

My mother raised me to be the Amazon I am and to fight battles. That’s how wonderful I am and it is how much I matter to her and this world.

Signing off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. March 25, 2016 at 4:24 AM

    I love this pre and post analysis! I’ve been meaning to get out to the PVA for a while. I too consider the heft of responsibility that when you have the ability to make change with the station you find yourself in life, you ought to do it not just for yourself, but also for those who came before you and for those who have no voice. Keep on chugging! [Sharing my blog in an effort to get me motivated to write more for it.]

    • March 25, 2016 at 7:28 AM

      You should come! It would be great to have you there. Also, thanks for reading and commenting. Really appreciate you taking the time 👊🏽

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