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Standing up for Equity and Inclusion

Our entire country is in a moment of deep introspection, facing uncomfortable and necessary conversations exploring how we can dismantle institutional and systemic racism, and we have some work to do right here in our own backyard in L.A.

Last Tuesday, July 14, 2020 during a public Mar Vista Community Council meeting, on which I serve as an elected At-Large Director, I experienced an obscene incident where the Vice Chair verbally attacked me, referencing my Latina ethnicity and age, and used physical obscenities toward me. This incident was in response to my raised concern about a lack of equity and inclusion and questioning the Chair’s decision to single me out, as the only woman of color, youngest, and one of a few renters on the Board, by denying me a leadership post to a standing committee of the Council. I was both offended and appalled at the Vice Chair’s behavior and the notable silence from the Chair.

It is our responsibility as elected leaders of the community to call out patterns of aggression within this Council and in others across the City. Most importantly, it’s up to our community to hold government leaders accountable and demand that our work is driven toward equity with integrity and civility. We have to collectively commit to fighting injustice and challenging discrimination toward communities of color.

I see this incident as an prime opportunity from which our Council and community can learn and grow together, and I have some ideas on how we can do that. 

  1. Our Council members and other government bodies should be required to complete Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training annually.
  2. The Board of Neighborhood Commissioners which oversees our Council must formally denounce prejudicial behavior and outline substantive and actionable corrective measures for members engaged in future uncivil and discriminatory incidents. All councils must also do the same.
  3. All councils should be required to individually develop racial equity action plans building upon Mayor Eric Garcetti’s thoughtful Executive Order No. 27 on Racial Equity.
  4. The City of Los Angeles should publicly adopt a zero-tolerance policy for any prejudicial or discriminatory behavior by Council members, which it funds through taxpayer funds.

It’s essential that government bodies provide representation for all stakeholders within our communities, especially those who are disproportionately silenced, as I was during the meeting. This Council, however, does not reflect the diversity of the community within its membership or leadership, despite our district constituting 54% of a minority population, with 64% being renters, and a majority under 45 years old.

All leaders have a responsibility to promote equity and inclusivity, and I commit to always advocating for the disenfranchised within all communities. But importantly, it’s up to all of us to use our voices to stand up for justice. At a moment when life is fragile, let’s do good, respect and help others to make our country a healthier and more inclusive place. Let’s start here at home in Mar Vista.

WE DONATED TO THE COMMUNITY!

GOT DONATIONS!
So appreciative of the chance to work with Best Formulations to retrieve donations for our Mar Vista neighbors! I secured up and loaded two HUGE pallets of hand sanitizer and Vitamin C to distribute to local nonprofits for community members in need. (Yes, I even rented the U-Haul and drove the truck! Sadly couldn’t drive the forklift!) Great thanks to the Best Formulations team for their kind donation and working with me so generously!
Excited I could supply donations to these amazing local nonprofits that are helping our neighbors throughout this COVID-19 pandemic. Support them too if you can!
-Santa Monica Boys and Girls Club in Mar Vista
– Cheviot Hills Recreation Center for homeless services
-Disability Community Resource Center
-Well Baby Center
-826LA
-Westside Food Bank
-Mar Vista Farmer’s Market
-Safe Place for Youth
Special thanks again for Best Formulations!
Neighbors helping neighbors!

 

 

 

 

WE DID IT! WE WON!

WE DID IT. I am proud to share that I have been voted in and elected by our community to serve on our Mar Vista Community Council. Thank you again to all those who supported me during this journey and now help me begin this new chapter. As my very first run for public office, I am excited about the opportunity our local community has given me to bring representation to new energy, ideas, and diversity to our Council. I am also reminded of the continuous need we have to bridge strong divides and both build and appreciate inclusivity within our neighborhoods. Our communities are stronger when everyone is engaged! I want to say THANK YOU. 

 

THANK YOU!

With pride, appreciation, and humility, yesterday’s election day couldn’t have been better. We had several volunteers, countless hugs, handshakes and even hand-picked roses from neighbors, and excited optimism from our community.

THANK YOU to my team of volunteers and all supporters, and especially my fierce colleagues part of our #marvistamakeswaves group. We worked hard and by breaking the record of voter turnout numbers and running one of the most diverse set of candidates, we made history yesterday. Stay tuned for final results next week!

 

We launched our Campaign!

It’s Official! We launched our Campaign with the community, friends & family! 

THANK YOU TO ALL THOSE WHO JOINED, DONATED, AND SUPPORT! Inspired by my former boss Barack Obama, motivated by my neighbors and the need to bring representation to the Council, and committed to Building Healthy, Vibrant and Safe Communities, I’m running in this local race toward our election on JUNE 2! This is my first run for office, and I know there’s a lot of hard work ahead. For anyone with friends in the area, please encourage them to contact me or vote! I also welcome all volunteer support during the next 7 weeks–doors, texts, calls, media! Thanks again and please reach out for any questions or to donate!

 

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