Why do you think an organization like the League of Minority Voters (LMV) is important?
We cannot expect that we have the power to change systemic injustice without organizing the perspectives of marginalized people.
Racism and bigotry still live on globally. How would you approach dealing with this ongoing issue if elected?
I am running to be the Mayor of Eugene. At the municipal level, I want to expose a full spectrum of racist governmental mechanisms. As just one example, I am pushing for police demilitarization and reform, am calling out not only police profiling but also systemic justifications for profiling, am calling out false accountability fronts such as the IDFIT.
Our criminal justice system disproportionately affects communities of color. What kind of reforms would you advocate for?
Again, police demilitarization, accountability, and reform. In the city of Eugene, we need to repeal the Payroll Tax which superfunds the police, prosecutors, and jail beds, with a mere pittance towards a social safety net. We need to re-write many of city ordinances that target petty crimes. We need an independent police auditor. The police auditor’s office as it is just route’s complaints back to the police.
Similarly, environmental injustice impacts low-income communities and communities of color. What are some examples you have come across in Oregon? How would you address these negative impacts?
In west Eugene, which has the highest proportion of people of color, residents suffer 2000X the air pollutants as the rest of the city combined. 20% of residents suffer respiratory issues. In Trainsong, average life expectancy is 18 years shorter than a markedly white and wealthy neighborhood not far away.
We must enact a local Green New Deal which prioritizes racial, economic, and environmental justice. To do this, we must recede funding from new luxury developments and reallocate it and significant portions of the city budget to addressing environmental and social inequities and to aiding transformation to a localized essential goods economy and making sure that marginalized people are prioritized.
What are you already doing and what will you do for undocumented immigrants and families who are torn apart in our community/nation if you are elected?
I don’t have an adequate answer. I have not done enough. I’m not doing enough. I can say I feel it as an absolute conflict to be running for office with the idea of boosting movements for justice, when we have camps at the border. How is it that I am not there, that we are all not there, protesting however we might so that kids might be returned to their parents.
I am not doing enough—hardly anything really, petitions, donations—myself. I do however have visions for what I would do as mayor. For example, I am interested in a justice fund. A justice fund might be used in two ways: 1) to support activist mobilizations (we can look at the legal mechanisms for this); 2) as direct assistance given without record to people living without documentation.
As part of a local Green New Deal, we would invest in local health centers, which would serve people living without documentation as well as others.
These are examples. Another: we must make our sanctuary ordinance legally binding.
Civil Rights are the rights of citizens to political and social freedom and equality. However, access to these rights are not always equitable. What do you think of Affirmative Action policies and protections? If you’re a supporter, please explain why.
Without Affirmative Action we have no impediment to the systemic discriminations we know exist. The day I don’t support Affirmative Action is the day we live in a society thoroughly structured around communal welfare for all. We’re a long way from that—or, I should say, we’ll be a lot closer with a Green New Deal and Reparations.
If elected, what would you advocate for to increase access to education in our communities?
First, we need more funding across the board. We need to pay teachers well and hire many more of them. If they are not going to do it at the national level, we need to do it locally. At the local level, we shouldn’t be superfundng the police. We might superfund our schools.
I support 100% free college and forgiving all student debt.
I support re-writing our curriculums to include narratives that speak truth to power and decolonize knowledge,
Similarly, if elected, what would you advocate for to increase access to workforce training in our communities?
Under the tenets of a local Green New Deal, we would take on essential goods and services trainings community-wide.
LMV would like to see an increase of minority leaders engaged in our political processes. How would you encourage Leadership Development and Civic Engagement in our communities?
I am a Solidarity Platform candidate. The Solidarity Platform was put together by a small group of people in Eugene. This is the first election cycle in which candidates are running. One of the founding aims of the Solidarity Platform is to encourage representation of marginalized perspectives.
We’ve been significantly hampered by the social shutdown. Our plan into the future is to empower people with marginalized perspectives and marginalized communities who support the platform to run.
What do you think of the following voting initiatives: (1) Same-Day Voters Registration, and (2) National Vote By Mail?
Both of these are significant steps in the direction of a meaningful democracy.