It saddens me to say I must leave my neighborhood if I’m to continue running to represent House District 62. I announced my candidacy for state representative in December, and this month I was gerrymandered out of the district I had announced in. The public housing where I live in Pawtucket, will now be represented by someone in East Providence.
My home, Prospect Heights, was created in the 1940s through a New Deal housing initiative. It is a row of public townhouses that has provided low-income residents in Pawtucket affordable apartments for decades, and in 2015 was inducted into the National Register of Historic Places.
It’s a monument to a time in our country when we were willing to be bold and imaginative to solve our problems. The Heights provided my family and I a roof over our heads when we needed it most. I’m proud to call Prospect Heights my home and I regret having to leave it now.
Gerrymandering is part of the same old corruption that we Rhode Islanders have grown used to. The Democratic Party establishment claims that they want to represent people of color like me, that they wish more black women would run for office. Yet when a working-class Afro-Latina who has a record of fighting for working people decides to run, the corporate-backed party leaders and incumbents with fealties to the same donors, kick me out of my district and
disenfranchise my community. This hypocrisy is the reason the = Democratic Party finds itself in such a dismal situation today.
Silence only helps those in power, and that’s why today I will not give them that. I decided to run for office because I believe every person deserves healthcare, housing a clean and safe environment – the basics that allow one to live a dignified life. Working people toil under insane conditions for meager wages and vanishing opportunities. Living through many precarious times has taught me that there isn’t a single person who deserves to suffer like that.
Especially when resources abound that can cure the stress and hopelessness that has become endemic in our society. We deserve a government that cares about us, invests in us and is democratically
controlled by us, not by corporate politicians and the inflated egos of their wealthy donors.
It’s time for the working class to fight back because it is we who are the overwhelming majority and we who continue to serve as the foundation our society rests on in these uncertain times.
That’s what this campaign is about, and it’s why such powerful forces have manifested to oppose us. And best believe we’re not giving up without a fight!