I grew up in a household parented by a single mom. Hard times were many, but we persevered. My mother was not a political creature though, in her circumstance, she should have been. As a child of color with two white half siblings and a white mother, I noticed early on that people treated me differently from my brothers. I didn’t understand this was prejudice, but that understanding changed as I grew older. I remember, when I was in school in central California, many of my classmates were first generation Mexican Americans. They were not allowed to speak Spanish on the school grounds. I thought something about this was very wrong. These children were brought in to translate for their Spanish speaking only parents during parent/teacher conferences, but they couldn’t speak their native language at school any other time.
This was the beginning of my awakening. This awakening continued as a young woman, married to an abusive spouse (who was white). When law enforcement became involved, I was treated differently than I would have been as a white woman. The seeds of championing the disenfranchised were planted, and have grown over almost half a century. I learned to speak my own truth, and I listened to politicians; I wanted to hear the ones I felt understood my plight. The ones who seemed to understand the best were Democrats. Therefore, the first time I registered to vote, I registered as a Democrat.
I feel in my heart that Democrats understand what I and other disenfranchised persons go through just to exist in these United States. Since that ill-fated election in 2016, it has become even less safe for people of color, the LGBTQ community, women, and other disenfranchised persons. I believe Democrats try to do the best they can for all of us, not just a select few of us. From DC to Corrales, I’ve marched, canvassed, carried petitions, registered voters, and given money to those people I believe have my best interests at heart. Those people are Democrats, and that is why I am a proud Democrat.