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So what is this campaign about? Well for one, I come to this moment with a lifetime of mixing education, public service and organizing. I’d like to kick off my first blog with a bit more than your usual first message - with some dreaming about what solidarity can be.
I know that a lot of us are feeling extremely discouraged. Questioning everything. Feeling despair and rage. But here’s what’s running in a loop in my head: to be in a constant state of resistance is to be in a constant state of dreaming, because it’s the dreaming — imagining the world that we want for ourselves, for our neighbors, and for our families — that fuels our drive to resist.
For me, dreaming is a political orientation. For me, dreaming is also a means of survival, but not a passive survival rooted in silence. I’m dreaming of being surrounded by people in District 5, that, through their grimace survive through music, owning their own businesses, preserving history and the smells from the cookout down the block. Who survive as they dance, write, read, and economically thrive in their own community. I see that dreaming-to-survive spirit in the mothers and the fathers who, every day, seem to make magic for our kids.
Here’s what I know: our city too often imagines a bright and shiny progressive badge for itself. Yet we know that there is another side of that story. One where black and brown bodies are policed and punished. Where we struggle in jobs that barely get food in our babies’ bellies and a cozy roof over their heads, and where those jobs are a far- cry from being engaging and exciting careers where we can bring our best ideas and energies to the table. Where we are denied the simple beauty of clean air to breathe.
But I also know that if Orlando wishes to earn the progressive badge it has imagined for itself, it will not be by the hands of those comfortable with what is. It will be by the hands of you all — the people — because the people are the only ones who can see this city for what it could and should be. That’s what this campaign is about — elevating the dreams of District 5 residents like you, and making those dreams a reality through how our city is run. it’s what our platform was built on, and where it will continue to evolve from.
So no, I’m not here to make vague promises. I am asking you all to join me in dreaming and in fighting together to build a District 5 we haven’t seen yet.
If you’ve made it this far, I’ve got to believe that you’re ready to be in it with us – having conversations with District 5 in person and online, raising money, throwing events, and imagining what our city could be. Will you join our team?
I hope to talk to you soon,