Desde el pueblo de Oakland al pueblo Boliviano.
In honor of Human Rights Day, today December 10, 2012, I write to congratulate the Bolivian people on their victories against the corporate take-over of their nation. This morning, I read the following headline “Bolivia Set To Banish Coca-Cola To Mark Mayan End of Capitalism” and I was reminded that the power of the people and our capacity to make change is real. Over the years, I’ve followed the fight of the social and socialist movements in Bolivia since prior to the election of President Evo Morales. Their struggle has been a light that gives me hope and inspiration in my work as a social justice activist. I read this headline and knew that the pueblo (people) was boldly moving forward with their vision of human justice and respect for the Pacha Mama (Mother Earth).
This past fall when I signed away my personal life and weekends to work on the fall campaigns of Oakland Rising’s sister organization, Oakland Rising Action, it was no small decision. I made a personal choice to step into the world of electoral campaign work because of the unique promise that electoral work has to be a vehicle for building power for working-class people of color in today’s world. This belief is what Oakland Rising’s mission is founded upon and it’s what drives our work as we run our campaigns each year. In cities like ours, human rights for low-income, immigrant, and communtities of color are dependent on our ability to build and exercise our political power. One critical way we our build power is by protecting, expanding, and exercising our right to vote and to have a voice at the decision-making tables that determine our lives. This is our struggle at Oakland Rising.