Is This A Political Twilight Zone? 04/07/23
Updated: May 8
Thanks to everyone who has been reading the blog. This election cycle has been an up and down process for me, as well as my team. It means a lot that people have been accepting of my raw vulnerability. At times it may sound rough but, it’s an all to common story that most
Black women face (especially Black women in Allegheny County). When I started this process my campaign manager said that it would be like living out a courageous conversation in real time. Every day I see that she was right lol. Being the first to do anything is never easy. That’s a great segway to the topic at hand. Who will I support in the County Executive race now that I’ m no longer a candidate?
True to the form (with how this process has been going lol) getting to this answer has been an experience. As I mentioned in the last blog, we were contacted by a few candidates. Those who reached out were interested in us still sharing our platform on the campaign trail because the issues we were raising are relevant and need to be addressed to truly push this region forward. Yes, am referring to Black issues and those that directly affect marginalized populations. Am not saying that the candidates weren’t talking about it. However, I have lived experience and can speak to these issues differently. I appreciate my colleagues who understood that and had enough respect for me to reach out. Our communication has been open, honest, and courageous. For full transparency I have spoken with Dave Fawcett, Michael Lamb, and John Weinstein. To address the elephant in the blog (lol), no we didn’t hear from State Rep. Sara Innamorato’s campaign. We were surprised as well and found this interesting. Especially when you consider white liberals and their connection to Black leaders. This whole thing has been weird, and I often feel like I’m in a political twilight zone. Nevertheless, that and white liberals is a whole different blog post, so I digress lol. Let’s get back to it.
We are considering the candidates who reached out and weighing who would be the best to collaborate with on getting outcomes for those who are the most in need. Those who live and continue to live in the margins. In this situation our lived experience is our leverage. Hell, being Black and existing is revolutionary in its own right! We have lived experience and are the best ones to drive solutions for BIPOC people. This is one of the main reasons I ran for County Executive. With that being said, I will admit how “weird” it has been for me and my team to meet with our former opponents and decide who we will support (if anyone). This has caused some bits of healthy anxiety and reflection. As we make this decision a couple of things remain at the forefront.
For example, who can we align with that has the resources to push substantive changes for BIPOC as well as all residents of Allegheny County. Changes such as getting rid of all leadership that has allowed our jail to be the death trap it is. Making sure that the Independent Police Review Board is strengthened. Driving solutions through our county agencies such as DHS to address mental health, substance use disorder and gun violence.
Someone who wants to understand our issues, listens/respects us and has the political will to fight for this as well as hold their colleagues accountable. An Executive that would push to reduce the infant and maternal mortality rates among Black women and creates solutions to increase home ownership in the Black community.
The leadership of this county will either take us forward or backwards. If we want to see this region thrive, we have to address equity. Equity must be the lens and the motivation behind our collective work. We need someone who recognizes this and never wants to see another 2019 Gender Equity Report!
These are all of the things that we are considering. In addition, I have been watching how YOU the people have been engaged by my colleagues. I get somewhat confused by the “all lives matter” approach being pushed by some progressives in the race. BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) are the most in need and there is nothing wrong with saying this out loud and advancing solutions. I see the commercials, hear the ads, and see how some push their connections to Black leaders as a way to garner support from the Black community. I have observed all of this. My immediate feedback to the candidates is to CANVASS MORE. Get out there and talk to the PEOPLE. If you want to know what specific BIPOC issues ASKS US (not just a select few)! In closing, I recognize the weight of this decision and wanted to be honest with everyone about our thought process. This has been eye-opening to say the least. We have been wrestling with our own instances of internalizing white supremacy and pushing against the typical “group thinking” of doing what everyone else says. Not doing what keeps those in charge comfortable or what’s expected. I’m curious on what YALL THINK. Who are yall supporting and why? Who has the political resources to win and make changes? If you feel led, email us at to share your thoughts firstname.lastname@example.org or text 412-206-9183. I really would love to hear from yall. The next blog post will have more about who we will be supporting (if anyone) and some election day information. LOVE YALL LIV