LIV’S WILD CAMPAIGN RIDE
Hey ya’ll hey! It’s me again with another installment of my blog detailing my journey during this election season. Thank you all so much for reading the blog and walking this journey with me. For a recap, I was running for both County Executive and my County Council seat as a Democrat. I withdrew both sets of petitions (see past blogs for details) and plan to run for my County Council seat as an Independent in November.
After withdrawing from the County Executive race, I was reached out to by Dave Fawcett, Michael Lamb, Will Parker and John Weinstein (no other candidates reached out to my campaign)! I want to thank them again for showing me the respect to asks for my support and discuss BIPOC issues. Those who contacted us shared their disappointment of my having to drop from the race and acknowledged the key issues that I was raising on the trail. Though I appreciate the acknowledgement of the issues my campaign was raising, I am once again disappointed that again the Black woman is relegated to an advisory role instead of being trusted to lead the needed solutions for the County.
This is nothing new for Black women. We are often the ones putting in the work, making sacrifices whether that is in time away from family, working for less than livable wages or even putting our necks on the line to give support to folks who don’t reciprocate. It is astonishing seeing folks who said they wanted to stay out of the race now supporting other candidates. Again, this is nothing new. As Malcolm X once said, “The most disrespected person in America, is the black woman. The most un-protected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America, is the black woman.” I have felt every single bit of that this election cycle.
Black women being unprotected looks like our ideas being stolen, our work being passed off as someone else’s, our physical and emotional safety not being assured and us being left to fend for ourselves. While we are enduring all this disrespect we are expected to show up with a smile on our face, always willing to turn the other cheek and being graceful while being disrespected in real time. It is exhausting and I am completely over playing that game. As Black women we must use our collective voices, build our own coalitions, and support one another. No, I am not saying that we must agree on everything. However, we’re at the forefront of EVERY change or initiative in this County. Let’s build from that!
All these factors have played into my decision on who I would support for the primary election. Some have asked why not just sit this one out (since I dropped out of the race). As a Black woman in Allegheny County, I don’t have the privilege to sit this one out. If you heard me speak at all during this election season you know that my North Star is equity and specifically doing what is necessary to not see a Gender Equity Report or the equivalent ever again. I am very pragmatic in my decision making. Which is only a problem when I exercise it. During my candidacy for County Executive, I was constantly hearing I did not have a pathway to victory which is a pragmatic statement, but I digress. So, in my decision-making process, knowing no remaining candidate would be able to fully represent Black women the way I can, I considered who had the humility to know what they did not know and was willing to allow people who are closest to the issue to be leaders in driving their own solutions. County Treasurer John Weinstein was the most open and prepared to operationalize an equity platform on the campaign and in his administration, should he win. In no way am I saying that he’s our savior and will fix the County. No elected official will do that. ONLY THE PEOPLE can do that. Some don’t agree with me and that’s ok, we can agree to disagree. However, our communities will continue to be negatively impacted if we don’t work together. So, yes, I don’t have a choice or privilege to STOP doing this work. I will continue to do so, after May 16th and beyond. I hope you will join me and do the same.