Vota Vato 2020 – U.S. Presidential Primaries – March 3, 2020

If you’re like me, you’re feeling exhausted. The climate in this country feels so tense – like it did walking the streets of South Central in the 90’s – and tastes like a trip to the dentist. 

This is the most important election of our lifetime! Getting Donald Trump out of office is first our priority. There’s just a couple of things getting in the way of that monumental task.

First, the Democratic candidate pool isn’t very inspiring. Yes, there are sprinkles of hope here and there, but the term Progressive is getting thrown around like dollars at Sam’s Hofbrau – and the payoff is equally underwhelming. And there are big promises of plans to lift people out of misery, but none of them compelling enough to rally the troops.

Still, we have to look to the big homies who constantly remind us about sacrifice and progress. If Crucito was able to beat a heroin addiction at the end of Blood In Blood Out, we can keep this shit moving.

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Here’s what is not funny. This country has been treating marginalized communities like a fucking piñata. But, this ain’t nothing new. What is a trip is how it has affected us all.

And that brings me to my second point. The situation has gotten so bad that we are beefing amongst ourselves. What is most shocking is that we’ve become more upset with our friends – for not being mirror images of us – than we are about the world’s imminent extinction.

People of Color hate all White people – except the ones we’re dating or married to. Oh Lord, We love to criticize Whiteness, but we rush to justify why we fall in love and have children with it.

And shout out to those White allies who are really ‘bout it. Make no mistake, Racism is the real problem, but I’m old enough to know that there are some White people who are truly down with the cause and some People of Color who are interrupting it.

Back to the point, I was making….. 

We spend countless hours arguing with colonized and marginalized people about the proper way to label our oppression. We’ve become indignant with people who are on the wrong end of our learning curve. 

We cancel those who are victimized by the same systems of exploitation that we study in the lecture halls where we learn all these big words.

We’ve become social-psychologists. We hyper describe our conditions and self-diagnose our traumas. Feelings, emotions, and opinions are rendered as clinical conditions. We nurture people with these terms – except the people who we disagree with.

People who look like us point the finger at each other. Language policing is on the rise. Racial, class and gender divide is winning. And that’s how you know their plan is working. 

So, we gotta get activated and fire off on the real enemy. 187 the beast. That’s where this election cycle comes in. 

Sure, voting isn’t gonna solve all of our problems. But, it is a tool that we can use to get us some reprieve. You didn’t come here to hear a sermon. So, now that my coffee is done brewing, let’s get this backyard flyer party started.

FEDERAL

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

BERNIE SANDERS: I hope that this viejito doesn’t get a patatush the day of his inauguration. I hate to be ageist, but my man looks like his heart might give out any minute. Still, he’s the most consistent one of the bunch when it comes to having plans to lift the working poor out of the gutter created by those greedy employers, hospitals, insurance companies, developers, banks, corporations and the politicians who are bought by them.

Elizabeth Warren came in a close second, but she has been inconsistent in her positions on the economy and universal health. She has also gone back and forth on her stance on Capitalism- one day she claims to love it, the next she has great soundbites about awful billionaires. The problem is… you can’t have one without the other under the American economic system. 

The rest of the candidates are the problem. Establishment Democrats terrified of candidates whose platforms demand that this country: give greater value to people than they do to profits, challenge the wealth inequality, and stop being racist, or end meaningless wars. Someone like Bernie. But, if he doesn’t get the nomination, they will ultimately blame you and call you two things that you’re not: young, naive, and Person of Color.

You missed that last joke.

They call all of y’all “Bernie Bros”, but they erase the significant number of Women of Color who are fighting for a package that benefits working-class communities.

Establishment Dems will threaten not to vote for Bernie and will blame this country’s mess on you. They’ll remind you of the crumbs they’ve given you and tell you not to bite the hand.

Bow, wow, wow, wow – yippie yo, yippie yay!

The U.S. CONGRESS

28th Congressional District: Adam Schiff has been front and center in efforts to get Trump out of the oval office and keep him in check while he remains in it. We need that type of courage in the Democratic Party.

29th Congressional District: Tony Cardenas. 

37th Congressional District: Karen Bass is the G.O.A.T. 

40th Congressional District: Lucille Roybal-Allard

43rd Congressional District: Maxine Waters. The vato running against her, Omar Navarro, is a self-hating Trump loyalist. I’m reclaiming my time for even having to make this common-sense choice.

44th Congressional District: Nanette Barragan.

CALIFORNIA

Proposition 13: Yes. This is not the evil Prop. 13 from 1978. This new one is a $15-billion bond for school construction & repairs. Until we invest in public education in the state budget, we will need to keep putting our children’s education on these giant credit cards known as bonds.  

We need to build more schools and upgrade old ones with technology and protection from earthquakes, fires, floods, and whatever other shit Mother Nature keeps throwing at us for destroying the planet.

CA STATE ASSEMBLY

District 38: Dina Cervantes. Thoroughbred and leader in Los Angeles. We need this type of energy in Sacramento. Bring Los Angeles hope and money!

District 39: Luz Rivas is intelligent and well-grounded. 

District 53: Godfrey Santos Plata is sharp and focused on building up communities of color. We need more courage in Sacramento to stand up for students of color in Los Angeles. I wanna see more dope Filipinos in Office. 

District 54: Sydney Kamlager. We told you she would be amazing if elected. Now elect her again. This is the leadership L.A. has been waiting for!

District 59: Reginald Jones-Sawyer has been leading some of the most important efforts to decriminalize boys and men of color in California. We need more. 

District 62: Autumn Burke. The alternative is a Republican — no need to research this one.

District 79: Dr. Shirley Weber. Even though she represents San Diego, Shirley Weber gets a muthafucking Hood Digest salute! She is the most courageous member of the State Assembly who has dedicated her time in office to fight for students and families to have the best education possible – even if it means she takes on the gatekeepers of equality and equity.

I wish every member of the L.A. Delegation were this courageous and intentional about supporting students of color – like for real, with policies, not just on Twitter.

L.A. COUNTY

FD: Fire Protection Special Tax Measure Election: Yes, I guess. But, they should pay for this with some of that pension money they pass on to each other when they hire their relatives to join their Battalions. 

Also, White people need to move the hell out of the mountains. With all your fires and mudslides, y’all keep running up the budget. 

Measure R: Fuck Yes: We’re still pissed to have endorsed this Latino Sheriff. I shoulda known better than to trust a cop. Measure R would strengthen civilian oversight of the Sheriff’s Department and would improve mental health & drug treatment for the people we keep locking up.

L.A. COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY

Rachel Rossi. She’s the only one running who actually cares about the people they keep sending to jail. DR

George Gascon’s shoes are too shiny and expensive for me to take him seriously. Jokes aside, he did some cool shit in San Francisco, but this is Los Angeles.   

Bye, Jackie Lacey. We hope you’re happy letting so many killer cops off the hook. She decided to recently pardon weed-related convictions but was previously quoted saying it wasn’t worth the time or effort.

Voting for her isn’t worth your time or effort.

L.A. COUNTY SUPERVISORS

District 2: Holly Mitchell has something none of the other leading candidates have, integrity. She also has lots of courage and the right set of politics. 

District 4: Janice Hahn

LOS ANGELES

L.A. CITY COUNCIL

COUNCIL DISTRICT 6: Nury Martinez. 

COUNCIL DISTRICT 8: Marqueece Harris-Dawson. There’s a flyer going around the hood grouping Marqueece with a number of local Black politicians who they claim have betrayed the Black community. It’s unfair to add Marqueece to that list. Marqueeece is one of the few real Progressives on the L.A. city council who are actually standing in the way of Developers erasing South Central’s culture and soul.

COUNCIL DISTRICT 10: Aura Vásquez would become the first Afro-Latina to be elected to this post. She’s experienced in dealing with City Hall and has a progressive platform for a greener LA that is needed in Los Angeles.  

There are plenty of reasons to elect new blood to the City Council and in L.A. politics in general. 

It may seem like there’s little point in endorsing a non-African American candidate for this seat – as it remains one of the few historically Black seats. There is a case to be made for having Black representation in a city that continues to want to erase its Black population and its many contributions. But, we also need ethical leadership as much as we need racial representation. 

COUNCIL DISTRICT 14: Mónica García has been the champion for Black and Brown students in the Los Angeles Unified School District – and people hate her for it. 

These efforts include ensuring all kids have access to A-G classes, building new schools, decriminalizing Black and LGBTQ students, opening Wellness Centers in schools, giving kids Breakfast in the Classroom, and getting rid of wanding – yes even that one. But, all you’re told is that she supports charters. 

The people who most actively oppose her are the MAGA of education – their red shirts should read: Make Education Great Again. Except, it was only good for employees, never for kids of color. 

You wanna tell the establishment to fuck off: vote for Monica to become the first woman to represent this District, and only the third woman to be elected on the current City Council. She’s the best person for this job. You want an elected official to fight for you the way she has fought for students and families. She’s from El Sereno and loyal to her community. Which is more than you can say about Kevin de León. Look, we endorsed him when he ran for U.S. Senate. But, this is Los Angeles. 

Kevin is part of this group of politicians that the Democrats keep importing from other parts of California and running to “represent” us.

In two years, Kevin De Leon will run for Mayor, vacating District 14 – like Antonio Villaraigosa did. You should care about that if you live in District 14 and tell those backing him to stop playing musical chairs with your district.

We need more champions on the L.A. City Council to help solve the housing crisis. We have enough trash on the streets – we don’t need more of it in L.A. City politics.

LOS ANGELES UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT (LAUSD)

BOARD DISTRICT 1: Sigh. No endorsement.

BOARD DISTRICT 3: Double sigh. No endorsement. 

BOARD DISTRICT 5: Triple sigh. No endorsement.

BOARD DISTRICT 7: Tanya Ortiz Franklin is the most invested in helping students learn in a welcoming and supportive environment. Although she is being pinned as pro-charter, she was a teacher and now an administrator in LA Unified schools. 

Silke Bradford comes a close second. She’s a career educator who worked as an administrator at charter and district-run campuses.

Both of these women would bring pragmatic and community-centered solutions to a school board that fights to protect the machine.  

SUPERIOR COURT JUDGES

The rule of thumb when selecting judges is not to vote for candidates that have titles like “Prosecutor” and “Assistant District Attorney” or saying shit like “Tough on Crime”. Not all people who have these titles are bad, but if they proudly brag about being tough on crime, that means they love sending our family and community members to jail – for a long ass time. 

Office No. 17: Shannon Kathleen Cooley 

Office No. 42: Linda Sun

Office No. 72: Robert Jacobs 

Office No. 76: Emily Cole

Office No. 80: Klint James McKay 

Office No. 97: Sherry Powell 

Office No. 129: Bruce A Moss

Office No. 145: Adan Montalban

Office No. 150: Tom Parsekian

Office No. 162: Scott Andrew Yang 

THE ONLY VOTER GUIDE THE HOOD TRUSTS

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