JOIN US: Women of Color Rise: It’s Our Time

Magaly Smith Uncategorized

Join us for a virtual event and fundraiser form women of color running for office in Washington State!

Where: Virtual – Via Zoom and Facebook live
When: Thursday, July 22nd 7 PM-8 PM

When we elect leaders from our community, we elect people who put US first. For too long our elected officials have attempted to speak for us or put our needs, the needs of communities of color, immigrants and women last. We need authentic representation.

This year we have the opportunity to elect candidates who deeply understand our experience because they share it. It’s time to lift progressive, pro-immigrant women of color to office. It’s our time, and when women of color win, we ALL win.

*All funds contributed to OAVJF will go to progressive women of color candidates running for office who have been endorsed by our board via the Grassroots Leadership and Youth Council, immigrants and refugees who lead and inspire OneAmerica’s work. Donations to the OAVJF are not tax-deductible.*

OneAmerica Votes Announces First Round of 2021 Endorsements

Magaly Smith Uncategorized

We know that when we elect leaders from our community, we elect people who put US first. It’s our time, a time to take big steps towards childcare for all and a healthy recovery from COVID-19. It’s time to make our home a place with a thriving, inclusive democracy that welcomes immigrants and invests in communities. To do that, we need a government that represents us and reflects our lived experiences. 

For too long our elected officials have attempted to speak for us or put our needs, the needs of communities of color and immigrants, last. We need authentic representation, and allyship is not enough. Our childcare system has been left devastated by the pandemic at a time when it’s most needed, and while we saw major investments through the legislature this year, local government must continue to prioritize early education and a healthy COVID-19 recovery for all. We need to take more steps at home to make sure our state welcomes immigrants and invests in community supports, not systems that harm Black and brown bodies.

This year we have the opportunity to elect candidates who deeply understand our experience, because they share it. OneAmerica Votes is excited to announce our first round of 2021 Endorsements which include three powerful women of color candidates who are proven community leaders that are ready to lead with power and a progressive, pro-immigrant vision.

We can’t leave any power on the table this year – it’s time to vote, turn out our neighbors and our communities and lift women of color into local offices that will directly impact our lives. It’s our time, and when women of color win, we all win!

Read more about these candidates by visiting our 2021 Endorsements webpage.

Join us: National March to Victory, Relay Across America on March 17th, 2021

Magaly Smith Uncategorized

We are home and we are here to stay. 

It’s long past time for Congress to act and pass permanent protections for undocumented immigrants. We have endured years of injustice and the time is now to come together and fight for a just immigration system. Join us as we kick-off the National March to Victory, Relay Across America here in Washington State to fight for citizenship for all.

You can join us virtually or on the ground in Vancouver, WA to hear stories from our immigrant leaders and to take action.

It’s time for our movement to come together and demonstrate our power and voices. Are you with us? Register today!

DATE: MARCH 17TH
TIME: 5:30-7:00 PM PST

Join us on the ground in Vancouver or join us virtually! 

VIRTUAL – begins at 5:30pm and streaming on Facebook
IN-PERSON – begins at 6:15pm (make sure to wear mask and follow COVID guidelines):
Esther Shore Park and Playground
605 Esther St
Vancouver, WA 98660

OneAmerica Votes Lifts a Rising Immigrant Electorate, Pointing the Way Towards a Just and Humane Future in DC and Washington State

Magaly Smith Uncategorized

WASHINGTON STATE WINS

OneAmerica Votes is reshaping our state’s representation, lifting endorsed candidates of color and allies to leadership. In 2020 OAV focused on endorsing and electing a diverse slate of candidates who have shown their commitment to expanding immigrant and refugee rights, legislating for an equitable state budget that fully funds prek-12 education and gives immigrant families the resources they need to thrive in WA state, and a slate of candidates who believe that our democracy needs big reforms to ensure that people like us are represented up and down ballot.

Grid of photos of OA leaders

In this election cycle, OAV grassroot immigrant leaders, staff and volunteers, mobilized and conducted thousands of immigrant to immigrant conversations.

Together we:

  • Organized 970 Phone and Text Shifts
  • Had 5,325 Conversations with voters
  • Reached 137,278 total voters via phone, mail and digital
  • Raised over $25,000 for Black Womxn Candidates

And all of this work paid off as 30 of our 34 endorsed candidates won their races! We especially rose to lift up slate of pro-immigrant, progressive Black women to leadership in the WA legislature, making history right here at home. After a hard fought election, we are honored to congratulate all our endorsed candidates that won their races:

  • Jay Inslee, Governor
  • Chris Reykdal, OSPI Superintendent
  • Suzan DelBene, CD 1
  • Rick Larsen, CD 2
  • Derek Kilmer, CD 6
  • Pramila Jayapal, CD 7
  • Adam Smith, CD 9
  • Laurie Jinkins, LD 27
  • Melanie Morgan, LD 29, Position 1
  • Bill Ramos, LD 5, Position 1
  • Bob Hasegawa, LD 11
  • Cindy Ryu, LD 32, Position 1
  • Mia Su-Ling Gregorson, LD 33, Position 1
  • Kirsten Harris-Talley, LD 37, Position 2
  • Tana Senn, LD 41, Position 1
  • MyLinh Thai, LD 41, Position 2
  • Frank Chopp, LD 43, Position 2
  • Vandana Slatter, LD 48, Position 1
  • Debra Entenman, LD 47, Position 1
  • Pat Sullivan, LD 47, Position 2
  • Debra Lekanoff, LD 40, Position 1
  • Lillian Ortiz-Self, LD 21, Position 1
  • Christine Rolfes, LD 23
  • Jamila Taylor, LD 30 Position 1
  • Jesse Johnson, LD 30 Position 2
  • Kim Schrier, CD 8
  • T’Wina Nobles, LD 28
  • John Lovick, LD 44, Position 1
  • April Berg, LD 44, Position 2
  • Carolina Mejia, Thurston County Commission District 1

Beth Doglio, Joy Stanford, Tanisha Harris, and Carolyn Long all ran strong races based on values of justice. We fought hard in Vancouver and Southwest Washington for Harris and Long and although they did not win, we won’t give up until we elect new pro-immigrant representation in Vancouver.

WHAT’S NEXT IN WASHINGTON?

This election cycle we learned that grassroots organizing and deep investment in grassroots leaders is what will move our state and nation towards justice. We will continue moving forward and organize to ensure we create justice for all, no matter immigration status, religion or race.

We elected a slate of pro-immigrant legislators to office and now it is time to be in relationship to ensure our communities needs are being met. Our OneAmerica Votes grassroots immigrant leaders will be holding accountability meetings with various state legislators to ensure they are on our side and will fight for programs that put communities first as we head into the 2021 Legislative Session. If you’d like to stay in the loop and take action on our legislative agenda, which includes advocating for a unemployment system for undocumented workers, pledge to take action here.

FEDERAL WINS

Thanks to grassroots organizing across the country, voter’s decided and elected Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to lead the country. After years of racism, scapegoating and constant attacks on our communities, our new Vice President is now a Black woman and a child of immigrants. We’re ready to organize for a just and humane immigration system under a Biden-Harris ticket!

During their election trail, Biden and Harris made significant promises to immigrant communities and we are joining organizations across the country to fight for #FreedomTogether.

America chose a new vision for our country: one where all are welcomed, no matter our race, religion or place of birth. Now we need the campaign promises to become reality. On day one we must:

  • End deportations
  • Pass inclusive COVID-19 relief
  • Introduce legislation for permanent protections.

Join the #FreedomTogether campaign here.

CAPE Swoops in to Remind Candidates: Invest in Washington

Magaly Smith Uncategorized

With so much at stake in this year’s election, it’s important to not overlook the obvious: who we elect will be responsible for guiding our nation and our state out of our economic crisis.

There are three critical data points to remember:

  1. We’re living through the deepest recession since the Second World War.
  2. Nearly half (48 percent) of households with incomes below $75,000 have lost employment income during the COVID pandemic, while income loss is much lower in high income households (see Economic Opportunity Institute).
  3. Washington State lawmakers will be faced with a projected $4.2 billion revenue shortfall over the next two years.

Some economists are also calling our current recession a K-shaped recession.  That means high-income jobs are coming back, but lower-paying jobs aren’t.  This is likely to only exacerbate income inequality across the United States and especially here in Washington State.

Enter the Civic Alliance for a Progressive Economy (CAPE), a joint project of Civic Ventures, Working Washington and OneAmerica Votes.  CAPE is dedicated to the principle that prosperity comes from greater economic inclusion, and that the more people we include in our economy, the more the economy will grow. The economy isn’t Wall Street or quarterly reports – it’s people.

In the 2020 state legislative elections, CAPE asked candidates about how they would create a more equitable and progressive tax system – one where everyone pays their fair share; how they would approach looming budget deficits – we know from past experience that cutting the budget prolongs economic slowdowns; and what they would do to make the economy more inclusive.  

Based on responses and other research, earlier this month CAPE issued ratings for most candidates for state legislature.  See how CAPE rated your candidates.

As part of our outreach to 2020 legislative candidates, we also invited them to sign an Economic Recovery Pledge: “I commit to fight for our communities by rejecting a cuts only approach to the state budget and will fight to preserve public services and find new sources of revenue to invest in our state. Slashing budgets and cutting programs that provide resources to those in need will only prolong this economic crisis. We can grow the economy for everyone by prioritizing families and small businesses over the interests of the wealthy few.”  See who signed the Pledge.

Together, with these 90 candidates, we are helping to shift the narrative toward a conversation about economic recovery, instead of deficits.  Looking ahead to the November 3rd elections, our task (after we’ve voted) will be to hold all elected leaders accountable for ensuring that we re-build a better, more inclusive economy where all of us can thrive.

OneAmerica Votes Endorses Ballot Measures that will Ensure a More Equitable Washington State

Magaly Smith Uncategorized

At OneAmerica Votes we envision a Washington state where our leaders reflect our communities, where everyone can thrive, where we all have what we need to stay healthy and safe, and where our policies reflect the needs of the community. That is why we support the following ballot measures which we believe will further our vision of a more equitable Washington State that puts the needs of the community first. 

OneAmerica Votes endorses the following ballot measure positions:

  • Referendum 90: Vote APPROVED for comprehensive sex ed that values science and that teaches our children about their bodies, that consent is important, and that LGBTQ people exist.
  • Engrossed Senate Joint Resolution No. 8212: Vote APPROVED to make sure that our elders are taken care of, so none of us will be left without care when we need it. 
  • King County Charter Amendments:
    • Charter Amendment 1: Vote YES to make sure victims of police violence or negligence have legal representation and a fair court process that holds police accountable. 
    • Charter Amendment 3: Vote YES to make sure that programs and services in King County are available to all, regardless of immigration status, so we all have what we need to stay healthy and safe. 
    • Charter Amendment 6: Vote YES to reform policing, protecting Black and brown lives and mentally ill and disabled community members by shifting power from Sherriffs to the County Executive, who can prioritize mental health and other non-police professionals responding to emergencies. 
  • Seattle Proposition 1: Vote YES for mass transit that supports our communities, especially immigrant and low income community members, that rebuilds our crumbling infrastructure like the West Seattle Bridge, and that reduces global warming emissions and traffic.

We are proud to endorse these positions. Below you will find brief descriptions of each measure and website links to learn more. 

STATEWIDE BALLOT MEASURES 

Vote Approved: Referendum 90

Vote APPROVED for sex ed that values science and that teaches our children about their bodies, that consent is important, and that LGBTQ people exist.

Voting to approve Referendum 90 will uphold the new Washington law (ESSB 5395) that requires all public schools to adopt or develop, consistent with state standards, age-appropriate, inclusive, comprehensive sex education. Parents retain ultimate control under Referendum 90 because the law gives parents at least one-month advance notice to review all materials, and parents may opt their children out of sex education classes. Learn more.

Vote Approved: Engrossed Senate Joint Resolution No. 8212

Vote APPROVED to make sure that our elders are taken care of, so none one of us will be left without care when we need it. 

Seventy percent of adults over the age of 65 will need some level of long-term care, but ninety percent are uninsured for it. Voting to Approve ESJR 8212 will ensure that Washington’s first-in-the-nation Long Term Care Act is secure and funded.  Learn more.

LOCAL BALLOT MEASURES

Vote Yes: King County Charter Amendment No. 1 – Inquests

Vote YES to make sure victims of police violence or negligence have legal representation and a fair court process that holds police accountable. 

Charter Amendment No. 1 would amend Section 895 to clarify that an inquest is required when an action, decision, or possible failure to offer appropriate care by a member of a law enforcement agency might have contributed to a person’s death. The amendment would define “member of law enforcement agency” to include a commissioned officer, noncommissioned staff and agent of any local or state police force, jail, detention facility, or corrections agency.

This would also require the county to assign an attorney to represent the decedent’s family in the inquest proceeding. The family would have the option to accept or decline representation by the attorney. Learn more.

Vote Yes: King County Charter Amendment No. 3 – References to Citizens. 

Vote YES to make sure that programs and services in King County are available to all, regardless of immigration status, so we all have what we need to stay healthy and safe. 

To celebrate the diversity of King County and ensure all programs and services are welcoming and inclusive, this amendment would replace references in the Preamble, Section 260 and Section 800 of the charter from “citizen” to “public,” “member of the public” or “resident.” The charter should not imply citizenship requirements where none exist. Learn more.

Vote Yes: King County Charter Amendment No. 6 – Structure and Duties of the Department of Public Safety. 

Vote YES to reform policing, protecting Black and brown lives and mentally ill and disabled community members by shifting power from Sherriffs to the County Executive, who can prioritize mental health and other non-police professionals responding to emergencies. 

If adopted, the King County charter will be amended so that the duties of the county sheriff and the structure and duties of the department of public safety are established by county ordinance and the county executive is responsible for bargaining working conditions with the department of public safety’s represented employees. Learn more.

Vote Yes: City of Seattle Proposition No. 1 – Funding for Transit and Related Transportation Needs.

Vote YES for mass transit that supports our communities, especially immigrant and low income community members, that rebuilds our crumbling infrastructure like the West Seattle Bridge, and that reduces global warming emissions and traffic.
If approved, this proposition authorizes up to a 0.15% sales and use tax expiring April 1, 2027, and as proposed in Ordinance 126115, to replace the current voter-approved 0.1% sales tax, expiring December 31, 2020. Revenues are dedicated to: transit services benefitting Seattle residents, including frequent transit network maintenance and associated capital improvements; low-income fare programs for Seattle seniors, students, workers, and residents; and transportation needs related to COVID-19 recovery and the West Seattle Bridge closure. Learn more.

Join Us on September 16: OneAmerica Votes Public Meeting / Reunión Pública / Kulanka Dadweynaha

Magaly Smith Uncategorized

United, we have the power to rise up and create a Washington state that values our immigrant neighbors and an education system that better reflects and addresses the needs of their community. We must hold our elected leaders, and ourselves, accountable to meaningful action that will uphold the dignity of immigrant communities. In this time of the pandemic, Congress has excluded undocumented immigrants from relief, schools have not provided the resources necessary for their children to actively and intentionally engage in their education, and immigrants and communities of color are being affected by COVID-19 at disproportionate rates.

It is time for us to stand united and demand action. We know that immigrant communities deserve more, and we need our elected leaders to stand by us and enact policies that create big systemic change. We know that where immigrants thrive, communities thrive!

Join me, OneAmerica Votes and its immigrant leaders and community allies for a virtual public meeting on September 16 with Governor Jay Inslee and Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal. All details are below. This is our moment to support immigrants in sharing their stories, demand change, and hold our elected officials in deep accountability. We will be asking them, and you, to make commitments through our civic engagement work leading up to the November 4th election. We are powerful; let us take a stand to create systemic change for our community.

Details of Virtual Public Meeting:
DATE: September 16, 2020
TIME: 6:00-8:00 PM PST
Register to join us by visiting bit.ly/OAVpublicmeeting 


Unidos, tenemos el poder de levantarnos y crear un estado de Washington que valore a nuestros vecinos inmigrantes y un sistema educativo que refleje y aborde mejor las necesidades de su comunidad. Debemos responsabilizar a nuestros líderes electos, y a nosotros mismos, a acciones significativas que mantengan la dignidad de las comunidades inmigrantes. En este momento de la pandemia, el Congreso ha excluido a los inmigrantes indocumentados del alivio, las escuelas no han proporcionado los recursos necesarios para que sus hijos participen activa e intencionalmente en su educación, y los inmigrantes y las comunidades de color se ven afectados por el COVID-19 a velocidades desproporcionadas .

Es hora de que nos mantengamos unidos y exijemos acción. Sabemos que las comunidades de inmigrantes merecen más y necesitamos que nuestros líderes electos nos apoyen y promulguen pólizas que generen un gran cambio sistémico. ¡Sabemos que donde los inmigrantes prosperan, las comunidades prosperan!

Únase a mí, OneAmerica Votes y sus líderes inmigrantes y aliados comunitarios para una reunión pública virtual el 16 de septiembre con el gobernador Jay Inslee y el superintendente de instrucción pública de Washington, Chris Reykdal. Todos los detalles están a continuación. Este es nuestro momento para ayudar a los inmigrantes a compartir sus historias, exigir cambios y hacer que nuestros funcionarios electos tengan una profunda responsabilidad. ¡Todos tendrán la oportunidad de comprometerse a tomar acción con OneAmerica Votes antes de las elecciones del 4 de noviembre!. Somos poderosos; levantémonos para crear un cambio sistémico para nuestra comunidad.

Detalles de la reunión pública virtual:
FECHA: 16 de septiembre de 2020
HORA: 6:00-8:00 PM PST
Regístrese para unirse a nosotros visitando bit.ly/OAVreunionpublica


Si wadajir ah, waxaanu leenahay awoodda aan ugu istaagi karno aanna ku abuuri karno gobolka Washington kaasoo na qiimaynaya iyo hanaan waxbarasho oo si wanaagsan uga tarjumaaya waxna uga qabanaya baahiyaha bulshadeena. Waa in aan nafteena, iyo hogaamiyeyaasheena aan dooranay, kula xisaabtanaa tillaabo micno weyn ku fadhida taasoo adkaynaysa qiyaamka bulshadeena soo galootida ah. Ayada oo lagu jiro waqtigaan cudurka safmarka ah, Barlamaanku (Congress-ku) waa uu naga saaray kaalmooyinka, dugsiyadeena lama siinin khayraadkii lagama maarmaanka ahaa si caruurteenu ay si firfircoon niyad samaana leh ula falgalaan waxbarashadooda, waxaana si heer ka badan bulshooyinka kale ah noo saameeyay COVID-19.

Waa waqtigii aanu si midaysan u wada istaagi lahayn aana waxqabad u dalban lahayn. Waxaanu ognahay in aanu u qalano intaan wax kabadan, waxaana u baahanahay in hogaamiyeyaasheena aanu dooranay na garab istaagaan ayna keenaan siyaasado abuuraaya hanaan isbadel oo balaaran. Waxaanu ognahay in halka ay soo galootidu ku hormaraan, ay bulshadu ku hormarto!

Igula soo biir, OneAmericaVotes iyo hogaamiyeyaasha kale ee soo galootida kulanka dadweynaha ee fogaan aragga ah kaasoo dhici doona Sebteembar 16 keeda lana qaadan doono Guddomiyaha gobolka Jay Inslee iyo Sarkaalka sare ee Macluumaadka Dadweynaha Washington Chris Reykdal. Dhammaan macluumaadka hoos ayuu ku qoran yahay. Kani waa waqtigii aynu sheekooyikeena wadaagi lahayn, aanu dalban lahayn isbadel, aanna saraakiisha aynu dooranay la qaadan lahayn isla xisaabtan adag. Waxaanu ayaga, iyo adiga weydiin doonaa, in aad dadaal ku bixisaan shaqadayda la falgalidda bulshada taasoo horseedaysa dooroshada 4ta Noofambar. Waxaanu nahay kuwo awood badan; aanu is garab istaagno si aan u abuurno isbaddel hanaan ku dhisan oo ay yeelato bulshadeenu.

Tafaasiisha Kulanka Fogaan Aragga ah:
TAARIIKHDA: Sebtembar 16, 2020
WAKHTIGA: 6:00-8:00 Fiidnimo waqtiga PST-ga
Iska diiwaan gali si aad noogu soo biirto adigoo bookhanaaya bit.ly/OAVkulan.

OneAmerica Votes Announces 2020 Endorsements

Magaly Smith Uncategorized

Democracy is at its best when immigrants, refugees and people of color are engaged and represented by people that come from our communities and act in our interests. There is a lot at stake this election season. We must mobilize and vote to elect people like us, leaders of color and allies committed to co-governance, to serve at all levels of government.

We are proud to announce our 2020 endorsements, candidates who we believe will fight for our communities and be a voice for justice.

“OneAmerica Votes (OAV) represents and works with numerous communities, and when OAV endorses a candidate, it implies that those communities align themselves with the candidate as well. Therefore, it’s vital that leaders, that represent the values and needs of our communities, get to interview candidates and make sure that they’re “on the same page” when it comes to the issues that affect us.” -Youth Council Member Alex

Our Grassroots Leadership (GRLC) and Youth Council, a group of immigrant, refugee, and POC leaders from across the state, led our endoresement process. Virtually interviewed candidates, asked tough questions, and made key decisions on whether to endorse and how to work with these candidates in the future.

Grid of photos of OA leaders

We invite you to join us to lift these powerful candidates that we have endorsed to elected leadership by supporting their campaigns with your voices, your dollars, your time, and your vote.

*More endorsements will continue to be added to this list as they are interviewed

ENDORSEMENTS

PIERCE COUNTY

T’WINA NOBLES – LD 28 Senator
SHARLETT MENA – LD 29 Representative, Position 2

KING COUNTY

REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL – CD 7 U.S. Representative
TANISHA HARRIS – LD 17 Representative, Position 1
JAMILA TAYLOR – LD 30 Representative, Position 1
REP. JESSE JOHNSON – LD 30 Representative, Position 2
REP. TANA SENN – LD 41 Representative, Position 1
REP. PAT SULLIVAN – LD 47 Representative, Position 2


Learn more about these candidates by visiting our 2020 Endorsements page.

P.S. We will be celebrating all of the womxn of color we’ve endorsed on July 28 at a virtual event: Womxn of Color RISE to Leadership. All donations will go directly to progressive womxn of color candidates. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets. This year we also center Black womxn’s leadership and excellence, as we stand in solidarity with Black lives and our Black immigrant community members. 

OneAmerica Votes leaders mobilized and elected people like us.

Magaly Smith Uncategorized

Leading up to the election, OneAmerica Votes (OAV) mobilized our communities to elect leaders like us into office. Leaders we knew would stand up for our values and be a voice for immigrant and refugee rights in Washington State.

208 OAV volunteers knocked on 7,500 doors, made 3,381 calls, texted 51,700 people, and held 5 ballot parties. After a hard fought election week, we are honored to congratulate all those our OAV family of organizations endorsed that have won their races thus far:

  • Sofia Aragon, Burien City Council Position No. 6
  • Cynthia Delostrinos Johnson, Tukwila City Council Position No. 4
  • Aaron Garcia, Highline School District Director District No. 1
  • Turan Kayaoglu, Puyallup School District Director Pos. 5
  • Tracie Barrows, Vancouver School District School Director, Position No. 5
  • Chandra Hampson, Seattle School District Director No. 3
  • Fred Felleman, Port of Seattle Commisoner Position No. 5
  • Sam Cho, Port of Seattle Commissioner Position No. 2
  • Luckisha Phillips, Federal Way School Board
  • Maria Flores, Olympia School Board
  • Angela Birney, Mayor of Redmond
  • Senayet Negusse, SeaTac City Council Position No.1
  • Takele Gobena, SeaTac City Council Position No. 5
  • Eliana Macias, Yakima City Council District 1

We are eagerly waiting to hear the outcomes of this close race:

  • Varisha Khan, Redmond City Council Position No. 1

Win or lose, we are proud of all of our candidates for having the courage and leadership to run and stand up for our communities. Their campaigns challenged stereotypes, built connections with voters, and registered new voters – all things that will launch us forward with greater power into 2020. 

Thank you for standing with us as we work to make our democracy just for all.

The People’s Presidential Forum – OAV Leader Reflects on Community and Power

Magaly Smith Uncategorized

OneAmerica Votes Leaders, Juan Monje and Rudy Cureno, traveled to Las Vegas, Nevada to attend The People’s Presidential Forum – a forum created by Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada Action (PLAN Action) and People’s Action. OAV is an affiliate of People’s Action, a national network of community organizing groups.

Juan Monje (left) and Rudy Cureno (right) introduced special guest (and OneAmerica Votes Founder) Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal at the forum.

Presidential candidates, including former HUD Secretary Julian Castro, entrepreneur Andrew Yang, and US Senator Bernie Sanders, were invited onstage to answer real questions from everyday people about the struggles facing the multiracial working class and what solutions we can forge, together, to make change.

OneAmerica Votes Leader, Juan Monje, from Vancouver, WA describes how he got involved in OneAmerica and reflects on his experience and the work that he, and our community, will have to take to ensure that Washington’s 3rd Congressional District, currently occupied by Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler is held by someone committed to working toward justice for all. Herrera-Beutler is up for re-election in November 2020.

“When I first knew I wanted to get involved in my community, I had many doubts. One of my biggest concerns was finding a group that would be inclusive of all people. A group that would help people build trust and work toward common goals. A group of people who had a vision for everyone. OneAmerica was that group! They welcomed me with open arms and embraced me since the first day, and I am grateful I’ve been given the opportunity to be part of this amazing organization.

In my recent trip to Las Vegas, to The People’s Presidential Forum, I was reminded of very practical yet critical lessons. First, I learned that we can turn a congressional district with a plan, passion, and a lot of work. I learned that no candidate is going to save us and that we are the makers of history; we are agents of change! Presidential candidates should and must know that it is the people that have the power, and it is us who decide what platform to follow.

After this trip, I have committed myself to make change happen; to take part in the movement to change District 3. I believe that the Movement to flip District 3 starts now! We can make it happen. Cesar Chavez once said, ‘You are not strong enough to not need help from others.’ We all need help to be better people to help in the community. Thanks, OneAmerica, and to the leaders who believed in me. For sure, in November 2020, we will win Congressional District 3.”

We know that our work never ends and that communities hold the true power in creating systemic change. Leaders like Juan are ready to create change in their communities, and we are ready to support them.

See the complete live stream of the presidential forum here.