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

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.

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.