Four years ago I voted for the Lesser Evil and hoped the Change the candidate promised would better the lives of thousands of homeless people, grant citizenship to undocumented workers, end gender inequities, and extend federal legal protection to same-sex couples.
Instead, what these years gave us was a punch on the nose. The president did nothing for marriage equality except state his “views” had evolved (once election season was upon us again). Income disparity has mushroomed. Anti-women legislation has hit a zenith. More than one million undocumented people have been deported. Immigrants are criminalized. Los Angles has become the homeless capital of the world.
I am through simply hoping for change. When I encountered the Freedom Socialist Party’s Durham-López presidential campaign, I saw how it addresses workers’ struggles in a way that the two main parties never will. I decided to convert my convictions into action. I attended political debates where Stephen Durham spoke. On the anniversary of the rebellion sparked by Rodney King’s beating, I rallied with Stephen against police abuse and South LA’s lack of resources. I also marched by his side on May Day to protest deportations.
Being involved with the campaign inspired me to take a further step and join the FSP. Now I realize that hope, by itself, is a four-letter word — for it usually represents inaction.
Alex Romero, who came to the U.S. from Mexico as a child, is a special education elementary school teacher and active unionist in LA.