|Despite Councilmember David Alvarez’s noble concession last week and an overwhelming wave of congratulations, I have not been ready to acknowledge that we won. This hesitancy was partly the byproduct of my athletic background (“the game ain’t over till it’s over”), and if I am being honest with myself, partly because I was not ready to say goodbye to our team.
Over the past year, many people told us we should quit running for this seat. And when we didn’t, they told us we would lose. Right to our faces. We never let them discourage us. I believed in our team, but I also knew the long odds meant we had to work hard and be laser-focused on the process of how we would run.
Our strategy: Never look beyond Election Day. Instead, build something that makes a difference — no matter how many votes are cast for us. (Fun fact: I still can’t tell you what the stipend is for this position and I just learned of the swearing-in date.)
So we did just that. We organized, we knocked on doors, we spoke to voters, we shared stories, we created immediate impact campaigns that put food on the plates of hungry students and we provided transportation to a working mom trying to earn a degree. For more than a year, day-after-day and month-after-month, we created something we could all be proud of.
Then, on November 6 at 8 p.m., the process was over. No more campaigning. No more early morning strategy sessions with our brilliant campaign manager, Maryan. No more canvasses with students who put the fear, anxiety, and challenges of being a college student aside because they wanted a better future for all students. No more evening email writing with my wonderful fiance, Angela.
On Election Night, the first numbers rolled in and we were incredibly proud of the clear difference our work had resulted in. By the next morning, we had fallen behind but remained hopeful.