The Power and Autonomy of Women in Politics and Beyond
We’ve seen a large rise in anonymous public comments since the most recent reorganization; whereas before, council meeting attendees had the courage to present themselves and directly address the council, now we find attacks are hidden behind email addresses designed to misdirect and aliases to obscure. I am a strong supporter of the First Amendment. As it has always been true in the United States, it is the responsibility of elected officials to listen despite the attacks. We asked for this job, we walked for this job, and this is part of the job. While I believe anonymous profiles are better suited for Facebook, and that the sanctity of our public forum is tainted by this behavior, my understanding is it is still one’s right to do so.
I would, though, like to respond to the comments which try to destroy me and paint me as a misogynist. This isn’t in defense of myself. Whoever you are, you can hurl all the accusations you want. I have no need to defend my track record of supporting women’s causes, women running for office, and my relationships, because the proof is obvious to anyone that spends even a few moments with me.
However, I would like to defend the integrity, strength, and ability of my female colleagues who have been drawn into the conversation. The insinuation that proud, passionate, intelligent and capable women are somehow at the mercy of a male is the true perpetration of the glass ceiling women have suffered from. The idea that they are unable to stand up for themselves, walk behind a man, and are somehow outshone by a man’s comments and actions says more about how you see women than how I supposedly treat them. If you want to attack me go ahead. But don’t do so at the expense of my colleagues.
Mayor Cobos-Cawthorne went door to door to make sure Montebello passed the sales tax and she is the main reason why much of our outreach was done. Her actions saved our budget and our services from coronavirus. Councilmember Jimenez has taken up the cause of physical and mental health organizing weekly running groups for different ages and abilities. And our newest member, Councilmember Peralta, in just three short months has brought forward several pieces of legislation targeting our workers, residents, and businesses devastated by the pandemic.
Unfortunately, with this job there will always be those who try to tear you down. Well I say to myself that hate is too great a burden to bear. I have decided to love. If you are seeking the highest good, I think you can find it through love.