To Pomona residents,
Yesterday, I and other community leaders engaged in an uplifting protest to honor specifically the life of Breonna Taylor who would have been 27 years old that day. But unfortunately she was murdered in her sleep, in her own home by police officers. We sang Happy Birthday to Breonna in the streets to honor her life.
It has come to my attention that many of our Pomona community members have been concerned about the role I played in protesting at the mayor’s house with other Pomona protesters. I would like to make it clear that as a mother, I understand wholeheartedly how much this targeted advocacy may be seen as harmful to Mayor Sandoval’s family and newborn son.
As a mother I frequently live in fear, feeling concerned for my daughter because she is Afro-Latina, also due to the constant threat of gender violence. I want my constituents and future supporters to know that my intentions for standing with protesters is rooted deeply in wanting to ensure the feeling of fear and need of protection does not continue to flow for so many other Black mothers who constantly feel uneasy whenever their children leave their home, with the threat of police violence. I hope the feelings being shared right now about Mayor Sandoval and his family also help us understand how much of a lived daily reality this is for many Black parents.
If we want Pomona to be a city that grows into a brighter future, we must reckon with the moment we are moving through right now. We deserve a mayor and a city council that will not only listen, but will also take measures and meaningful steps in uncomfortable moments to address harms in our communities, not just at the national level, but also those impacted by police brutality at the local level. This also serves as a real opportunity to acknowledge our Black neighbors and institutions in our community, so that they know they are seen.
We need courageous and bold leadership that will listen to the working class Black people in our community, on whose labor the city runs. When we fight for Black lives, we all win.
I ask that if the mayor really values protest, and values community coming together, that he speaks to these systemic harms happening in Black communities.
We ask that he see this as an opportunity to further engage in transformative actions for a just Pomona. Rather than condemn and shame the protests, we ask that he allow the bravery of those who showed up and took part in civic action/duty.
Those that are condemning the protest on Friday are some of the same people who cannot, or refuse to, say that Black lives matter. They refuse to say the names of those killed by police brutality, or to understand that this moment is much bigger than police brutality. This moment connects to historical harm. We have heard even yesterday from youth, with tears in their eyes, that their lives don’t matter. The protest at the mayor’s house should not diminish the need and call for justice for Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. Please join me in solidarity at the next protest to continue our collective fight to demand justice for these individuals and many others whose lives were taken too soon.
I invite anyone who is concerned about yesterday’s community led protest to please feel free to contact me directly by email firstname.lastname@example.org or to call me 909-784-5727 on my cell if you would like to discuss this matter further. And lastly, thank you to the overwhelming residents in Pomona District 6 who have sent messages and calls about their support for my campaign. As a community we will secure this victory together!