By Flaviano Graciano
With a full house, on the eve of the sixth DACA anniversary, the New Mexico Dream Team held a community gathering to provide a DACA-update as well as lay out the plan for our organization’s summer campaigns.
Organizing leaders covered a variety of topics that included the importance of voting, the importance of the governor’s race, and the civic engagement campaign, Build The Dream.
The topic and discussion of the importance of voting covered ways to influence the voting polls as an undocumented person living in this country, and of course the news worthy results of early voting in Albuquerque.
A few politicians could be seen in the room, reminding participants 2018 it’s an election year.
State Representative Patricia Roybal Caballero was present. She, alongside NMDT, passed a house memorial in the state legislation this past session to protect the rights of our immigrant and refugees communities in N.M..
A couple of candidates for New Mexico’s First Congressional District were also present. Democratic primary winner Debra Haaland and her Libertarian opposing candidate, Lloyd Princeton, could both be seen partaking in the small group discussion circles, discussing with other attendees the current political arena in our state.
Abel Solis, one of the youngest members in attendance, said that his reasoning for attending the gathering is to learn more about how these kind of community gatherings are run and organized.
Although he is a citizen of this country, his parents and most of his family are not, and therefore says he feels the need to fight for the protection of their rights and well being.
“I want to fight for the rights of my cousins, uncles, and of course my parents. I want to let them know that my privilege doesn’t mean I am unaffected or ignorant to the obstacles and discrimination they face”, Solis said..
Solis also stated he hopes to one day become an organizer to ensure that his family doesn’t go through the living hell that is being separated by the Department of Homeland Security.
“The person that motivates me the most to do this is my little brother, he is so young! I need to make sure that he has my mom and dad by his side, always.”
One of the lead organizers for the event was Felipe Rodriguez, a recent UNM graduate who came to the United States fleeing from the increasing violence in his native state of Guerrero, Mexico.
“Our main focus this summer is the civic engagement with our community. We are in a crucial election year due to the fact that we will be electing a Governor this year”, Rodriguez stated.
Rodriguez said it is crucial that the organization engage the undocumented community in the 2018 elections. He said candidates running for important political positions in the state as well as national representatives tend to overlook the undocumented and refugee communities simply due to the fact that they can’t vote.
“Since the undocumented community can’t vote, we have to organize in a different way to make sure that our voices are heard and that is what our Build A Dream Campaign is all about, engaging those who don’t have a voice to help them find it, because we all have a voice, and we all deserve to be part of building the New Mexico we ALL dream of”, Rodriguez stated.
With more than 60 people in attendance, all from different backgrounds and stories, the New Mexico Dream Team’s summer community gathering accomplished what it set out to do, inform, prepare, and organize all those who wish to make a difference in our beautiful state by helping build the New Mexico we all dream.