When you crack open your ballots to either vote-by-mail, to drop them off at a ballot box, or whether you’ll be in-person in an enclosed space, you will be voting on local elections that will arguably have more of an effect on your daily life than any other issue on the ballot.
The skeptic’s view of this process thinks whomever wins a local election comes down to name recognition and incumbency. And that may be true and continue to be true for a long time to come.
But this year may be different. The chaotic societal tone of our nation is demanding that folks take a closer look at the people on the ballot running in local elections.
The advent of social media is giving us the opportunity of more insight into who those people are and what they stand for.
What we know for sure is that American politics has never been as disjointed and separated. That comes from the top. It comes from the White House, it comes from the Senate and the House.
It’s “choose a side” time, people.
But what has bled down into our local elections is the same type of nonpartisan political side-taking that exists in Washington DC.
And that’s the scary thing.
There are candidates running for local city councils, positions that carry no party affiliation, meaning you won’t see “Democrat” or “Republican” or “QAnon” under their name on the ballot, that are basing their entire campaign on their party affiliation.
Worse, some are actually basing their campaign platform on the ideologies of one, particular, infectious leader, and the conspiracy theory ramblings spouted by anyone with a Wifi connection.
Here’s the breaking point for me.
Scrolling through Facebook, I came across an event planned for Temecula titled “Slave No More California.”
I was confused, obviously, because it seemed like a collection of words jumbled together without regard for grammar or punctuation.
And then there was the use of the word “slave.” I will get to that.
The event, scheduled for last Sunday in front of Temecula City Hall was organized by Sonia Perez, a candidate for Temecula City Council in District 4, and owner of the Facebook page by the same name.
Perez made a little bit of a splash on social media for posting that she was removed from the Target parking lot where she had set up shop to campaign. In her post about the removal, she stated that she “reminded Target that I called the sheriff to protect the store from getting looted and burned down from the domestic terrorist at the end of May.”
Perez may have called the Sheriff’s office to, in my opinion, fraudulently report a make-believe threat of nonexistent looting at the Temecula Target.
Why? Because there was no such threat. Never was. I was there.
The “Slave No More California” event was to feature two anti-human trafficking advocates, a marine, two business owners and Brooklynn McClure, a candidate for Temecula Valley Unified School Board in District 5 and founder of Temecula Freedom Forum.
According to the flyer, “Our livelihoods, our families, our churches, and our safety are under attack.”
Let’s address of the use of the word “slave,” which I can only assume to be in relation to the restrictions put on residents and businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
They’re kidding, right? This is a joke, surely.
They can’t actually be comparing actions taken for the sake of public safety to slavery — that thing were people are forced, presumably for life, into bondage, indentured servitude, sex trafficking, forced labor, child trafficking and forced marriage, right?
These are grown adults drawing that comparison? This is a person running for a leadership position in our city?
And what it really boils down to for me is that the privileged have lived such a coddled, care-free existence up to the point and they actually can’t determine the difference between inconvenience and oppression.
The majority of Americans (fortunately?) have experienced so little adversity in their lives that when they are asked to wear a mask into a store in consideration of others, they consider themselves a “slave.”
The use of this word isn’t a one-off, either.
At last Tuesday’s Riverside County Board of Supervisors meeting, outside, Perez brought her public address system and spoke out on the front steps to anyone who would listen.
“We are slaves in so many ways, you don’t even know,” she told the crowd.
My issue is that this person, and several just like her, are bringing this willingly misinformed, conspiracy-laced point of view to local city councils.
You won’t know it on Nov. 3 by looking at names on a ballot, so I implore you to dig deeper and investigate for yourselves.
Our communities deserve level-headed, intelligent human beings that care about the communities they serve more than the false deities they so foolishly worship.
Do the work or pay the price.