For most of my life I have shut politics out of my life and mind. Politics and politicians felt so far from my lived reality, and I thought I had no control anyway–so why bother? Maybe it’s aging, maybe it’s despair, maybe it’s hope, but for the first time in my 14 years in Seattle I am genuinely excited about a local person running for office: Nikkita Oliver.
On the Samarya Center yoga teacher training we focused a lot on the practice of loving ourselves and others, and this has become a beautiful personal practice that I have returned to over and over. For my 38th birthday I had a house party in support of Nikkita’s campaign, and I initiated the evening with 38 things I love about Nikkita. Here is the list, and yes, this is a political endorsement. My hope is that you exercise your right to vote, no matter who you vote for.
1. Nikkita is fierce.
2. She truly is standing for EVERYONE to thrive.
3. She encourages young people to get involved in politics.
4. She is successful at getting young people excited and involved in politics.
5. She is brilliant.
6. She will be the first woman mayor in Seattle in 91 years.
7. She will be the first queer, woman of color mayor in Seattle.
8. She doesn’t take any corporate money.
9. Nikkita did not decide to become a politician, the community asked and encouraged her to run. The community believes in her.
10. She is an incredible poet.
11. She stands for communities that experience marginalization.
12. She fights for communities of color.
13. She fights for women.
14. She fights for the LGBTQ community.
15. She fights for the cash poor.
16. She fights for the indigenous communities.
17. She fights for the differently abled community.
18. She fights for the communities experiencing houselessness.
19. I see her at every protest I go to.
20. She is a lawyer, community organizer, teaching artist, and educator.
21. Her platform is founded on community, not her as an individual.
22. She inspires me to do better.
23. She is young, which I believe brings creativity, an ability to see things from a different perspective, and much needed energy to Seattle politics.
24. She is not about being progressive, she is about being transformative.
25. She believes in transformation for the children in the school to prison pipeline.
26. She believes in police accountability.
27. She believes in transformation of our criminal justice system.
28. She believes in living wages for all.
29. She believes in transformation for those living without shelter.
30. She disrupts injustice.
31. She is determined.
32. She is courageous.
33. She listens to communities rather than assuming what they need.
34. She is a fighter (and also a powerful boxer).
35. She fights from a place a deep love and desire for justice and equity.
36. She is passionate.
37. She is grounded and in service to the community.
38. She is a powerful leader.
Don’t forget your primary ballots are due August 1. Make sure your vote is counted.
“If we want something better and different, we might actually have to do something better and different. We cannot achieve just outcomes by continuing to use the metrics of an unjust system. If we continue to use unjust metrics as our determination of success and/or worthiness knowing that such metrics perpetuate unjust outcomes, one might begin to assume all this injustice is intentional and quite possibly malicious. I would like to think we have the propensity to do better and be better. I know we have the capacity. So, let’s do it.” -Nikkita Oliver