My political engagement started in 10th grade global history class when I began to learn about leftist philosophies. I agreed with the left’s emphasis on giving people control over their own lives as well as the desire for society to meet the needs of everyone rather than just an elite few. I got my first understanding of electoral work when I helped my uncle campaign for Monroe County Clerk in New York during my senior year of high school. Shortly after arriving at the University at Buffalo (UB) to study physics and applied math, I joined the UB chapter of the United Socialist Movement of the Americas (USMA) and eventually became treasurer of the chapter.
In 2013, two months after I arrived in Davis to start my physics Ph.D., the UC academic student-workers union (UAW 2865) went on strike in solidarity with UC service and patient care workers. I joined and helped organize with the union because I wanted to fight for worker’s rights and protections. I kept going to UAW 2865 meetings, protests, and events, and in my second year I became an officer in the union.
The more I got involved in the Davis activist community, the more I realized that the physics research I was doing did not connect to the world I wanted to see. During the 2013 – 2014 contract bargaining campaign for UAW 2865, one of our demands was smaller class sizes and I learned how impactful this is on student learning. When it came time to choose my dissertation topic, I realized that as much as I love quantum gravity, advancing physics education was how I wanted to help the world academically. My dissertation is focused on class size because I believe that large classes are harmful to student learning.
Throughout my time in Davis, my political organizing and activism has continuously expanded. I worked with UC student and worker groups, like Students and Workers Ending Racial Violence or SWERV and the UC Davis chapter of United Students Against Sweatshops, to help support UC service and patient care workers in their fight for fair work contracts. I also worked with the Young Democratic Socialists of America at UC Davis to get better study spaces and wifi on the UC Davis campus.
In 2015, I began to also work with Davis community groups. In conjunction with Indigenous community members and other activists, I helped convince Davis to move their banking services from Wells Fargo to River City Bank in opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline. I joined Davis (now Yolo) People Power and helped push the city to create the Davis Police Accountability Commission. More recently, I’ve also started working with the Yolo Democratic Socialists of America in their campaign with SEIU 2015 to pressure the Yolo County Board of Supervisors to provide In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) workers with a living wage and healthcare benefits. Since 2016, I’ve participated in city council meetings on a regular basis, focusing my comments on housing projects and policing. As a Davis City Council candidate, I bring all that I have learned from organizing and working with marginalized communities. On City Council, I will continue to listen and work to create a more just Davis.
When I’m not protesting or attending meetings, I enjoy playing board games with friends.