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To the editor:
I would like to issue a few corrections regarding Mike Rotkin’s recent op-ed on the November 2022 candidates for Santa Cruz City Council and mayor.
1. Renee Golder had absolutely no political experience when she made her initial run for council on the heels of the recall campaign, which unjustly ousted a progressive Black community organizer.
2. Conversely, those who know Joy Shendledecker and Hector Marin know that they each have an enormous breadth of experience organizing for progressive change. It might not be the kind of self-important hobnobbing that Mr. Rotkin seems to value so highly, but their experience is far more important than that.
Their experience is in the trenches with the working class, fighting for the kind of important social changes that these “oh so respectable” politicians of the past are standing the way of.
The work of community engagement, policy advocacy, direct action, mutual aid, supporting labor at a picket line, protecting tenants, collecting signatures and canvassing for electoral campaigns, and yes, even protests outside of the homes of electeds — are all examples of experience that the working class actually values. They value this experience because it’s what’s required of us in order to improve our lives and make a better world.