In 2023, we committed ourselves to reaching our gente through Sin, Contra, and Desde el Estado strategies. Our purpose remains in continuing to move the needle towards el Buenvivir in our communities – where we can self-determine and shape our experiences through people power. Take the trip down memory lane with us, as we recount some high points in our efforts to make a difference.
Sin el Estado
The sin el estado strategy is about our ability to create alternatives to what the state and the market provide, and if/when it works, we get the state to fund our project over their systems (that already don’t work for the benefit of most of us). To work sin el estado is to create systems without the state, outside of state control and market logic.
Sazonblea 2023 »
Sazonblea, our membership asamblea con sazón, is that political home convenes once every two years. This year, we gathered our members together for the first time since the pandemic to learn, plan, struggle, and celebrate together. We held the event in Tucson, a site of so much cultural significance, political lineage and legacy and a place that manifests efforts across the sin, contra, desde spectrum. Sazonblea 2023 focused on the sacred idea that we come together to both give and receive from each other and this place. Over 150 members came together as healers, strategists, creators, artists, organizational trailblazers, campaigners, and leaders.
Transit For All Campaign »
In April, Mijente joined the Transit for All Coalition and a grassroots group FUGA (Families United Gaining Accessibility) to extend zero-fare public transportation in Tucson, Arizona. Mijente member and Tucson City Councilperson Lane Santa Cruz first secured the policy in 2020, and we were honored to join the 2023 efforts, led primarily by local community members this time. The campaign led to a victory for the people —an open-ended extension to the Fare Free Transit policy! This win is a win for basic human dignity and building a future where everyone has access to safe, reliable, and accessible transportation options.
La Vida Local »
Our communities have long been creating alternatives to oppressive structures. By providing help and support to one another when government systems leave us high and dry, our people make a way when there is none. In 2023, we provided 7 grants to grassroots organizations and collectives doing Sin el Estado work in the U.S. and in Puerto Rico through our La Vida Local program. These are groups building community autonomy for our gente and reimagining the ways we connect in relationship to our own selves, each other, and the world around us.
Get in Formation 2023 »
This year, we held our first intensive leadership and professional development program: Get in Formation 2023! The 4-day, 4-track, in-person program hosted over 175 participants and facilitators from across the country, Puerto Rico, and Latin America. Participants were immersed in dynamic learning workshops, gaining vital leadership, organizing, and professional development skills. With much pride and care, we organized spaces for Latinx change-makers to level up and learn new approaches to build people power and drive transformative change in their communities.
Contra el Estado
When we use the Contra El Estado strategy, we create openings within the current system to challenge power. We expose the systems of oppression that are buried deep into the fabrics of our society and demand “No more”. We put our bodies, time, energy on the frontlines to speak up against injustices.
Justice for Eddie Irizarry »
On August 31st, Philly’s Latinx community took to the streets to demand justice for Eddie “Junito” Irizarry, a 27 year old Puerto Rican who was killed by the police while sitting in his car on August 14th. The community and his family asked for the Philadelphia Police Department to publicly release body camera footage of his murder and to officially process officer Mark Dial to the fullest extent of the law. There were also calls for greater police accountability, transparency, and an end to police killings — because true justice for the Irizarry family would be for Eddie to be alive and well. This protest action and rally was organized by Mijente, Philly Boricuas, Taller PR, Up Against the Law Collective, and the Philly Party for Socialism and Liberation.
Ceasefire Now: Children’s March to Senator Chuck Schumer’s House »
On November 12, Mijente staff, members, and partners organized a Children’s Ceasefire Now protest march and rally in Brooklyn, New York. They started at the Brooklyn Museum and marched to Senator Chuck Schumer’s house, demanding that he join the call for a ceasefire to the genocide of Palestinians by Israel. We believe that the painful reality that children in Palestine are waking up to the sound of bombs rather than birds needs to end. Hundreds of children and their families joined the rally, calling for an end to the genocide which has resulted in the death of close to 7,000 children in 2 months.
Los Traicioneros vs. Chicago Welcoming City Ordinance »
In Chicago, far-right city council members are trying to undo decades of policies that would threaten the rights and protections of our immigrant communities by attempting to repeal the Welcoming City Ordinance and roll back support for migrants. Five Latinx Alderpersons, who we have labeled Los Traicioneros (the traitors), have embraced divisive politics and are allowing anti-immigrant policies reminiscent of the Trump era to gain traction. Mijente is fighting back, challenging these representatives and holding them accountable to the needs of the community.
Desde el Estado
When we employ a Desde el Estado approach to our efforts, Mijente, Mijente PAC, and Mijente Support Committee (MSC) take the fight to our democracy and demand equity, fair representation, y mucho más. It’s about making interventions through the systems of government already in place, and working to influence the policies and people in power.
2023 Endorsements »
This year we deeply developed our electoral work in local municipalities and reinforced our support for local, progressive Latinx leaders that embody our pro-pueblo values and grassroots organizing frameworks. We provided support to candidates and elected officials dedicated to increasing their commitments to the needs of the people. We made a total of 15 endorsements across 6 states, with 8 of our endorsed candidates securing their elections/reelections.
Philly Será Bonito »
Philly Será Bonito was our independent expenditure campaign in support of Erika Almirón for Philadelphia City Council. We engaged in this crucial work because even though Latinxs represent 17% of the city, we’re only 3% of the electorate. Though she did not win the election, Erika Almirón continues to fight for her community in Philly and upholds Mijente values in everything she’s a part of. She has dedicated more than 20 years of service as a movement leader in Philly, building power in poor and working class communities and we are proud of our efforts to support her during the campaign.
International Politics: Guatemala Elections »
On August 20th, Bernardo Arévalo of the progressive Movimiento Semilla political party in Guatemala became President. Ahead of the historic win (and the precedeing chaotic electoral season) we interviewed independent journalist Mariajose España and Ronalth Ochaeta Aguilar, a prominent figure within the Semilla party. From España, we learned more about the controversies and corruption plaguing the elections process. From Ochaeta Aguilar, we learned about the history of the Semilla party, their platform, and the needs of our compas in Guatemala.
That’s just a small snapshot of the work we did this past year, and we’ll share more on our efforts in upcoming emails this month. The work that we do – and the wins that we secure – couldn’t be done without you.
Thank you for everything you do for our gente and our movement. As we continue building Latinx political power sin, contra, and desde el estado, we appreciate your support. Please consider making a contribution today instead to support our grassroots field and digital organizing work.