a10 – Jump out of the electoral cis-tem

By Zoe Lopez-Meraz

Someone accused me of trying to sell snake oil when I announced I was entering the City Council race. For anyone new to that term, it’s saying that I’m tricking the people by trying to sell politics as any kind of solution to our problems.

They’re not wrong. The world burns around us because of extractive capitalism as we pillage the earth for all her resources in exchange for fast fashion, depleted food systems, endless war, and fleeting comforts.

There have been many candidate forums and interviews, and really I have been asked basically three questions at this point:

  1. What is my stance on the new stadium proposal?
  2. What will I do about homelessness and housing?
  3. Do I agree with defunding OPD?

These are important issues to talk about, but it’s pretty clear where any even slightly left-leaning candidate sits in those discussions, and it’s low-hanging fruit.

I want to talk about greed. I want to yell about resource hoarding. We are in over our heads because of unfettered capitalism. We treat the basic need of shelter as a business. We foam at the mouth over professional sports revenue. And by we, I mean the political system. I mean the hands exchanging shakes behind closed doors. I mean the people allowing countless lives to be lost as they wait for perfect policy and perfect candidates that will never happen.

I want to talk about rematriating this whole country. The divine feminine is a nurturing energy that has the stamina to get torn to shreds and keep showing up with grace. 2020 has been screaming for more yin, for more rest, to slow down and examine where we are and how we got here. But we keep barreling ahead, ignoring that our clothes are on fire and we’re running on shards of glass right over a cliff with no bottom. We need feminine wisdom to lead with a resilient, forward-thinking heart. We need to end the culture of dominance and applaud softness and vulnerability. It is so much more powerful to be vulnerable than to be “tough”.

I want to talk about reparations. This country was built with the blood and sweat of colored bodies. And it’s even commodified blackness at that. Blackness has won our wars, got us to the moon, raised our children, and the repayment is incarceration, predatory lending, and sterilization. As if that slow, strategic death wasn’t enough, now they’re just being murdered in broad daylight: sleeping in bed, birdwatching, jogging. And our country is still telling us to ask nicely for equality.

I want to talk about gender identity and neurodiversity and ableism. About collectivity and true sustainability.

As long as political discussions stay centered on the spending of resources and not on the effects of ego, extraction, and toxic masculinity, the world will continue to burn around us, filling our lungs with ash.