Interview
"While people live in fear of eviction, there are Democrats financed by the real estate industry."
New York Lieutenant Governor Ana María Archila spoke with LPO in exclusive. Born in Colombia, she faces the Democratic establishment in an election where three Latinos are competing against each other for the first time.

 One of the most powerful Latino voices in the United States is Ana María Archila, a Colombian woman who immigrated to the States at the age of 17. Since then, she has worked as a leader in the defense of civil rights, access to health, equal education and immigrant rights in New York. In November, she could become the state's first Latina lieutenant governor, fighting the Democratic party establishment.

What do you think will happen in November if you become Lieutenant Governor?

The state of New York is one of the richest in the country, but also one of the most unequal due to decades of public policies with priorities and interests that favor certain sectors such as real estate industry or Wall Street. That makes the priorities of most people to become relegated. I have spent 20 years fighting within the immigrant movement, creating organizations that allow immigrant communities to be empowered, taken seriously and respected in our democracy. [I want to] Run as Lieutenant Governor to demand that New York State prioritize issues that are essential to most people, such as access to affordable housing, access to child care, and care infrastructure for the elderly and frail people. An infrastructure we must build to provide a more dignified life. This agenda is of great interest to Latino communities that have suffered greatly from the pandemic.

The Latino weight (or importance) can be perceived in that the three candidates for Lieutenant Governor in the upcoming New York State elections are Latinos.

Well, Antonio Delgado, the new Lieutenant Governor, defines himself as Latino even though he has not lived a life rooted in Latino communities. But this is an important historical moment to recognize and appreciate. For the first time, there are three candidates competing for a statewide position based on the identity and perspective of Latino communities. It also shows the great frustration in Latino communities about the lack of representation and the result of that lack of representation in our lives.

New York is very Latin and much of its identity is rooted in diversity. It is one of the states with the largest population of immigrants, the vast majority from Latin America, and although it is nothing new, the representation of Latino communities in New York has always lagged behind the economic and cultural contributions of Latin American communities.

I have spent 20 years fighting within the immigrant movement, creating organizations that allow immigrant communities to be empowered, taken seriously and respected in our democracy.

Nowadays many activists enter politics, and that would be your case.

Nowadays there are very active social movements that are reacting to decades of political manipulation from big corporations and the financial industry. When I go around New York, what I hear most is the pressure families and individuals are under due to low-paying and increasingly precarious jobs and rising housing costs. People in New York live worried about losing their homes, whether as renters or homeowners.

Antonio Delgado llega a la vice gobernación y se convierte en el hispano con el mayor cargo en la historia de Nueva York

And even more now that we have prices above the pre-pandemic ones.

We are facing a giant eviction crisis. There are more than 200 thousand people facing an imminent eviction situation and they have few protection. In fact, we are trying to pass a bill at a estate level so that renters cannot be evicted without a legitimate reason. You could think that would be codified in the law but it is not because the real estate industry has a lot of control within the state democracy. And when it comes to stabilizing people in their homes, they get millions of dollars to buy the loyalty of the governor or assembly members. It is in this context that I have decided to launch my campaign so that in New York, a very rich state, people can live with dignity without feeling constantly threatened. If we elect officials focused on reality and that pressures that people express, we would have a very different state.

Hochul elige entre dos candidatas latinas para reemplazar a su vice gobernador salpicado por un escándalo 

The battle in New York is not between Democrats and Republicans. What is going on in the Democrat's infighting?

What happens is that the domineering industries in New York dominate not only the economy but also democracy through their donations to the campaigns of elected officials, and also a lobby advocacy infrastructure with a permanent presence in Albany. There are Democrats whose campaigns are financed by the real estate industries and defend the interests of this industry at the expense of ordinary people who live in fear of being evicted.

There are more than 200 thousand people facing an imminent eviction situation and they have few protection. And when it comes to stabilizing people in their homes, they get millions of dollars to buy the loyalty of the governor or assembly members.

You became famous when you rebuked Republican senator Jeff Flake in an elevator at the time Supreme Court magistrate Brett Kavanaugh was being elected, and right now we can see the result: conservative judges who create setbacks on issues that incite people, such as abortion.

The reason that I helped to prevent Brett Kavanaugh's election, and also the reason why I shared my own experience publicly for the first time as a sexual assault survivor, it was all precisely to avoid the moment we are going through. Because we knew that with Kavanaugh in Court we were going to lose the right to abortion, to have control on our bodies. One of the things that worries me the most at night is that I know it is not the only thing we are going to lose. After the decision on abortion, we are going to witness decisions on same-sex families, access to health for transgender people, and much more. We are in the hands of a small minority that has taken over the courts and through that takeover everything women, workers, gays and color communities have gained in decades is going to disappear. It is even more important in this scenario that blue and progressive states are led with more clarity and courage to protect people's lives.

Temas de la nota:
Post a comment
To submit your comment, you must confirm that you have read and accepted the terms regulation and LPO conditions
Comments
The comments published are the sole responsibility of their authors and the consequences derived from them may be subject to the corresponding legal sanctions. Any user who includes any comment in violation of the terms and conditions regulation in their messages will be eliminated and disabled to comment again.