Teresa Gallegos launches progressive candidacy for state senate: "Enough is enough." | Arkansas Blog

Teresa Gallegos launches progressive candidacy for state senate: "Enough is enough."

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Gallegos: "I’ve watched as state senators and representatives vote for cuts to vital social programs in our counties. ... Enough is enough."
  • Gallegos: "I’ve watched as state senators and representatives vote for cuts to vital social programs in our counties. ... Enough is enough."

I mentioned this morning that each of the special elections for a vacant state senate seat will draw a Democratic candidate. Here's a little more from Teresa Gallegos, the Russellville community activist who filed to run for Senate. From the press release announcing her candidacy:
I’ve watched as state senators and representatives vote for cuts to vital social programs in our counties; I’ve watched as state legislators tried to cut funding to universities over diversity and safe sex education programs; I’ve watched as elected representatives constantly put their party over the people of Arkansas. I finally decided I’m done watching — enough is enough. That is why I am running for Arkansas State Senate District 16 to listen to all constituents, care about their concerns, identify what’s right and what’s wrong, and be an advocate for our community and environment.
Gallegos, the vice chair of the Democratic Party of Pope County, said her campaign will focus on education, health care, the environment, social justice, and the economy. During the 2016 presidential campaign, she was a volunteer and elected delegate for Sen. Bernie Sanders, who inspired her to seek office.

Gallegos says she was motivated to run after she asked her U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, her Congressman, about Americans struggling with student loan debt during a townhall; according to Gallegos, he shamed for her own decision to take out student loans to attend college:
All I wanted to know was if Congressman Womack thought it is right or wrong for corporations to profit off student loan interest, and he shamed me for using student loans to fund my education. It was shocking and eye-opening, and it made me realize we must demand more decent Arkansans in our elected offices.
More from the press release:
Our political system is clearly broken. Too many representatives serve to protect special interests — not people and not our environment. I am asking for a chance to serve the people of District 16, and show them what true community leadership looks like.
Gallegos will face an uphill battle in District 16 (parts of Newton, Pope, Boone, Carroll, and Van Buren counties), where the median voter is, shall we say, a bit to the right of readers of this blog. Still, by my lights, Gallegos sounds like a more exciting candidate than some of the milquetoast men the Dems turn up.

I asked Gallegos whether she was expecting an endorsement from Our Revolution, the group affiliated with Sanders backers that has helped offer support for progressive candidates in state and local races. She said another Sanders volunteer nominated her for an Our Revolution endorsement; she is now in the process of completing a questionnaire from the group.

After the jump, here's more from Gallegos from her Crowdpac site (a campaign website is in the works):

Recently in Russellville, Arkansas, my neighbor’s food bank pick-up reminder post card was delivered to my mailbox by accident. My neighbors are not able to provide enough food to feed their families. This is unacceptable.

I know people who make too little to support themselves and their families, but make too much to qualify for Medicaid. Families must literally choose between life and death without enough resources to survive. This is unacceptable.

This past year, state legislators attempted to cut funding for Arkansas Tech University’s department of diversity and inclusion over a safe sex education event for adults and other events hosted by the department’s LGBTQ organization and other underrepresented populations. This is unacceptable.

This past April, I asked my Congressional Representative if he believes it is right or wrong for the federal government and corporations to profit off our education with student loan interest, and if he would propose or support new legislation to provide relief for us, and to prevent student loan debt for future generations of Arkansans and all Americans. He shamed me for using student loans to fund my education. This is unacceptable.

As human beings on Earth, as Americans, as Arkansans, as residents of Arkansas State Senate District 16, we all do better when WE ALL DO BETTER.

Our political system is broken. Too many of our representatives serve to protect special interests, not people and our environment.

Enough is enough. I plan to run for Arkansas State Senate District 16 to listen to ALL constituents, care about their concerns, identify what’s right and what’s wrong, and be an advocate for our community and environment.

Your support to start our campaign is greatly appreciated! I am excited to work together with you for the progress we deserve.




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