The best way to describe me sociopolitically is as a feminist - this doesn't mean that I'm only interested in women's issues. I am interested in all forms of civil rights issues, human rights issues, environmental issues, LGBT issues, immigrants' rights issues, health issues, and more. I was a serious activist as an undergraduate and decided I liked it so much I wanted to get paid for it, so I did a dual degree Masters program in Social Work Policy and Administration and Public Administration and Policy, in which I spent a great deal of time observing Florida's legislative processes and then working for non-profit organizations including an HIV/AIDS organization, two domestic violence organizations, and a Chinese women's organization. I'm currently returning back to my original love, though, anthropology. I enjoy learning about different cultures and different people, and I love learning new languages too, so I'm doing my PhD in Social Anthropology in the UK at the moment, studying the connections between personal and local identities and local heritage tourism. In my spare time, I try to convince people - mostly my relatives - that the best ways to reduce abortion rates are increased access to birth control and comprehensive, medically accurate sex education, and that evolutionary theory is a much more reasonable, provable, and rational explanation for the existence of the modern human species than creationism or so-called "intelligent design", and it also happens to be the basis of just about everything else we know about biology, genetics, and medicine today.
When I marched in Tallahassee in protest of then-Governor Bush's One Florida anti-affirmative action policy, I ended up marching just behind and beside some of the original Tuskegee Airmen most of the way to the state Capitol building.
People living in poverty who vote Republican for religious reasons and then wonder why they aren't eligible for public benefits to help pay for their kids' daycare or health care expenses, and why their neighborhoods are too dangerous for kids to go outside and play in, need to learn that Republican officials are the ones voting AGAINST those very things that will help the most toward eliminating poverty and making our neighborhoods safe again. A little bit of common sense and reason goes a long way.
What Gives Me Hope
The fact that Bush can't be re-elected again.
If I were Mayor, I'd make the world a better place by
Expand health care and access to public benefits for people living in poverty.
What/who changed my life and why
I grew up in poverty, surrounded by violence, intolerance, and bigotry. Ever since then, I've worked against all of those things in both my personal and professional lives.