Meet Brooklyn Democrat George Martinez And His Open-Source, Crowd-Sourced DIY Campaign
If you follow DWT with any regularity, you've come to know a little about Occupy Wall Street activist George Martinez from two videos we've looked at, one from Monday-- of him campaigning with the help of actor Penn Badgley-- and one from a month ago when we first urged him to run for Congress. Well New York State redistricting is done, George's home is in the 7th district-- and he's running in the Democratic primary for a seat currently held by a longtime goes-along-to-get-along non-leader, Nydia Velazquez. I asked George to write up a brief introduction of himself and explain why he decided to run. If you like what you here, please join me in supporting him here on our ActBlue page.
Bum Rush The Vote
My name is George Martinez
And I am running for Congress in New York's new 7th Congressional District.
I am the child of a single mother.
I have been stopped and frisked many times, in New York City and elsewhere.
I have outstanding student loan debt and have been in default.
I do not have health care insurance.
I have experienced housing displacement.
I am a husband and father.
I am the 99%.
I was born, raised and educated right here in the 7th Congressional District. I know I’m the best choice to represent our community in Congress because my story is your story. I understand the needs and concerns of our community and like you, I care about the future of our nation and securing a better future for our families.
I’m a proud product of the New York public school system and was the first of my family to enter higher education, graduating magna cum laude from Brooklyn College before earning a doctoral fellowship at the CUNY Graduate Center.
While in school, I was a prominent member of the NYC underground hip-hop scene and was recognized by Source Magazine as an Unsigned Hype. I co-founded the Blackout Arts Collective, a grassroots coalition of artists, activists and educators empowering communities of color through the arts. As a student leader at CUNY, I fought against Giuliani’s plans to implement workfare and restrict access to public higher education.
After college I became an adjunct professor at Hunter College and ran political literacy and organized campaigns in the local community.
I ran for City Council in 2001 and served as District Leader for the 51st Assembly District in 2002. There I led the movement for reform in the county Democratic organization and continued to advocate for grassroots political empowerment in our neighborhoods.
I continued my public service as an assistant director in the NYS Attorney General’s office, advocating for Latino issues. I am currently a cultural envoy for the State Department and have undertaken cultural diplomacy missions throughout Latin America and Asia. I helped found both the Hip Hop Association and Global Block non-profits, and am a civil society partner of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and award-winning leader in promoting small business and social entrepreneurship. I am currently an adjunct professor at PACE University and an Occupy Wall St activist.
Throughout my life I faced many challenges and continue to overcome many obstacles. Uncompromised and deeply rooted in my community, I have the Life Experience, a Progressive Vision, & Effective Leadership to represent you in Congress.
Although we can win this election, how we do it is critical. We aim to teach others the process so that through our direct action, a new crop of progressives can recapture the House and sweep our nation forward and away from corporate control.
Our goal is to create an open-source, crowd-sourced DIY campaign. All of the resources we need to accomplish this goal are available to us due to the fantastic technology that we now have access to. We started this campaign with no money, and are using our resources in a very efficient and frugal manner.
Our resources come directly from our people. We look toward whomever is involved. We are seeking those who like us want to see a game change in politics. Every platform we need online is available for free. This is the core of the Bum Rush philosophy. We seek to demonstrate a model that you don’t need money to win a race. Certainly, we are accepting donations, but donations don’t allow us to move forward, they simply accelerate the process. Everything we need to run this campaign exists within our community! We are hoping that what is true for us, is true for other citizens out there who look at their representation and find something lacking.
We want to inspire you to work toward making real change by participating in electoral politics. Whether you get involved in my campaign, or you get involved in a campaign where you live, all that matters is that you get involved. Don’t think about all of the reasons you can’t do it, think of all the reasons you should. The resources are available in your community to take back our government from the crooked and the ineffectual. It is time to take the power back from the people who think that political office is theirs to trade back and forth, and who sell their legislation to the highest bidder.
This is Bum Rush The Vote and we are running up to the halls of power, and we cannot be ignored.