By Barbara Jordan, President-elect, Sandoval County Federation of Democratic Women, as told to June Anglin, Chair, Precinct 146, DPSC
Barbara Jordan lives in Rio Rancho, where she made a run for the mayor’s seat in 2022. As the founder of People Requiring Equality within Systemic Racism (PRESS) New Mexico, she works to undo systemic racism by facilitating the success of cultural change leaders. Barbara is a combat veteran with 20 years of loyal service in the United States Air Force. She served in Afghanistan, Kuwait, and Cyprus. Barbara is a native of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and the loving mother of her son Devin.
On a delightful day in Corrales, we met the indomitable Barbara Jordan for an interview. We were seeking philosophy and insight related to our recent election, and Barbara generously provided both.
What is the message of the 2022 midterm election?
We are choosing each other: our neighbors, friends, and family. We are opening our eyes to the cult- like behavior and words that have been coming at us from Republican candidates and office holders, and from Republican-owned news sources. And in response, we are relying on each other, we are talking to each other, and we are finding reliable sources for news.
This is what motivates me to keep fighting. We are choosing our values and we are choosing humanity.
Do you have advice for our outstanding local candidates who lost in the last election?
I want them to know that I see them. As you know, I lost an election this year. It is hard. You feel like you let down your supporters and your community. Take time to grieve. Then get back out there! A loss is a beginning, not an ending.
You want to be a voice for us, the people who believe in the true America. It is our America and our flag. The enemy is white supremacist ideology. The U.S. is us. Show up for all of us.
When it comes to living together in diversity, New Mexico is an example state for the rest of the United States. Thanks to the last election, soon we will be an example state for early childhood education as well.
Do you have advice for the Democrats?
The perseverance and determination of the Democratic Party of Sandoval County is unmatched. Alexandria Piland is the unsung hero of the last election. We all need to be giving her flowers. Give them now; don’t wait.
I am grateful for the work of the Democratic Party of New Mexico.
And I would entreat the party to increase its support for county and local candidates. Same advice for the Democratic National Committee: the local elections are important, and they bring Democrats to the polls. Elections need to be worked from the top down, and they need to be worked from the bottom up.
How should Democrats focus their energies for 2023-2024?
My first thought is Gen Z. We need to let them see our values.
We need to help create the world they want. We need to help with voter registration and getting them to the polls. We need to create a safe space where young people can speak up and be themselves.
My second thought is that after a day or two for rest, we get back into the fight. The 2022 election was a battle. We are in a war. We cannot allow white supremacy and the “good old boys” to win.
Barbara Jordan reminds us by example: The United States flag waves for all of us.