Miami native Andrea Cristina Mercado sent this email out to NewFM’s online membership community minutes after being officially named by the the organization’s Board of Director as its new Executive Director.
I am thrilled to have been recently named as the new Executive Director of New Florida Majority. For me, it’s a unique chance to fight for racial justice and equality, by continuing to build and harness community-centered power in the place that I grew up in and where I am raising my daughters.
It’s also an opportunity that brings my own personal journey full circle. Fifteen years ago, I started organizing at the Miami Workers Center, knocking on doors in Liberty City. It was hard work, with much I had to learn and unlearn, and I can still vividly remember some of the conversations I had in this historic African American community, as a young Latina with a thirst for justice. I’ve been organizing at the intersection of race, class and gender ever since. While organizing and campaign work took me to California and around the country I always dreamed of coming back to work in Florida, the state I call home.
I have watched NewFM develop into a phenomenal organization that is deeply committed to building independent political power for black and brown communities in Florida. It is a commitment that I share, and in my time at the National Domestic Workers Alliance, I have witnessed the power of communities of color coming together to organize and shape the future.
Part of my decision to step away from a national organization and concentrate my work here in Florida was the increasing feeling, especially since the election, that the dangerous consolidation of right wing power demanded more of my attention at home. Professionally and spiritually, I needed to be part of a vibrant local resistance that defends and builds power for working class communities of color, especially in one of the nation’s key battleground states. With the intense attacks on our communities and democracy itself, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to engage in this battle for our shared liberation alongside the NewFM community and the amazing leadership team that Gihan has assembled.
The challenges that lay ahead of us are large and generation-defining. Yet, their resolution, and our ultimate strength, is within our full grasp. If there is anything that experience and NewFM’s vision constantly reminds me, it is that no goal is unachievable if we place our faith and trust in each other.
I can’t wait to get to work with those of you I already have the privilege of knowing and to meet, learn and be in the struggle with those of you that I don’t.