Meet Maya

I moved to Bellingham in 2018, having visited extended family here and in the Skagit Valley and greater Seattle area many times as a child and throughout my adult life.

This land, these waterways, these skies – cared for by Coast-Salish peoples since time immemorial – are a lush and beautiful place that beckon and hold the spirit, and have always felt like home.

Raised by a single mom who moved us at least ten times before I was nine, finally settling for about seven years just east of Seattle before our move to NYC when I was fifteen; my family herstory has definitely shaped me into the fierce advocate and leader that I am today – a person keenly aware of how social, economic, and legal systems & frameworks shape our lives.

I come from a mixed family made up of Bolivian immigrants, white and Norwegian settlers to North America, and Japanese, West Indian, Dominican, Turkish family marriages and committed relationships. I've definitely learned as much about class, race, education, immigration, in/equity, language and culture within my family as I have in academic, arts and organizing settings.

Contrary to what folks often assume about me, I've lived at or below the poverty level for most of my life while accomplishing many things and consistently working for justice. I experienced being kicked out of the house as a young person because of who I am and who I love, then supporting myself through undergraduate and graduate degrees, and beyond. I know what it has meant in my life to work hard and still have student debt, still struggle every month to pay bills, and still be one accident or family medical emergency away from personal,  financial and/or housing crisis.  I also know it just doesn't have to be that way for any of us. It comes down to changing laws and policies, and creating equitable systems.

We all deserve to belong. Our wealth, race, immigration status, gender, health struggles, sexuality, or housing status should not dictate whether we are valued members of our community; our humanity should.

 

I am running for office because working to change the systems that create poverty, inequity and injustice has always felt like both a necessity and a joy, rather than a choice.

 

When I look around and observe who is and isn't thriving – in Bellingham, in our state, in our nation: I see that it is directly connected with who is, and is not, represented in office.

I will bring low-wealth and systemically marginalized perspectives and mandates into the rooms where important decisions and policies are made so that our city can create real solutions that work for all of us.

 

I humbly ask for your vote by August 1st to get through this primary election and onto your General Election ballot!

Photos:
1) Maya holding Butterfly inscribed "Trust Immigrants to Lead" at public assembly in support of an Immigrant Resource Center. Nov. 2022
2) Maya as a kiddo on a rusty swingset rocking a super-fashionable self-styled outfit (LOL)
3) Maya speaking with the Associated press at the signing of WA State's slate of bills protecting abortion and gender-affirming care. April, 2023
4) Portrait of Maya in her/their People First Bellingham T-shirt, a limited edition 1 of 25 shirts in a 2-color version Maya organized and got
donated in-kind to the campaign! Many thanks to Phoebe Wahl (art, adjusted to two colors), Liet Unlimited, a local printer of promotional things!
5) Maya holding a banner and a sign reading "Todo el mundo tiene derecho a vivir" in the WA State Poor People's Campaign contingent to the March on and moral assembly in Washington DC on Juneteeth weekend. (Maya's in the tan cap kneeling down, face peeking above banner.) June 2022

Help me get the word out about my candidacy!