The youngest candidate on the Van Nuys Neighborhood Council ballot talked about representation, role models, and stereotypes in an interview with ASTRO Media in the hallway of CSUN Manzanita Hall as she prepares to canvas for the upcoming election.
Ashley Nicole Martinez is a Guatemalan American running for local office. Through her lavender octagon frames, she looks forward to a future filled with inclusion, diversity, equality, peace, art, and unitary community values. Her face was lambent as she walked through the building she once occupied countless hours in as an undergraduate.
“I want to be the representation that I didn’t have when I was a kid.” she continued “in the media you see Latina women as housekeepers, nannies, or the spicy hot arm candy which doesn’t give you the image of being more than those roles when you grow up because you never see anyone who looks like you in higher roles of education, leadership, or the workplace” She spoke about how hard it was to battle against the stereotypes portrayed in the media and how you have to challenge the status quo and be the change you want to see.
“I want to be there for the people who don’t see themselves in roles in which they want to be in .” Martinez came out at the age of 11, and she recalled how difficult it was for her to find a role model that she could relate to. She now expresses confidence in her identity as a Queer Latinx woman and assures that she can be the voice Van Nuys needs.
One of her goals is to bring voting awareness to any person 16 years of age or older, documented or undocumented, and or homeless that their voices will be heard through the local election through casting a vote.
She wants to allocate funds to improve the community, increase youth participation, advocating for a greener and cleaner neighborhood, implement financial literacy workshops, create more awareness to opportunities and improving the quality of life for the Van Nuys population.
Martinez is also the first person to form a political slate in Van Nuys history. The slate members are Sandy Moreno, Thela Thatch, Jason Correa, Rachel Reilly Villegas, and Jennifer Febre all with their plans to spur harmony the San Fernando Valley.
Community stakeholders can vote on May 16, 2019, at the Van Nuys State Office Building 6150 Van Nuys Blvd Van Nuys, CA 91401 from 2PM-8PM. To find more information on the election click here
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