The Garment District, New York The history of socialism in New York state traces its roots to the turn of the 20th century and right here in the Garment District. On this week’s episode of Beat of the Week with Kelly Mena, we take a look at the modern democratic socialist movement. You helped on Julia Salazar’s campaign. Tell me why did you choose her as a candidate. She’s a Latina. She won her primary. What does she represent for her district in North Brooklyn? Excuse me, my Spanish is very bad. At this moment there is a crisis a crisis for all Americans this is a crisis for all Americans not just for Latinos for immigrants but for all Americans citizen or not documented or not. There is a massive crisis like the Second World War. It’s a world problem. And at the moment the democratic socialists we have a plan. Like it or not, there is no one else in this terrible political climate that has a plan that can help everyone. Do you think that the wins by democratic socialists are a movement or a one time only thing? A wave is in so far that we can see democratic socialists in the American [government] system, is that the question? No! We are going to win. because we share the perspective of a majority of millennials and generation z [individuals] and the future. We represent the future. We represent a future that is possible and a future that and a future we need to fight for. I have a couple of questions for you today. As a Latina, representing a district where you were born, What message would you give aspiring young women that are your age and have the same aspirations to work in politics? Well first of all, if you have passion for your community put yourself in there and do the job of the grassroots, do the work of the community. To understand the needs of the people here and families. Because the first thing we need are elected officials that are connected to the families that live here and can advocate for their needs. At the moment, there is a movement in the political field in the Democratic Party How do you think that is going to work within the current political climate? I think that it’s something popular beacause the politics we are advocating are to improve and expand medicare for all people to participate in the program We are advocating for free college tuition for universities and vocational schools We’re also advocating for expanded Puerto Rico recovery relief and action against ICE. Those are some of the issues we advocate for. Those are the reforms in which the people are asking for. And the last question In your opinion and for the Democratic Socialist Party what do you think about being genuine about where you come from? you come from hardworking parents that have worked hard and are blue collar, In your campaign you were very humble and genuine In your opinion, why do you think it’s important for people to get to know candidates on a personal level? It’s important because there are a lot people that don’t understand the reality that many families are currently experiencing there are a lot of laws that don’t reflect the realities that people are experiencing right now. The idea that minimum wage is $7 dollars an hour in this county is not enough for families to live on. This is my experience with my family and these experiences are what should influence laws that serve these people and what we should support. This is not a simply elected official. This is a sign of people’s victory. This is a sign that people took power in that particular part of town, and say that old ways that didn’t benefit them, but benefited the elites cannot be continued. We want to show that that is true. It’s not an aberration or fluke, as some have called it But this is a fire that they are not going to be able to shut out. and it’s burning large and lovely! Whether Democratic Socialism is a passing fad or the future of American politics, only time will tell. Keep watching as we cover all things Brooklyn!