Did your experience with Wily influence the way you approach this position?
Definitely, just in the sense of being able to lead with confidence.
As Mattapan Liaison, people come to me and they say, “listen, we want speed bumps on our street,” or “I want funding for this block party we’re going to host.” So I’m going between two entities: people who want something, and the city officials that have the means to access it. But they have to split time and resources between the rest of the city too.
So being able to have the confidence to go into a situation and say, “listen, I understand that there’s only so much you can do. But here’s how having the funds for this type of block party will benefit the community. It will allow them to feel like we can know each other, we can feel safe around each other, we can feel like the violent events that have taken place, if anything, they united us. They’ve made us stronger. They didn’t create a rift. They didn’t create distrust amongst us.”
Especially because I’m very new at the job, to have that confidence to go in like that? I love the fact that I got to witness that firsthand through Judi and through so many people at the Wily Network who taught me how to advocate with confidence.