Speech by Linda Rayburn

I am running because I am tired of seeing my friends, family and myself struggle. We have worked hard all of our lives and have very little to show for it.

From a young age figuring out the system, to fighting for my mom to get disability and she still doesn't have it. Advocating for my brother with autism not to be mistreated and get proper resources, which are still not available for him. Helping my immigrant friends in the community enroll their children in school because they don't have help. Even with the little things, the system shows it's not for us. Things are made so incredibly hard. Price of living is going up. I see friends and family working long hours with low pay. Leaving them exhausted, chasing a fleeting stability. Loved ones losing their jobs. Friends getting evicted.

With the big things you see how crazy and barbaric this system is. My family doctor died of Covid-19. Driving through the memorial on Belle Isle, seeing the victims of the pandemic, young and old- taken too early. While loved ones grieve by their pictures. They don't even have a proper burial for their families. It upsets my stomach. A lot of these deaths could have been prevented if the system cared about us. It's just cruel.

We're all suffering. It didn't start with the pandemic. It's just opening our eyes even more, knowing we have to do something about it. I'm sick and tired of it. There is enough money to remove poverty. There is enough money for a good standard of living. There is enough money for universal health care. There is enough money for funding and resources in our public schools and our neighborhoods. We already know this but we're still having to fight.

The government robs us of our hard earned money to invest in wars we don't want and bail out corporations. Force us to come more out of our pockets to fix the schools and roads that should have already been taken care of. They leach off of us. They stir up hate and bigotry and divide us. Allowing and encouraging police and right wing thugs to use violence directed at Black lives as well as the poor and working class.

The problems are overwhelming. For one person, you'll get lost trying to navigate and change it. It's gotta be bigger than me or just a few people. We need something that unites and organizes our fights. We don't have to place our hopes on anybody else but ourselves. When we put our hopes on a saviour, be that Democrat, Republicans or frankly anything else but ourselves, we see the problems don't get fixed. There is no one that represents all of our interests. Poor and working people, Black and Brown lives and others oppressed. There's always people that come in promising us the moon and the stars and don't deliver. We need to represent ourselves.

That's why I am running. I think it's going to take a fight. Campaigning allows us to engage with other poor and working people and find those that'll help build a fighting party. It's not easy going out in the streets, the public and reaching others wherever we can to see where they are at. Since I have been campaigning, a lot of people agree and are becoming engaged. Friends and people in the community have helped campaign and I wish more could have been here but I understand the struggle. I think it's important to continue to build even when it's hard.

I'm going to continue to invest in myself. This is a big deal to run for me. I am trying to stay true to my roots. This feels right. I just know it's right. I'm going to continue working with my people and let them know I am invested and I hope that they continue to be invested too.

Thank you.

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