Hi neighbors, and friends!
My name is Colin and I’m helping with the campaign to make Rebecca Kemble the next alder for your district, the 18th District in our home of Madison! I thought it good to share a story helps explain why I support Rebecca and think she has what it takes to be an outstanding alder for your and your family.
This tale starts two January’s ago now, as I stood in the Wisconsin State Capitol Building, having just met with a candidate for office to talk about their positions. I was feeling good, though the weather was about to get a bit worse, so I had decided to rush inside the Capitol building to stay warm and dry. What I did not know was that I was a target, or more accurately I fit the description of a target for the Capitol Police.
About six armed officers surrounded me while I talked to Rebecca. They grabbed both my arms and demanded I tell them my name and before I knew it, I was shoved in the Capitol basement because I looked like another black man. I was shoved onto a chair and many questions were fired at me, all the while officers muttered back and forth and shared a picture of what I could tell was another black male, but not of me. They dug in my pockets and took my wallet and ID. They looked me over and searched my body, almost entirely. I hate even mentioning it now; it was humiliating and degrading and more than a tad scary. With all that said, after I was able to prove I was no threat, after all the searching and questioning, I was allowed to leave and led back upstairs with Rebecca Kemble one of the people to greet my arrival.
This race includes great people, but Rebecca was with me when this happened. Rebecca Kemble stood by me when it mattered. She and fellow progressive activists didn’t just stand idly by either. Rebecca Kemble and her allies helped me look for legal resources, push the press to report of the Capitol Police’s inability to tell one black man from another, and shrug off what was at least an embarrassing and shaming incident no citizen would want to endure. For this alone, I know Rebecca Kemble has the strength, tenacity, care and dedication to follow-through needed to be a great alder for District 18 or any District in Madison! But that’s not the only reason.
As a cooper for five years, I support Rebecca’s initiatives in cooperative economics because people-driven jobs and business is a large step in building equity for all people. But Rebecca knows things like our long-standing racial disparities won’t go away with that alone. Rebecca knows that it takes an open government, progressive community-based decision making, and a commitment to stuff to find the solutions to inequities citywide.
Rebecca Kemble cared about me because I am a person. Rebecca Kemble sought me out after I was grabbed by the Capitol Police and sought to help me individually to ameliorate what she clearly saw not only as wrong but a racialized micro- and macro-aggression, all the while she herself was busy with protests, running national organizations, having a 9-5 job and taking care of a family. She gets the problems families can have as well as the pleasures we all want to share, because that's who she is and has been for decades. Standing up for what's right, pursuing just means to just ends, and living a life worthy of those idols we hold dear; this is the Rebecca I've known.
Because she was there, and has been there for average people like me, I am confident in Rebecca Kemble as the next City Alder for Madison’s 18th District and I will support her, as I hope you will too, to make this city live up to all of our expectations for every single person, no matter what you look like or your background!
Thank you for reading,
Colin Alexander Bowden