Exclusive: Monterey County Supervisor Luis Alejo Discusses “Stories of Resistance” and Watsonville’s Peace March Legacy

Watsonville, CA – In a heartfelt conversation with the Resource Center for Nonviolence (RCNV), Monterey County Supervisor Luis Alejo, a former Mayor of Watsonville and a founding member of the Peace and Unity March, shared insights into the legacy of community activism and the importance of unity, collaboration, and the upcoming joint event titled “Stories of Resistance.”

As the date of the event draws near — September 24, 2023, from 2-4 pm at the RCNV Scott Kennedy Hall — Luis Alejo’s reflections serve as a testament to the enduring spirit of community-driven change and the values that underpin the mission of the RCNV.

A March that Began with Youth: Alejo paints a vivid picture of the Peace and Unity March, the oldest annual peace march in California, revealing that it was “started by the youth of the community.” These young leaders, “with the little they had, decided to start this march, and get the mothers… to take action.”

Beyond a Single Day: Alejo emphasizes that the march is not merely a one-day event but a catalyst for ongoing collaboration. “It’s not just about one day,” he asserts. “The march is about getting people to start collaborating, and those working relationships can continue throughout the year.”

Unity Across the County: Alejo notes that support for the march has come from all corners of the county, with organizations like Barrios Unidos and the RCNV standing as steadfast allies since the inception of the event. He underscores that “this story is about the community coming together throughout the county.”

Taking a Stand Against Violence: Alejo highlights the resilience of working-class neighborhoods, who have been actively striving to improve their communities for decades. “The stories of working-class neighborhoods have been active for decades now, trying to make their community better,” he remarks. His commitment to community-driven change shines through when he states, “We’re not going to just sit back or be quiet when we see gun violence or other types of violence impact our community in such a negative way.”

Investing in the Future: Alejo stresses the importance of preparing the next generation of leaders. “If we’re not preparing the next generation of leaders, then we’re missing solving a major part of the greatest challenges of tomorrow.”

A Call to Action: In closing, Alejo expresses his hope for more proactive communities, “doing everything possible to save lives, to work collaboratively being a true grassroots event.” He emphasizes the importance of “telling the stories of the young people we have lost, not letting their memory be forgotten.”

As the September 24th event, “Stories of Resistance,” approaches, it is evident that Luis Alejo’s vision and dedication align seamlessly with the Kingian Philosophy of the beloved community. The event promises not only to honor the rich legacy of community activism but also to propel it forward.

“Stories of Resistance ” is an embodiment of the RCNV’s commitment to prioritizing social justice through collaborative community efforts. It is a call to action, a celebration of unity, and a tribute to those who have left an indelible mark on Watsonville’s journey toward a brighter, more equitable future. Don’t miss your chance to be part of this transformative experience and witness the power of community in action on September 24th, 2023, from 2-4 pm at the RCNV Scott Kennedy Hall.

Watch an exclusive interview with Luis Alejo HERE!

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