Austin Democratic Socialists of America

Martha Mercado

Do you self-identify as a man?:
No

Do you self-identify as a person from a traditionally marginalized group?:
Yes

Please describe your involvement in Austin DSA:
I formally joined Austin DSA in 2016 after volunteering alongside them for the Bernie 2016 campaign. There’s been a lot of change since then. Over that time, I’ve been pretty involved with the Feminist Action Commitee. Last year, I successfully helped fundraise over $1000 for the Frontera Fund through the FAC. More recently, I’ve been active in the Immigrant Rights Committee. I’m a QC ally. Through the gracious support of others, I’ve been able to attend a YDSA Winter Conference (2016?), a DSA Afro-Socialist & Socialists of Color training, and the DSA National Convention of 2017. So I would say I like socialism.

What strengths would you bring to the leadership committee?:
I’m an empath so I will sense what everyone’s feeling. I also have a passion for group facilitation and communication in general. Fairness matters a lot to me. I offer my unfiltered Latina immigrant perspective. I’m excellent at finessing things.

If elected, what would be your priorities be for the leadership committee and Austin DSA?:
-Making sure tangible shit is getting done

-Member engagement + inclusivity

-Uplifting members to positions of leadership through education and practice, esp traditionally marginalized folks

-Immigrants’ rights, #BlackLivesMatter, women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, disability rights… ummm… supporting people supporting these.

What is your approach to resolving conflict and achieving consensus among differing viewpoints?:
Hear out both sides of dispute in an appropriate manner, validate people’s feelings, take a moment to pause and calm down/think it over if necessary, be democratic and realistic about it. Sacrifice and compromise will probably be necessary.

Do you identify with any caucus or political tendency, either within DSA or in general?:
AFROSOC

Is there anything else you’d like to add?:
Disclaimers: I have depression, anxiety, and I’m in my last semester of my undergrad at Texas State. But I also have a really strong passion for social justice and bring a strong heart, open mind, juicy brain, and smart mouth to the table. And I’m tired of making excuses not to run. I believe I can mentally and emotionally commit to the term, but I will need honest love and support to get there. Physically and spiritually, I’m 100% there, and I want to do this.