The Cut: Update: Maybe You Should Run for Office?
By: The Cut
Back in March, Jazmín Aguilera, inspired by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, discussed her desire to run for office. She talked with City Council candidate Jaslin Kaur about what it’s really like to say “fuck the old white-guy political establishment,” and run for office as a woman of color, and the pressure that comes with running for any political office. This week, Jazmín checks back in with Kaur, who ran for City Council District 23 in Queens, to hear how she handled Election Day and those who doubted her along the way, and, of course, the anticipation of waiting for the final results of New York’s first ranked-choice election.
To hear more about Jaslin’s persistence and a brief explainer of the new voting system, listen below, and subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen. You can also read the full transcript below.
JAZMÍN: New York City is in a very special sort of purgatory right now. To be fair I think that’s true in a lot of ways: New Yorkers are still one foot in this COVID pan dulce, and one foot out. We’re living “Hot Girl” summer and also “Socially Stunted Girl Wants to Sit in the Air Conditioner All Day” summer. But, the kind of purgatory I’m talking about right now…
NEWS BROADCASTER: So very much up in the air in the race for mayor. Eric Adams…
JAZMÍN: Is a political one. The City of New York just got done with a pretty major election: the democratic primaries for mayor of New York. Since New Yorkers will pretty likely go with the democratic nominee, this primary was a big fucking deal. There’s a lot on the line from police budgets, to subway renovations to affordable housing. But the thing is, even though the election was last week, we still don’t know who won.
New York started using ranked-choice voting this year and I’ll let you Google how that works because honestly we don’t have all day but in practice it means that instead of having results on election night, it’ll be weeks until most candidates know whether they’ve won or lost. That goes for mayor but also for dozens of smaller, local races, too. And all this made me think about Jaslin Kaur, the city council candidate for New York’s 23rd district, who I interviewed a few months ago.
When we last spoke, Jaslin was in the heat of her campaign, in a dead sprint to the finish. Now, she’s in this sort of itchy, anxious limbo. It’s like the plane has landed, but the pilot isn’t opening the doors.
JASLIN: Yeah. So the [Board of Elections] is predicting a good chunk of the results to be finished by July 12th. So it’s going up real soon.
JAZMÍN: Yeah. Yeah. Okay, okay. But still it’s two weeks out. So you’re like in that meantime it’s just chilling?
JAZMÍN: So this week, in honor of New York’s latest purgatory we’re running an abridged version of our episode about running for office, and then catching up with Jaslin Kaur now that her campaign has stopped campaigning.
I’ve always had this sort of pipe dream of running for office. And a while back, I wanted to see if it was actually possible for someone like me because, for the longest time, it just didn’t seem possible. I’m kinda a ridiculous person. It seemed like that career was for people who had never done anything wrong. Or at least for people who could pay people to make their mistakes go away. But ever since 2018, I’ve been thinking a little differently.
INTERVIEW CLIP FROM AOC:
How are you feeling? Can you put it into words?
Nope, I cannot put into words.
JAZMÍN: I will say that AOC did change a lot of things for me because before her I did not ever think that my personality would vibe well for actually campaigning, but since AOC obviously I’ve changed a little bit it made me consider some things and now it’s like, Could I actually do this?
Okay, so before I start making buttons and signs, I wanted to look into exactly what it would mean to run for office, not just in general, but for someone like me. Because as much as AOC is inspiring, I still have many, many questions. Can I actually hang with the reality of what running would be? Would it be worth it? What would I have to give up?
So, I decided to talk to someone who is running right now.
JASLIN KAUR: My name is Jaslin Kaur. I’m a candidate for New York City Council and District 23 in eastern Queens.
JAZMÍN: When I first started looking into Jaslin Kaur, she felt really familiar because we have a lot in common, actually. She and I are both first generation — but her parents are Indian and mine are Mexican. She was a Model UN kid, I was a drama kid. Our names even sort of sound the same. For me, Jaslin Kaur’s City Council campaign is like watching a case study, a trial run of how someone like me could run for office. For her, it all started when she had been asked to staff a seminar — a training for people considering running for office. She was only there for work, but the seed was sown.
JASLIN: You know, after the course, I met someone who was actually in my hometown who was telling me about this council seat.
JAZMÍN: Jaslin worked for an organization that helped immigrants run for office. She wasn’t exactly new to the game, but she had never really considered it for herself. That was until someone at this seminar told her about this open council seat. Her city councilor, Barry Grodenchik, was retiring and leaving an open race for District 23, her home district.
JASLIN: The more I started to dig into exactly who has been leading the seat, I started getting into this Wikipedia rabbit hole. Who has represented the seat since around 100 years ago? It was only ever white men. I know what the shape of my community is like. I grew up here. That is not indicative of the kind of leadership we need to serve this community. That started getting the gears turning.
JAZMÍN: Was there anything that made you feel like maybe I shouldn’t do this? What’s going through your mind?
JASLIN: The thing about running for office, especially in New York City, is that your address is public record.
JAZMÍN: Oh my God. I didn’t even consider that. Oh my God.
JASLIN: So anyone could show up if they wanted to, to any number of candidates’ homes. All of these things are going to be in the public realm.
JAZMÍN: Obviously running for office is a very public thing to do. That means you have to shamelessly, publicly ask for help — a lot of it.
JAZLIN: That is one of the hardest parts about being a candidate, right? For immigrant people of color who grew up working class, asking for money is one of the hardest things to do
JASLIN: It feels so vulnerable. There’s a certain kind of shame that’s attached to it because of the ways that we grew up. We’re just hesitant to ask for it. One of the most important things I learned is that you don’t get what you don’t ask for.
JAZMÍN: It’s not just money. You’re asking for a lot of people’s time and attention.
JASLIN: It was a lot of anxiety, putting this out into the world for the very first time to complete strangers.
JAZMÍN: Does that mean that you have to be extroverted to run? You can’t be shy?
JASLIN: Yeah, actually you can’t. You really can’t. As much as people hate making phone calls. We got to talk to voters. We got to talk to people. Again, you never know who is going to be the one to throw down for you. I’ve reconnected with old friends from middle school and high school who are like, “Oh, I saw your poster. How can I volunteer? Can I make phone calls for you?” I don’t think people realize how even in such a local election, we have over 200 volunteers, and it’s probably going to double. You need people. You need an army of people. Putting out these pieces of literature on people’s doorknobs, in their apartment building, or in their houses. It took somebody to even collect the data to see which doors you’re knocking on in the first place and to narrow down a field of 100,000 voters in an area to just like 50 to 75 doors to knock on in a day. It’s those like little little calculations that you think, Oh, this could be done with like 50 people … No.
JAZMÍN: How do you get that many people? Do you need a certain amount of capital to get this going? Did you have a go fund me? How do you start that? That seems so huge.
JASLIN: We do this thing called friend banking, or peer-to-peer fundraising. I call up ten people that I know. I go through my phone. I go through my Facebook. I go through Instagram…
CLIP FROM JASLIN’S INSTAGRAM: Welcome everyone to Instagram Live for a NYE instagram fundraiser…before we say…
JASLIN: Every single person I’ve had touch with, and ask for money.
CLIP FROM JASLIN’S INSTAGRAM: If you want to help us raise a thousand dollars before the end of tonight I need you to hit up our ActBlue account right now.
JAZMÍN: And luckily for Jaslin, New York City has programs to help candidates who don’t want to rely on funding from special interests and lobbies.
CLIP FROM JASLIN’S INSTAGRAM: So your contribution gets matched 8 times because of our city’s matching funds program so even $10 can mean $90 for our campaign.
JASLIN: If you put together a certain number of dollars, you get a massive payout from the city.
JAZMÍN: I put “NYC City Council Matching Funds program” into Google and found information on it pretty quickly. Which is awesome, but the thing is, I knew exactly what to Google to find this. Jaslin told me about it already. If I didn’t know any of that information, would it be so easy?
Okay, so starting from scratch. How would I find this webpage? I’m just gonna Google “How to run for New York City Council” and see where I go.
Okay, first link. tells you how to register: Getting starting, NYC Campaign Finance board.
Oh boy, so first you gotta get an employer Identification number, lots of tax stuff, bank account stuff. Then you gotta register with the campaign finance board and then there’s just a lot a lot of conditions.
So it’s not hard to find, but it’s hard to understand.
JASLIN: There’s a lot of careful information. If you haven’t worked on political campaigns before, or if you’ve never been to a training before, if you don’t have someone who’s in your corner who knows how to navigate these things, it can feel really insurmountable. It’s hard to navigate, and it’s not made for people like us.
JAZMÍN: People like us. People like me and Jaslin. So as much as it is encouraging to know that people like us have networks and communities behind us, it still feels like a big sacrifice to run. Because even after you jump through all the bureaucratic hoops to actually start your campaign, then you need to open yourself up. Not just to voters, but to the very real possibility that your opponents are going to try to drag you. This is where Jaslin is a much better candidate than I would be. I looked for dirt on her, and I couldn’t find anything. All you got to do to find dirt on me is look at my Twitter page. I put it there! All my shit’s right out there in the open.
JAZMÍN: Okay, here we go: Jazmín’s problematic tweets. Let’s air that dirty laundry! Well, number 1 in my profile picture I’m wearing earrings that clearly say bitch….so that’s probably not great. Here we go!
JAZMÍN’S TWEETS: Manifesting bad bitch energy via liquid metallic eyeshadow is the closest I’ll get to spirituality.
Someone talk me out of getting a nose piercing, quick!
Fire up the ole penis flattener!
Would I be stupid if I matched with someone because I really want to snuggle their dog?
Not giving one microfuck about astrology
I feel like the octomom but for podcasts
People who have no vices during the pandemic….HOW?!
JAZMÍN: Okay so not the best, but not the worst either. So I decided to ask an expert opinion, just in case.
Can we do a quick “I’ll tell you about me, and you tell me if something is a deal-breaker or not.”
STEPHANIE SCHRIOCK: That’s good!
JAZMÍN: I reached out to Stephanie Schriock, who’s president of Emily’s List.
STEPHANIE: [Emily’s List is] a full-blown political organization solely focused on electing pro-choice Democrat women.
Emily’s List helps women run for office, at all different levels and all over the country. They provide training and help gather financial support. They’ll even drag your opponents for you. I had to ask …
JAZMÍN: Is there stuff that’s a nonstarter in my life that would prevent me? There’s got to be those. I am a young woman, Latina. I’m divorced. People could find, in my digital footprint, that I have done drugs in the past. Am I screwed?
STEPHANIE: Absolutely not.
STEPHANIE: Why? Did you murder anybody?
JAZMÍN: So, it’s really like that?
STEPHANIE: That one’s harder. I’ve never I’ve never had to deal with that. I’m not trying to be glib here. There are serious things, but if you have explanations for those activities, I’m not saying they may not be used against you. The one I would say is drug use, it depends what and it depends on the situation. You got to tell the story if it’s going to come out.
STEPHANIE: Do you have control of when it comes out or not? I almost always recommend that if there’s a flaw that you think is that kind of damaging, we would want to talk through. Do we get ahead of it? And how do we do that?
JAZMÍN: Okay, so let me give this a shot:
Jazmín Aguilera grew up in Santa Cruz California, a surf town known for its beautiful beaches, hippie artist community, and sticky chronic bud.
No, no no that’s not gonna work.
STEPHANIE: I mean, George W. Bush used drugs, and he was president of the United States.
JAZMÍN: Okay, but, George Bush’s dad was president of the United States. My dad was a vato in East L.A.
STEPHANIE: Part of it’s also where you live. If it’s a conservative area versus a more progressive area, you have to think about that. It’s back to just … be prepared for what they could come at you with.
JAZMÍN: That’s what Emily’s List is for. They encourage and recruit women like me to run for office. I definitely did feel like she was nudging me in that direction. But that’s what they do, right?
So say that there’s a candidate like me, for example. I don’t come from a wealthy family, I’m not connected to people. I would have to give up my job to even consider running because it seems like a full-time job to campaign. I couldn’t support myself. What does this actually look like for people who are trying to get their foot in the door?
STEPHANIE: Well, you’ve brought up a couple of challenges that are really significant. Our core early support is less about dollars and more about: Let’s help you figure out how to do this. Let’s sit down, which, we’re more than willing to do with you, and we think through what kind of office you’re thinking about running for. It depends on what you’re running for, whether or not you have to give up your job or not. If you’re running for a local office or in some places in state legislatures, it varies in different states, you’re not going to have to give up your job to do this. But it’s hard. I’m not going to try to blow sunshine here.
They need people like me, but that’s not the question at hand. I know they need people like me, but do I need this? Right now it feels like I need months of unemployment, stress, and public scrutiny like I need a hole in the head.
One of my big questions, and I think you can tell from how I’m dressed, I have a very particular, very extra style. I really like bright colors. In some way you have to change or adjust how you look to be palatable to the people who are voting for you. Do I just have to accept that? Do I have to put away my wigs and stuff? I don’t want to wear a pantsuit.
STEPHANIE: Here’s the good news. You’re in Santa Cruz. I’m from Montana. You’ve got a little bit more flexibility. The truth is that, to win, you’ve got to convince enough voters in that district to vote for you, and they’ve got to be comfortable with the choice that they’re voting for. Do you have to lose all of your animal prints? Probably not. But you are going to have to think about what makes sense.
JAZMÍN: So it’s like a job interview. Your whole campaign is a job interview.
JAZMÍN: Can you imagine dressing like a job interview everyday? I dress formally like that maybe once every two to three years. I feel like dressing so formally everyday would change me somehow. Just the thought of being on a months-long job interview sounds personality altering. I wonder if someone doing this for the first time, someone like Jaslin, feels that?
JASLIN: You start having a little bit of an identity crisis of exactly who am I and who do I want voters to know me as. My friends know me in one capacity, my parents know me in another. How are voters going to perceive me? So it’s definitely a really big shift to be like, “Okay, who the hell am I, as Jaslin as a candidate versus Jaslin from Glen Oaks.”
JAZMÍN: Talking to Jaslin, I do feel like I know what kind of person she is. She seems warm but driven — like one of those people who you might see doing a blood drive, you know? A helper. But, of course, I’m interviewing her. We don’t actually know each other. I’m interviewing Jaslin, the candidate.
JAZMÍN: In some ways, it feels like you have to kind of pause your personal life. Does that feel like that rings true? Do you have to square your brand with who you are in your own life for a little while?
JASLIN: Oh, absolutely. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve given the same speech to so many different groups of people. I have to remind myself that even though I’ve heard it a million times and I’m sick of it sometimes, there’s so many people who are hearing it for the first time. It still has to resonate the same way. Sometimes it feels limiting. But at the same time, I see it as a new opportunity for people to get to know me and that’s always reassuring. It’s something I wish I was told more explicitly too. That you’re going to be confronted with yourself and some of the most intimate ways ever. You really will have to dig deep into what parts of your story you want to tell people and what parts you aren’t ready to be public about, too.
STEPHANIE: I think, a lot about Stacey Abrams and how she handled her debt.
STACEY ABRAMS CLIP: It is never easy to have public conversations about personal finances…
STEPHANIE: And folks were going to use that against her.
STACEY ABRAMS CLIP: But I have two parents who are nearing 70, an 11-year-old niece and a 90-year-old grandparent
STEPHANIE: And instead she got ahead of it.
STACEY ABRAMS CLIP: By anecdote I was standing in the airport and this man just hugged me and said “I have student debts and my mama lives with me” and he said “you got my vote” and he walked away.
STEPHANIE: And it ended up in this very genuine and understandable and authentic moment.
STACEY ABRAMS CLIP: What people see is that I have a real life, and that I have the lives that they have that they’re being compelled to make choices on.
STEPHANIE: Where even ten years ago that kind of debt would have been used against you so badly because of your own mismanagement. She said, “No, this is the lives of how many Georgians who are carrying debt, and we got to fix that. I get it. I get that experience. I can and I’m going to help us overcome it.”
JAZMÍN: Not to split hairs here because we know that there were lots of shenanigans going on in Georgia at the time, but Stacey Abrams still lost. She put her soul out there and lost. That’s the real risk here isn’t it? This really hits home for me because this happened to someone in my family. My cousin ran for office back in 2018 and he lost and it was devastating.
CLIP FROM ALEJANDRO’S AD CAMPAIGN: I come from a working class family in a working class community. We are a diverse and passionate people. We pick one another up when we are down….
JAZMÍN: Hey, primo.
ALEJANDRO LARIOS: Hola buenas tardes. How are you?
JAZMÍN: His name is Alejandro Larios and he ran for Arizona house of representatives. It was a pretty big deal in our family because he really put his all into it.
CLIP FROM ALEJANDRO’S AD CAMPAIGN: This is why I’m running for the Arizona House of Representatives in the district that I grew up in. We need representation that reflects the needs of our community. Our diversity is our strength.
JAZMÍN: When you started, when you decided to run, how much of yourself, your money, your time, your family did you sink into this campaign?
ALEJANDRO: I put my life on hold, if that answers that. I ended up leaving my job two months into my campaign. Luckily, I had some money saved over and then my sister moved in with me so that allowed me to have my family with me which was a crucial part in staying sane and keeping the house from falling over. My campaign office was out of my house. Everyday was just high energy. It takes so much energy, especially for someone like me, who does not like to ask strangers for anything. Everyday I had too, everyday say, “Hey believe in me. Hey, believe in this vision.” I had no name recognition. I had a lot of support from my childhood friends, from my community, because I’ve been in the community! I need three, four, five thousand votes and I didn’t get that.
You sunk everything into it more or less, and then when you lost. How did you recover from that? What happens after that?
ALEJANDRO: I think the hardest part is that it went from 100 mph every single day to zero. At first it was like, I got to sleep! I think I slept 16 hours the day after the election. It was hard. It was a grieving process because I was in love with the movement. Not everybody takes it well, myself included. It was tough. It lasted months if I’m honest. I remember looking at the T-shirt that had a slogan, and it just had my name very small at the bottom. You wouldn’t notice it, but it was the slogan. I remember hugging it as if it was a person or the shirt of a former lover or a teddy bear from my childhood. It was like, Oh I’m sorry.
JAZMÍN: Would you run again?
ALEJANDRO: I would run again. At this moment, I don’t have any desire or want to be an elected official in that level or to run for office again. But, I’m open to it. We are now two-and-a-half years after the election, and it was the biggest honor of my life. Looking back now, I’m extremely proud of everything. I would say to anyone running for office, document every moment and enjoy every moment, because if you want to look back and say, Hey, this is the first election I won or, This is the first campaign I ran and then lost — either way, it’s beautiful.
JAZMÍN: A few months after making this episode, I still don’t know if I’d want to run for office. It sounds like a recipe for heartbreak, if I’m being honest. But now that Alejandro is on the other side of his campaign, the Band-Aid is ripped off. Now that it’s over, he can grieve it, he can move on. And as with any heartbreak, he can put himself back out there again. If he wants.
Jaslin Kaur on the other hand, is right in the middle of it. After the break, I talk to the Congressional candidate for New York City Council in district 23 in Queens about what it’s like being stuck halfway between the prospect of defeat and the real, tantalizing possibility of victory.
JAZMÍN: Okay, thank you so much for coming back again, I’m really, really thankful. How’s it going? How’s life right now?
JASLIN: I mean, it’s so bizarre going from walking 10 miles on Election Day, even knocking your doors to being round the clock on the dot on Election Day to doing nearly nothing the day after. So it’s a weird progression that I wasn’t prepared for.
JAZMÍN: Yeah, it’s like suddenly being in the eye of the hurricane.
JASLIN: Right? Right.
JAZMÍN: Okay, so where Jaslin’s at right now, at the time the episode is airing, is that no one in her race got 50% of the votes so according to rank choice rules, there’s more tabulating to go as officials take voters’ second choices into account. Jaslin still has a shot at victory, but no one knows exactly when the final results are going to be in.
JASLIN: So we are kind of in this weird limbo period where a lot of people are asking, hey, what are the results? Has anything changed? But nothing will really change. So we have a lot of time to wait. And we’ve just been assessing whether we still have our path to victory. And we do. I’m in a kind of an odd spot where it’s just a lot of follow up. Talking to people, debriefing with the team and getting a chance to just process what the whirlwind of this past year has been. So, a lot of different emotions, but a lot of really good tight feelings about our chances so far.
JAZMÍN: What have you learned about yourself or what has changed? Like, if somebody like me were to run and follow in your footsteps, like, what is something that you’re like, Dang, this was hard or This was easier than I thought?
JASLIN: There are so many people who will tell you how to run a campaign. There are so many voices in your ears, especially from older men who have a particular way of going about these things. But we proved every single one of them wrong. And not a single one of them had even half the vote share that we had.
JAZMÍN: What were the kinds of things that they were telling you to do that was wrong?
JASLIN: I mean, first of all, they told me to drop out. They were like, Hey, maybe we should sit down and have a conversation and unite against one candidate. But the insinuation was that candidate would not be me.
JAZMÍN: So can you walk me through actual election day, not even from a political perspective, but from like, I wake up in your bed as you Freaky Friday style.
JASLIN: Well, the night before, I was in the office until like 12:30 at night. I was like, I can’t go to bed. I told my manager, “I feel like if I go to bed, I’m not going to wake up on time.” But, you know, I got up. I prefer to wake up very early, so before anybody else. But there was an interesting buzz in the air. My mom was awake. My brother was awake. Everyone was creeping in. The Slack, all my notifications are going off. My phone is going off. It was so bizarre. But still special to me, waking up first thing in the morning, because I was like, All right, let me put my game face on, it’s time to go. We prepared our full year for this moment. I didn’t feel an ounce of anxiety.
JASLIN: Not a thing. I felt like because we’ve been consistently knocking doors and even consistently being at the poll sites for a full week during early voting, it just felt like another day. It’s like, Okay, I can keep doing this, let’s go.
But literally we were just you arrived here, your poll site. You start handing out your fliers to voters. You say, “Hi, I’m Jaslin. I’m on your ballot for New York City Council. I’m supported by all of these labor unions. And I went here right to this school. I hope you’ll be number one.” Sometimes you only get that in, sometimes you only get two seconds of “Hi, I’m Jaslin, vote for me!” And other times you get like someone who actually wants to stand there and have like a ten minute conversation with you.
Something that was also just really special throughout the day was that it got incredibly cold and rainy. It was a little bit hectic because sometimes your game plan wouldn’t go accordingly. Maybe they want me at a poll site at 12, but it’s kind of dead. So it’s like, all right, switch gears, go to this other site for two hours. All through the rain, shivering cold, all of our palm cards, we’re getting soaking wet. I was getting soaking wet. I’m not sure how I look to voters. Like, my hair was frizzy, disgusting. But people are like, “Hey, yeah, I remember you. I voted for you.” That satisfaction was amazing. Like just voter after voter coming out of the polls being like, I got you. I ranked you number one. So did my daughter, so did my family. And having that satisfaction that after all of this work that we did, that thousands of people did the job that we asked them to do and really tried to organize and do–it was beautiful, absolutely beautiful.
JAZMÍN: Did you know, ahead of time and I imagine you probably did that you wouldn’t find out for many, many day?
JASLIN: Yeah, we did, which made the little end-of-the-day celebration a little lackluster. There was a crew of some of our volunteers in the back of the office who were obsessively refreshing the BOE website. I was like, “Guys, don’t tell me anything. I don’t want to know what the numbers look like. I’m just here to celebrate.” That’s it.
JAZMÍN: Yeah. Yeah. It’s not over. So, okay, so this is probably gonna be the most annoying part. I don’t understand, and I’ve listened to the Radiolab episode about this. I’ve tried to look this up. Can you explain for Dummies for me, the ranked choice voting system and how you’re looking at it? Do you know any of that or is that something that you foisted off somebody else? And you’re like, just tell me when there’s good news.
JASLIN: I know enough to give you the bare bones of how it works. Right? So let’s say so. In this case, rank choice voting is activated. If somebody gets more than 50 percent on election night, which is what I was hoping for, then there’s no rank choice. You won with a majority. If nobody gets more than 50 percent, then there’s a runoff between the two. So the whole point of rank choice voting is that you select your first choice, your second choice and so on. Whoever comes in last place, their Rank 2’s get distributed up the ticket. That’s a toss up, too, because you don’t know how many people ranked me number two. You don’t know how many people ranked Linda [Lee] their number two. We just don’t know that information. And that keeps happening. Those Rank 2’s keep getting distributed until somebody gets 50 percent.
That’s why you never know. It could be four rounds of ranked choice. It could be only one or two. You never know. So it’s a little bit bananas. So, yeah, it’s going to be a fun time at the Board of Elections for the next couple of weeks.
JAZMÍN: Do you, I’m assuming you don’t just for your mental health, but do you have someone on your team who is like, Okay, the person in last place is like this fringy person who’s like super whatever, and the likelihood that Jaslin is their second choice is this many of them. Do you have someone doing that math?
JASLIN: Oh, yeah. We have a whole data and field team. We’re trying to crunch the numbers to see, like, Okay, what exactly are our chances? but the chances look good. The chances look really good. Knock on wood, I’m mega superstitious.
JAZMÍN: Oh yeah. There we go. Wow. So my last question is the dreaded question. What are you going to do if you lose? Are you putting it out of sight, out of mind, or are you not even considering it?
JASLIN: I’m not even considering. That’s why I have to laugh. Right? It’s not even in my mind, it’s not something I think about. There [were] some people who came up to me and these were some of like the uncle establishment, as we’ll call it, who would be like, “Jaslin, you’re so young. You have so much time ahead of you, win or lose, keep going.” I’m not thinking about losing. So why would you ever put that in my mind? But I think to actually answer the question is, we keep doing exactly what we’ve been doing on the campaign. You keep organizing. We keep building up our DSA membership. We keep organizing people towards issue based campaigns. fighting for single payer health care. Fighting for fighting against climate change and actually tackling our transportation desert out here. I’m really excited that win or lose will create an organizing space in eastern Queens that isn’t limited to just our community boards or civic associations.