This Summer I felt glory in the knowledge that there is a young man named Jesus running for office in Brooklyn. His name is Jesus Gonzales and he is running for State Assembly in New York State’s 54th Assembly District (AD). The 54th AD is made up of a handful of diverse, mostly working class neighborhoods. I first met Jesus as a member of Make the Road By Walking (now merged under the name Make the Road http://www.maketheroad.org), a grassroots, community organization that focused on economic protection and empowerment of Bushwick, Brooklyn’s growing immigrant population. Young Jesus, pronounced with a hard “J” by the unilingual kids he grew up with, was a leader in a powerful youth contingent that shaped pre-and-post September 11th hip-hop generation activism.
I reconnected with Jesus earlier this year through my wife, Julia’s project, East WillyB. In addition to being a visionary, Julia, aka Jetsetter Jewels is also a go-getter. East WillyB includes a documentary series called “The Real Bushwick” as complimentary content to the six-episode series centered around a bar in Bushwick, Brooklyn. You can visit the East WillyB (www.eastwillyb) website to see a glimpse into Jesus’ vision of community empowerment, and then stay and watch an episode from the series - a well-rounded, yummy media snack for the day.