The final results from the November 2020 election are in, and it’s clear that I did not win.

But I couldn’t be prouder of the campaign we ran. I’m proud that we got a conversation started about building affordable housing in the San José-Evergreen Community College District, something no current trustee or other candidate has talked about. I’m proud that we accepted no money from corporations or from charter school advocates. And I’m proud that we ran a clean campaign that was focused entirely on the issues facing our students, faculty, and staff; even as I faced personal attacks for my birthplace, age, sexuality, and gender identity, we never turned other candidates’ identities or character into a campaign issue.

I’m one of, if not the first non-binary person to run for office in Santa Clara County. It’s never easy to be the first, but I’m hopeful that this campaign opened doors and minds for future non-binary candidates.

I’m thankful to everyone who volunteered, donated, and endorsed me. I’m thankful to everyone who spoke up when ignorance and bigotry crept into this race. And most of all, I’m thankful to the 6,592 residents of downtown San José and surrounding areas who believed in me and gave me their vote.

This campaign was not the beginning of my advocacy for the community colleges and it won’t be the end. Without holding an elected office, I’ve been able to advocate in Sacramento and in districts across the state for preserving funding, housing, student services, parity for part-time faculty, and greater equity for everyone on campus.

This also won’t be the last time I run for office. But for now, there’s a lot of hard work to be done in the next four years for the community colleges.