In the 1950s, my abuelo left Pegueros, Jalisco, and migrated into the United States. Out of love, necessity, and desperation, he signed a contract with the Bracero Program to build bridges and pave roads. He had a wife and children who relied on his labor, and each paycheck sent home would be a love letter written in sweat, signed by tired fingers: Pedro Martín. By 1965, with enough money saved, his family would leave Jalisco for the United States, following the path their Papa had laid.
Every time I hold my abuelo's hand, I feel a calloused palm, solid as a monument to the labor it had to endure. But I also feel a softness, because it is a hand that endured for family.
My name is Bella Martin, and there is nothing more important to me than family, be it my father's family from Jalisco, my mother's family from Ohio, or my family at UCLA.
At a time when the security and wellbeing of low income students and students of color are threatened, I seek to serve this campus with the attitude of relentless perseverance my abuelo instilled in me.
I will work to strengthen student engagement in campus, county, state, and national electoral politics. I will work with our administration to ensure an affordable, attainable education for all. And I will work to ensure improved safety and sustainability for all students on campus.
I am Bella Martin, and I am your next General Representative, let’s lead with love.