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Politics is About Each Other

This week, people across the world and our district are celebrating Earth Day as well as Passover. To honor our planet, may we celebrate the ability of our planet to sustain our lives by nourishing and protecting her. Every initiative, policy, and action must be taken with climate justice front of mind, and may we collectively work towards public health and happiness. I am so proud to live in a state that prioritizes sustainability, but we still have so much more work to do. Medford and Malden are incredibly diverse cities, and with diversity comes the reality of the disproportionate effects a warming climate has on black folks, indigenous folks, and people of color. From water to waste, we must work in the present to establish a green future for our children.

To all who celebrate, Shetavi Chag haPesach shalom, hatzlacha vecheirut lechayim shelcha! May this Passover bring peace, prosperity, and freedom to your life. I pray for peace and prosperity for my Jewish siblings here in our district and those abroad. I pray for peace and love amongst our people, and the coexistence of Israel and Palestine. I pray for those who are experiencing blatant anti-Semitic attacks, and I pray for their safety. I pray for those experiencing blatant Islamaphobic attacks. May we all pray for free people living side-by-side in harmony and without fear. 

As we honor the act of celebrating with the community, there surely was no shortage of that same joy at home. On Sunday, we welcomed our neighbors to hear about the campaign so far. It was important to me that this event focused on our positive vision for Medford and Malden, and how there is so much power in simply lending a helping hand. We started off the night with live music from local artist Coywolf Johnson and featured testimony from Kevin Decoteau, Marie Izzo, my husband Mohanad, and Malden City Councilor At Large Karen Colón Hayes. 

Between traditional protest songs, Kevin, a former tenant of mine, shared his story of overcoming addiction through a support system we created together. “Without the help of Nichole and her family, I don’t think I would be standing here today.”

Marie Izzo, a longtime Medford community advocate for progressive causes, talked about the importance of serving the community from your heart, and how we must elect genuine people who know what it means to serve all of us. "I had a family living with me from Morocco that was in need of housing, so of course I sent

them to Nichole. That's what really strikes me about her, she's an ally for everyone."

Malden City Councilor At-Large Karen Colón Hayes, the first Puerto Rican woman to represent Malden, talked about the significance of being the first, and the weight we carry as we break down barriers. “I could not and would not sit on the sidelines; your community deserves representation. The fact that there are no Muslims on Beacon Hill is unacceptable.” I am endlessly grateful for her using her platform as an elected official to speak truth to power.

I ran for this seat in 2022 and that race brought everyone together. When I spoke to people, it wasn't about right-wing or progressive or Muslim or whatever other labels are pinned to us, it was about the work that needs to be done within our community. What do you as my neighbor need? That's how we ended up building a movement that transcended these divisions and came fifty votes short of unseating a twenty-year incumbent in House leadership. That's unheard of, but it doesn't have to be if we put our communities, our lives, and our futures first.

We all want to be able to raise our children and take care of our families, send our kids to school and know they are safe, and we want to know they are being prepared for a future in a competitive global economy. We want to be able to drive down roads without busting an axle, and we want to know how our Representatives are voting. We are being told we don't have a right to know how they are spending our tax dollars. Our votes are being taken for granted. I know we deserve more.

In other campaign news, I was so glad to be welcomed back to the Medford Bytes Podcast! I had the pleasure of talking to Danielle Balocca about life since my last campaign. I have received many questions, such as “where have you been? What have you been up to? Have you been involved in the community since then?” and the answer is yes, I have never stopped, and I have continued to listen and learn. Contrary to the beliefs of some, I am here, I am ready, I am energized, and I am determined to finally be the representation that my community deserves. You can listen to the full episode and show our local journalists some love wherever you get your podcasts! 

If anything was made clear to me this week, it is that we all want something to hope for. When you lay out a positive vision, people will believe that something more is possible. When we say no to old rules, boys' clubs, and dirty campaigning, we say yes to unity and change. And when we say yes to that, we can deliver real results to families.

Medford and Malden, I'll leave you with the words of my husband Mohanad: "Representation is not merely a privilege, but a fundamental right. Without it, we will be oppressed by the majority. You need to make sure that whoever you elect for this seat is someone who is not only going to represent the minority of the group. I do not want you to go to the polls and champion Nichole because she is Muslim, but because she will fight for women, LGBTQ, all minority communities, our African-American brothers and sisters, our Jewish brothers and sisters, every single one in our community. Religious freedom, immigrant's rights, social justice, our kids' education, or economic equity - she will drop everything to help when someone calls. This is the kind of person Nichole is. This is not the kind of thing you see on social media, or something to brag about on social media, these are people's lives. 

Photos by Megan Hemenway, on Instagram

Featured artwork by @capturethenoor & @laylaeo on Instagram

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