Many years ago, my abuelita, Lucy Pino, gave me a tour of the tiny adobe house she grew up in. Handmade by my great grandparents, it is charming and complete with a porch and a windmill. It was so sweet to see my abuela’s eyes sparkle as she gave me a tour of her childhood home. When we got to the backyard I saw a giant cement hole full of trash and weeds and surrounded by odd looking sheds, confused, I asked her what it all was. I was surprised when she told me that it had once been a swimming pool and the sheds were actually changing rooms. My abuela who rarely talked about her father, Lorenzo Pino, told me the story of when my great grandfather ran for mayor in Magdalena. She said that his mayoral platform was to build a community pool. Apparently when he found out that he didn’t win, he went home and ordered all his kids to start digging. The family worked together to build the pool and the changing rooms in their backyard. In conversation several years ago, one of my neighbors told me that he remembered Lorenzo and recalled the good old days of going down to the pool to swim as a kid.
With the local elections here and the tensions reaching a heightened state, I’d like to encourage candidates not to get disheartened if they lose. If you are running with the intention of a better future, it shouldn’t end with a loss. You don’t have to be in office to contribute to the improvement of your community so don’t lose sight of your vision and whether you win or not, build your swimming pool.