It was one year ago that I stood in a dirt parking lot, trying to get members of Rio Rancho and the surrounding areas to simply register to vote.
Instead I was met with a mob of Trump protesters who threatened my life and those of who I was with. I listened as I heard them yell, “Slash their tires,” “Go back to where you came from,” and “This is our city.”
I listened and looked these protesters in their eyes while they held guns, batons, knives, bats out as if somehow registering people to vote was an act against America.
One protester even yelled, “Go back to your own city,” and I yelled back, “This is my city; I live right down the road.”
Well, the look on his face was pure bewilderment. It was as if he had no idea that Black people lived here in Rio Rancho.
We are one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States. I love our city and know that we can be more inclusive. Everyone should feel welcomed here.
This is 2021, and instead of ignoring the issues we have with diversity, I address them head on.
I am concerned for the safety and mental health of our children. They have been through so much.
We have asked them to brave gun drills, some suffer food insecurity or abuse, and they have braved the pandemic.
Our children deserve to be given grace and mental health care when they need it.
We need to step up and check on them instead of waiting until it is too late.
I want to get back to the basics with our community relations with our first responders. I want our Black children to not be afraid of our police but to know them and feel as if they are included in the saying “protect and serve.”

Barbara Jordan
Rio Rancho