The Mexican people made history again on June 2nd when they overwhelmingly elected Claudia Sheinbaum as their next president. They also gave the Morena Party huge victories at the local, state and federal levels. Of all eligible Mexican voters, including those from the US, Canada and other countries, 70% cast ballots.

The election results inspire me with hope that Mexico will come out from the oppressive shadow of Yanqui imperialism and build a truly just, equitable and democratic nation. And, Moreno’s victory also inspires me to believe that Chicanos in the US — we are nearly 40 million people — can achieve our own substantive democracy, justice and self-determination.

Since the US annexed Mexico’s northern territories in the 1840s and 1850s, the Chicano people have lived as an oppressed people subject to the racist policies and practices the US ruling class first established over Indigenous peoples and then African Americans.

My family, from what is now Colorado, knows that oppression intimately. By force and legal maneuver, the US stole my family’s land, our only asset. We couldn’t speak our language in school, and we couldn’t read the documents we needed to sign. Wages were called the “Mexican rate” in the Colorado coal mines where my grandfather and uncles worked.

So I’m proud to be part of the Chicano liberation movement that rose up in resistance in the 1960s. In the Southwest and California, our historic homelands, we won the right to vote and gained political representation. We forced open the doors to higher education, changed US immigration laws, and ended legal segregation in housing and schools. We supported union movements in rural and urban areas and demanded national rights. But we still have a long way to go.

Claudia Sheinbaum and thousands of Morena Party activists have shown us that when we’re organized and united by a pro-people political program — we win. Morena stood up against the dark shadow of Yanqui imperialism and an entrenched and powerful oligarchy. On June 2, Morenistas gave new life to the powerful grito of our movement — “Sí, se puede.”

Mexican citizens living in the US also flocked to the polls, excited to mark their ballots. Here in LA, 85% of those voters chose Claudia Sheinbaum as their new leader. And so, we too raise our voices in celebration with our sisters and brothers in Mexico! We will continue to build solidarity with their movements and apply the lessons of their struggles to our own movement for self-determination and democracy.