“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for, we are the change that we seek”. Powerful affirmative words from Barack Obama that convinced the world of his intentions to bring unity in our country. And now, a 23-year-old student lawyer from the Howard University School of Law is living by Obama’s vision. Brandon Robert Watts is a civil rights activist who has recently decided to run for public office in Washington, D.C. The recent 57th anniversary of the March on Washington event gave the locals a chance to interact with Brandon. He confirmed that he shared a vision of a more unified city free from racism.
Brandon Robert Watts is doing his best to push the culture forward. He believes his run for Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner is the best way to do it. A win will make him one of the youngest African Americans to take up this mantle and administer duties to the people of Washington, DC. One of his roles will be to voice the concerns of local residents and guide legislators into making informed decisions that affect various minority groups.
“When I look at the people who sit on the commission, I don’t see anyone who reflects me or my local community. There are many low income and predominantly black neighborhoods in my district and I fear their voices are not being heard.” In a time where police misconduct and accountability has been the trending topic of the summer, Brandon Robert Watts feels that the time is now for African American people. Time to acquire all the political power they can, to create long lasting change.
“I am the son of a formerly incarcerated man. Realizing that incarceration has impacted every generation of my family deeply troubles me. That was my motivation to attend law school,” says Brandon. He recently led a 2020 Black Lives Matter March in Scotch Plains, New Jersey. He also currently represents the minority few in the justice system who want to positively contribute towards actualization of new policies, amends and ideas. This is an effort to ensure fair incarceration procedures for every American.
He was born and raised in the city of San Bernardino, California, considered to be one of the most violent and dangerous places in America. The experience is particularly worse for families living in poverty. Brandon witnessed the ramifications of being a dreamer, and person of color, in this rather unforgiving world. The lack of a formidable support system makes it hard for many youth to survive in such conditions. But Brandon, unlike many of his peers, had a plan to sustain his ambitious approach to life, and be part of the change that is revered by many.
Recently, an African American teenager, Deon Kay, was killed by the Police in Washington, DC. The ensuing protests gave people like Brandon Robert Watts an opportunity to listen to the grievances of community members and bereaved family. He attests, “I know I am young, but I believe that I have what is best for my community right now. Especially when it comes to spearheading legal mandates that favor minority racial groups.” The interactions reminded Brandon that laws like “Stand Your Ground” exist because there were, and still are, not enough people to represent African Americans when it comes to making laws. He refuses to let this happen again to people of color. Brandon knows too well that in order to help the community, he has to be engaged with everyone and represent them at the highest level.
Brandon says that his campaign is a platform for youth all around this country to take local political power by the hand. A change to demand the change that is needed in their communities. He reminds every voter that to be free is to live in a way that enhances and respects the freedom and liberty of others. His slogan, vote for humanity, vote for Brandon Robert Watts.