Arts » Arts Stories & Interviews

The Esperanza Center Promotes Grassroots Action with a Screening of Knock Down the House


Tomorrow, the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center is hosting a screening of hit documentary Knock Down the House, followed by a community discussion.

An underdog from the start, the film was produced on a shoestring budget of $28,111 raised on Kickstarter. Filmmakers Rachel Lears and Robin Blotnick followed four female candidates spurred to action in the wake of the 2016 election – Cori Bush (Missouri), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (New York), Paula Jean Swearengin (West Virginia) and Amy Vilela (Nevada) – chronicling the boots on the groundwork that these women undertook in the name of bettering our country.

Bush, Swearengin and Vilela were knocked out of the running in their respective primaries, but social media maven and apostle of the Green New Deal Ocasio-Cortez (popularly styled as "AOC") unseated Democratic incumbent Joe Crowley in a surprising upset. What originally looked like a longshot suddenly became a favorite to win, and win she did, garnering 78% of the vote in the general election.

So the Esperanza Center posits: why not San Antonio? After the film, attendees are invited to stay for a talk about "how elections are run, the role of money in politics, and the state of our representative democracy across partisan lines," with the goal of empowering members of the community to participate in (or possibly disrupt) the political machine. Nevada candidate and documentary subject Vilela will be in attendance to discuss her experience and strategies for the future.
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