Person

Ana Maria Archila

Nationality:

Colombian

American

Organization:

Center for Popular Democracy

Ana Maria Archila is a liberal expansionist immigration activist and the co-executive director of the left-of-center Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) and the Center for Popular Democracy Action Fund along with Andrew Friedman, Jennifer Epps-Addison, and Brian Kettering.

Archila claims to support the idea of “believe all survivors,” meaning that any and all accusations of sexual misconduct should be considered true until proven false. [1] Archila is notable for confronting then-U.S. Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) in an elevator after he voted to move then-federal Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court out of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee for a full vote despite unsubstantiated sexual misconduct allegations against him. [2] Despite analogous unsubstantiated sexual misconduct allegations against then-Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden arising during the 2020 elections, she supported his election. [3]

Career

Ana Maria Archila was born in Colombia and immigrated to the United States at 17. She involved herself in left-wing community organizing efforts on behalf of immigrants in New York City. [4] Archila began her career as a staff member of the Latin American Integration Center (LAIC), a left-of-center immigrant advocacy group in New York founded by Archila’s aunt, Sara Maria Archila. [5]

In 2003, Sara Maria Archila died of cancer and Ana Maria Archila took over LAIC, eventually growing it into the largest immigrant group in New York by membership. [6] In 2007, LAIC merged with Make the Road by Walking, another immigrant advocacy group, to form Make the Road New York. [7] Archila led the merged organization for seven more years, where she advocated in support of left-of-center labor policies, including an increased minimum wage, government-mandated paid sick days for all employees, and stronger wage protections. [8]

In 2014, Ana Maria Archila became co-executive director of the left-of-center Center for Popular Democracy (CPD). [9] As one of the organization’s leaders, she was an outspoken opponent of former President Donald Trump and his administration. Archila led protests against the detention of illegal immigrant children. [10] She advocated for the abolition of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), arguing that moderate immigration reform efforts had failed under former President Barack Obama’s administration and calling for radical, left-of-center policy implementation. [11]

Archila has advocated for expanded federal support for Puerto Rico. She supported a congressional bill which aimed to have the United States federal government pay off Puerto Rico’s debt on the grounds that allegedly malicious private actors lent money to the Puerto Rico government they knew could not possibly be paid back. [12] Archila has accused the American federal government of ignoring Puerto Rico’s interests because its population lacks voting representation in Congress. [13]

Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearings

In 2018, then-President Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. Shortly before the vote on his confirmation, Kavanaugh was accused of past sexual misconduct, leading to one of the most contentious confirmation hearings in American history. Ana Maria Archila emerged as an outspoken opponent of Justice Kavanagh, supporting Christine Blasey Ford’s unsubstantiated claims that he assaulted her while in high school. [14] Archila claimed that confirming Justice Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court would be “a grave threat to the rights of women, LGBTQ families, workers, communities of color and our democracy.” [15]

In September 2018, Archila and other protestors stood outside the office of U.S. Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ), one of the undecided Republican Senators who would vote on whether to move Justice Kavanaugh’s nomination out of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee to the U.S. Senate for a full vote. Archila and others shouted stories of their own sexual abuse in an attempt to pressure Sen. Flake to vote against Justice Kavanaugh. [16]

On September 28, Senator Flake voted to move Justice Kavanaugh’s nomination out of committee to a full vote by the U.S. Senate. As he entered an elevator in the U.S. Senate Office Building, Archila and anti-Kavanaugh protestor Maria Gallagher confronted Sen. Flake about his vote and refused to let him leave for four minutes while they shouted at him. The encounter was broadcast live on CNN. [17] Though Sen. Flake did not change his mind on the vote, he did call for additional FBI background investigations into the accusations against Justice Kavanaugh. [18]

Tara Reade Accusations against President Biden

In March 2020, Tara Reade, a former staffer of President Joe Biden during his time in the U.S. Senate, accused then-presidential candidate Biden of sexual assault. Given the fame garnered by the elevator incident during Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings, Archila issued a public statement about how the accusations impacted her support for President Biden. Though Archila did not state whether she believed President Biden was guilty, she condemned his response to the accusations as dismissive of sexual assault survivors. However, Archila maintained that she still supported President Biden’s candidacy because “President Trump’s racism and xenophobia has caused serious harm to millions of people, and his administration’s inept handling of the COVID-19 crisis has resulted in the deaths of thousands.” [19]

Archila claimed that Democrats needed to “do something that might feel morally incoherent,” voting for President Biden in “order to protect [themselves]” despite his being accused of sexual assault. [20]

References

  1. “Statement: Ana Maria Archila Responds to Biden Sexual Assault Allegations.” Common Dreams. May 1, 2020. Accessed May 17, 2021. https://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2020/05/01/statement-ana-maria-archila-responds-biden-sexual-assault-allegations. ^
  2. Abramson, Jill. “In the elevator video, two rape survivors show how democracy works.” Guardian. September 28, 2018. Accessed May 17, 2021. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/sep/28/elevator-video-ana-maria-archila-maria-gallagher-democracy. ^
  3. Bennett, Jessica; Lerer, Lisa. “The Allegation Is Against Joe Biden, but the Burden Is on Women.” New York Times. May 2, 2020. Accessed May 17, 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/02/us/politics/tara-reade-joe-biden-metoo.html. ^
  4. Smith, Charlie. “Broadbent Institute bring democracy advocate Maria Archila to Vancouver.” June 9, 2014. Accessed May 17, 2021. https://www.straight.com/blogra/661311/broadbent-institute-brings-democracy-advocate-ana-maria-archila-vancouver. ^
  5. “Ana Maria Archila, A Latina Fighting For Democracy From the Heart of the Bronx.” BE Latina. March 26, 2021. Accessed May 17, 2021. https://belatina.com/meet-ana-maria-archila-latina-bad-ass-a-force-for-change/. ^
  6. “Ana Maria Archila, A Latina Fighting For Democracy From the Heart of the Bronx.” BE Latina. March 26, 2021. Accessed May 17, 2021. https://belatina.com/meet-ana-maria-archila-latina-bad-ass-a-force-for-change/. ^
  7. “Rising Stars 40 Under 40.” Make the Road New York. September 28, 2010. Accessed May 17, 2021. https://maketheroadny.org/rising-stars-40-under-40/. ^
  8. “Ana Maria Archila.” Center for Popular Democracy. Accessed May 17, 2021. https://www.populardemocracy.org/staff. ^
  9. “Ana Maria Archila.” Center for Popular Democracy. Accessed May 17, 2021. https://www.populardemocracy.org/staff. ^
  10. Gamboa, Suzanne. “Trump migrant gamily separations protested as U.S. is accused of violating human rights.” NBC News. June 1, 2018. Accessed May 17, 2021. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/trump-migrant-family-separations-protested-u-s-accused-violating-human-n879076. ^
  11. Gonzalez-Ramirez, Andrea. “Here’s How the #AbolishICE Movement Really Got Started.” Refinery 29. July 30, 2018. Accessed May 17, 2021. https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2018/07/205854/abolish-ice-origins-twitter-undocumented-immigrants. ^
  12. Dayen, David. “2020 Democrats Band Together To Call For Puerto Rico Debt Cancellation.” July 25, 2018. Accessed May 17, 2021. https://theintercept.com/2018/07/25/puerto-rico-debt-cancellation-bill/. ^
  13. “Puerto Rico: Shelter After the Storm.” Al Jazeera. May 2, 2018. Accessed May 17, 2021. https://www.aljazeera.com/program/episode/2018/5/2/puerto-rico-shelter-after-the-storm/. ^
  14. Abramson, Jill. “In the elevator video, two rape survivors show how democracy works.” Guardian. September 28, 2018. Accessed May 17, 2021. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/sep/28/elevator-video-ana-maria-archila-maria-gallagher-democracy. ^
  15. “Statement: Ana Maria Archila Responds to Biden Sexual Assault Allegations.” Common Dreams. May 1, 2020. Accessed May 17, 2021. https://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2020/05/01/statement-ana-maria-archila-responds-biden-sexual-assault-allegations. ^
  16. “Ana Maria Archila on Confronting Jeff Flake.” NPR. September 30, 2018. Accessed May 17, 2021. https://www.npr.org/2018/09/30/653086731/ana-maria-archila-on-confronting-jeff-flake. ^
  17. Abramson, Jill. “In the elevator video, two rape survivors show how democracy works.” Guardian. September 28, 2018. Accessed May 17, 2021. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/sep/28/elevator-video-ana-maria-archila-maria-gallagher-democracy. ^
  18. “Ana Maria Archila on Confronting Jeff Flake.” NPR. September 30, 2018. Accessed May 17, 2021. https://www.npr.org/2018/09/30/653086731/ana-maria-archila-on-confronting-jeff-flake. ^
  19. “Statement: Ana Maria Archila Responds to Biden Sexual Assault Allegations.” Common Dreams. May 1, 2020. Accessed May 17, 2021. https://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2020/05/01/statement-ana-maria-archila-responds-biden-sexual-assault-allegations. ^
  20. Bennett, Jessica; Lerer, Lisa. “The Allegation Is Against Joe Biden, but the Burden Is on Women.” New York Times. May 2, 2020. Accessed May 17, 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/02/us/politics/tara-reade-joe-biden-metoo.html. ^
  See an error? Let us know!