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Ricardo Menéndez March

In this podcast Ricardo Menéndez March from the Green Party talks to Regis Perez about what it's like to be a Member of Parliament.

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Summary

This abstract summarizes a podcast recording titled "Ricardo Menéndez March - Rainbow Politicians," recorded at the Parliament buildings in Wellington, in which Ricardo Menéndez March discusses their experiences and viewpoints as a Member of Parliament (MP) with interviewer Regis Perez. The recording touches on several decades, primarily focusing on political narratives from the 1990s to the 2020s.

Menéndez March recounts the political stories from their family's past in Mexico and how these narratives shaped their political values. Their shift to active political engagement in New Zealand was sparked by narratives around migrants that they encountered in the media, particularly during the 2011 elections. Feeling misrepresented by the negative stereotypes associated with migrants, Menéndez March became involved with the Green Party as a volunteer in the 2014 campaign. Their work has since focused on advocating for the rights of unemployed individuals, migrant workers, and the application of a queer lens to various legislative issues.

As an MP, they feel a strong sense of responsibility to the communities they represent. Menéndez March is dedicated to working on initiatives such as lifting benefits, supporting individualized income support, and promoting the rights of migrant workers. They highlight the importance of considering queer issues in broader policy areas, such as individualizing benefits, which, while not overtly a queer issue, impacts the community significantly due to assumptions about family and support inherent in the current system.

When questioned about being part of a parliament with a significant number of queer political figures, Menéndez March expresses mixed feelings. They remark that while it is promising to have a "queer parliament,” the true measure of its success lies in the improvement of queer rights. The lack of openly trans and non-binary representation is noted as an area needing advancement.

Menéndez March also addresses the challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community, particularly the intersectionality of queer identities with other community groups. An example discussed is the impact of healthcare requirements on migrant visas, which can negatively affect trans migrants seeking gender-affirming medical procedures.

The representation of Takatāpui (the Māori term for a person identifying as LGBTQ+) in politics is also a focus, with Menéndez March emphasizing the importance of following the lead of Takatāpui community members themselves. Additionally, the MP underlines the need for the queer community to be actively involved in policymaking and to hold queer politicians accountable for their actions and representation.

Lastly, Menéndez March discusses their own journey of coming to terms with their identity, the struggles of constant "outing" as an immigrant in a new environment, and the support they received. They also comment on the normalcy of queer identity within the Green Party caucus and the assurance it provides to community members seeking assistance on identity-related issues. In conclusion, Menéndez March stresses fostering connections with community groups on the ground and ensuring that policy-making includes and benefits all community sectors.

This summary is created using Generative AI. Although it is based on the recording's transcription, it may contain errors or omissions. Click here to learn more about how this summary was created.

Record date:25th November 2022
Interviewer:Regis Perez
Location:Parliament buildings, Wellington
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Archive:The master recording is archived at the Alexander Turnbull Library (OHDL-004699).
URL:https://www.pridenz.com/rainbow_politicians_ricardo_menendez_march.html