Ediane Maria takes ‘invisible life’ as a maid to Alesp – 03/16/2023 – Politics
Among the dates engraved in Ediane Maria do Nascimento’s memory is September 3, 2002. On that day, close to turning 19, she disembarked at the Tietê bus station, in São Paulo, leaving Floresta, a municipality with just over 30,000 inhabitants. in the interior of Pernambuco.
Since then, she has been a maid, nanny, cook. Later, she became coordinator of the MTST (Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sem-Teto).
Now, at the age of 39, the date that took Ediane’s thoughts is March 15, 2023, when she was sworn in as a state deputy. Affiliated with PSOL, she obtained the 20th highest number of votes among state candidates and the fifth highest if only women are considered.
She is, in several senses, a figure that escapes the São Paulo political pattern. Although the number of women in Alesp (Legislative Assembly of the State of São Paulo) in this new mandate is a record, there are only 25 seats of them in a total of 94, which represents 27%.
In addition, there are 19 who declare themselves to be black, like Ediane, the equivalent of 20%.
It also makes up a left-wing minority, which will oppose Governor Tarcísio de Freitas (Republicans). The trend is that there will be no more than 30 in the Assembly who oppose the holder of the Palácio dos Bandeirantes.
Ediane doesn’t seem afraid to act against the current.
“They ask if I’m not afraid to be inside [Alesp]. I arrived in São Paulo when I was 18, and everyone told me ‘no, no and no’. I managed to get through all this and now it will be another challenge. And I’m not alone, I have more than 175,000 people who voted for me by my side”, she said in an interview at the MTST’s Casa de Luta, in the Santa Cecília neighborhood.
Ediane is number 7 of the 8 children of Raimunda, who was a maid and nanny, and José Merêncio, a bricklayer and market trader.
One of the daughters of one of Raimunda’s employers went to São Paulo and needed someone to take care of the housework. It was then that Ediane took the bus to the capital of São Paulo and started following her mother’s path.
“In Floresta, I was someone. Here, I became one more in the crowd, that was my agony.
In 2016, Ediane was in line for the Leve Leite program in Jardim Aclimação, the Santo André neighborhood where she still lives with her four children — she is a single mother.
His dissatisfaction with the waiting time and the insufficient amount of benefits caught the attention of MTST members, who were also waiting at the place. They invited her to learn about the movement and Ediane’s story changed direction.
“From then on, I began to look at the world in a different way and began to gain a voice”, he says.
She also felt welcomed like she had never felt in her life in São Paulo. The nicknames she received are a sign of this new moment. “Look at the little lion!”, MTST friends would say when meeting Ediane, who wears black power hair, with blonde tips.
Within the movement, she was one of the founders of Raízes da Liberdade, a nucleus that discusses racial agendas and participates in demonstrations with this motto.
In March 2021, the group promoted a protest against high food prices at Pão de Açúcar, in Moema. “We went there to criticize hunger and racism, without offending consumers who were in the supermarket.”
One of Ediane’s main proposals is directly linked to her daily life at MTST. In the midst of the pandemic, the movement launched solidarity kitchens, which today distribute free meals in 32 places across the country.
In her first term, the deputy intends to present a project at Alesp that transforms this initiative into public policy, favoring the outskirts of cities.
The misery in the streets of São Paulo is among the problems that make her indignant. “Look what happened here in São Paulo City Hall. They are tearing down the tents of vulnerable people”, she says vehemently, citing the responsibility of Mayor Ricardo Nunes (MDB).
Ediane supports the very likely candidacy of Guilherme Boulos (also from the PSOL) for the administration of the capital of São Paulo. Nunes must be one of the other strong names in the dispute.
wanted by Sheetthe Subprefectures Secretariat informs “that all municipal management actions are guided by law 59.246, of February 28, 2020, which provides for the procedures and treatment of the homeless population during the performance of urban janitorial actions” .
According to the folder, “objects that characterize a permanent establishment in a public place may be collected, especially when they impede the free circulation of pedestrians and vehicles, such as beds, sofas, mattresses and tents or other durable goods that are not characterized as personal use”.
It also says that these assets are guarded by the subprefecture and can be withdrawn by their owners, who are notified of the seizure.
In culture, the new deputy wants to fight for the installation of more libraries in peripheral neighborhoods. “Why do people have to take two or three buses to access culture?”
With regard to housing, she intends to take the demands of social movements to Alesp, among them, requests for land regularization and transformation of occupations into popular housing.
“We live in a very populous state, which is also the richest in Latin America. But there is no housing policy in the state of São Paulo”, she criticizes.
According to the Urban Development and Housing Secretariat of the Tarcísio government, São Paulo has made “significant budgetary investments in the construction of popular housing in recent decades, guaranteeing access to lower-income families with the granting of subsidies, with an average housing service of 20,000 families per year in the last decade”.
It also states that “in structural and complex problems, it has acted in the urban requalification of precarious urban settlements, characterized by risky situations, slums, tenements, irregular subdivisions, problems of access to infrastructure and inadequate health conditions”.
Ediane knows that her time at Alesp will be full of mishaps. On the other hand, she is aware that the advancement of women and blacks in spaces of power is a one-way street. “We will have clashes, but we are not going to back down, it’s no use.”
X-ray | Ediane Maria do Nascimento, 39
He was born in Floresta, in the interior of Pernambuco. He moved to São Paulo at the age of 18. In São Paulo, she was a maid, nanny and cook. In 2017, she began militancy by taking part in the Povo Sem Medo occupation, in São Bernardo do Campo. Then she became coordinator of the MTST (Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sem-Teto) and the black movement Raiz da Liberdade. She was elected state deputy by PSOL for São Paulo, in 2022.