I first saw Forough Molina (fuh-ROO mo-LEE-nah) when she asked for my support at the Farmers’ Market one morning, and I promised to look her up online. I liked her, although she looked me right in the eye, an old trick. I once met a governor of Illinois who was later convicted of some shenanigans, or maybe folderol, and I most remember his piercing stare. It was nearly hypnotic and he was a thief and a charlatan the whole time. Molina didn’t seem like that, just direct.
I saw her the next time at the forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters in the Chico Silly Council room, and then she and I talked on a bench at One Mile. I was thinking of writing about her candidacy, but for the hour or so we sat there and the week since I haven’t thought up words to do her justice. She’s a benign tsunami, kind and warm and relentless. I bet she’s a tough teacher.
Here’s where I get to mention Miz Richie, an English teacher I had at the end of high school. We knew Miz Richie was immaculately dressed and accessorized and made-up, and looking at my yearbook fifty years later I realized she was also mighty fine, though just out of range for sixteen-year-old perceptions. Miz Richie has nothing to do with Forough Molina, except she was a tough teacher, too, and I wanted to give her late props.
Molina asked me why I wanted her to win, and I said because I got a good vibe from her at the Farmers’ Market, and she seemed like a regular person, believable, with manageable neuroses, and tough, too.
Sometime there on the bench she mentioned having raced bicycles, and so what I thought was a certain temper, as with steel, was exactly that. Bicycle racers are tough mothers. Another snap judgment supported. She was also riding a 1970s-era Schwinn, my hometown brand. I’m a certified Schwinn Service Specialist, so her wheels gained her a lot of cred with me.
Molina grew up poor in Chico, which I bet no other candidate can claim and which is reason enough to vote her onto the Silly Council. We didn’t talk about many issues. She actually knows what public schools are for and that police need better training, and that’ll do for the time being. Forough Molina strikes me as someone who might not last long as a Silly Council member and who will be a big help while she’s there.
As much as anything, I trust her. I don’t mean I’d rely on her in all situations. With my child? Absolutely. In a gun fight, maybe not. I don’t expect to agree with her decisions on the council all the time, though that would be nice. I trust that how she votes will be because of what she feels is best for ordinary people in Chico. The wealthy and business owners have plenty of influence on, in, and throughout the Chico Silly Council. I trust Forough Molina to represent those of us with no business, few skills, half-assed healthcare, and no cash reserve. When she wins.