19 Q’s with Santa Fe Dreamers Project’s Allegra Love

Feb 15, 2017
1. What did you want to be when you grew up?
A forest ranger– but a cranky one like Edward Abbey. I even went to college in Environmental Studies to do that very thing and then did a 180 when it was time to choose a job.

2. Who are your real-life heroes in your field?
Stephen Manning–Total genius. His Ted Talk is thrilling to people like me.

3. If you could tell Trump one thing, what would it be?
I would tell him that I know he that he knows he is a coward and that I know he knows he has an empty heart. He can pretend all he wants but you can’t run from that forever and that is something he has to live with and something he will have to face before he leaves this earth.

4. What is one thing you wish the general public knew about your work?
I wish that they knew how the work that we do affects their own well being. I think too often our work is seen as good charity or work that is done because it is correct from a human right perspective. All that is true but I don’t think people understand that we are doing this for the good of all of us. We want our town, our state, our country to be the kind of place where immigrants are thriving because that makes us all wealthier, healthier, stronger.

5. If funding were no object, what would you do?
I would create fellowships for young lawyers interested in creative community based projects helping people living in poverty. I would sponsor them for two years to just go forth and let their imaginations run wild.

6. How do you get through a tough day?
Coffee, country music, imagining a cold beer at the end.

7. What do you see as the greatest challenge your community is facing?
A racist, nationalist, merciless administration in the White House.

8. What is the strongest asset of your community?
The ability to do hard work with great humor.

9. Who do you call when something wonderful happens?
My twin sister.

10. If you weren’t doing this kind of work, what would you be doing?
Working at the dump. My job is really demanding and I am really burnt out right now so the idea of weighing people’s trucks and taking their tickets sounds very calming. I would even take up smoking just for the smoke breaks I see the dump workers taking when I go there.

11. Favorite film?
Warrior. It’s a movie about two brothers who are MMA fighters. It is fucking fantastic. I watched it twice in one sitting the first time I saw it and cried really hard both times.

12. Favorite song right now?
Runnin’ Just In Case by Miranda Lambert. I love Nashville Country music and it’s easy to write off all those bros who are writing about chicks and trucks and stuff but the ladies of Nashville are throwing down these days.

13. If you could tell the field of philanthropy one thing what would it be?
I would tell them that we can get results from your grants! If you want really good data collected from your grant then money needs to be included for the resources to collect that data. Data collection is work.

14. How do you think we can change the world?
More love! Approaching all people as individuals who are worthy of love before approaching them as a criminal or someone who needs to be punished or someone who needs to be judged.

15. What book are you reading right now?
I keep a stack of books around for show to make my visitors think I am cultured but I rarely have the energy to read. I read the New Yorker because I am a snob deep down but even then I mostly read the restaurant and movie reviews.

16. What’s your personal motto?
Its a quote from Zelda Fitzgerald: No one has ever measured, even poets, how much a heart can hold.

17. What makes you the most happy?
A day with my nephews, Woody and Clint, or camping with people that I love. Sometimes that is the same thing!

18. What was the last gift you gave someone?
I gave someone a bunch of Tannerite. It is a kit of two chemical compounds that you mix together and it becomes highly unstable and then when you shoot it with a high velocity projectile (i.e. a rifle) it makes a most satisfying explosion.

19. What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
A custom belt buckle with my name on it for my 21st birthday.