Roberto Díaz has always voted as a Democrat beginning with his first presidential election in 2004. Diaz is a first-generation Mexican-American born in a Democratic household in Arizona. His allegiance to the party followed him to Boyle Heights, where he lives now.
But for the first time ever, 32-year-old Díaz is considering voting for a different party. He says he will probably vote for Green Party candidate Jill Stein in November.
Díaz says he wants to "challenge what is in place to create something new."
Next month, he and his partner are expecting a baby boy and they want to raise him in a more racially just society.
Díaz is haunted by memories of police brutality against people in his community. Growing up, he says he remembers "policemen beating up Mexicans" because the police knew that they had no recourse against the government.
"There wasn't really any justice done," he says.
Díaz himself was questioned multiple times by police while he was a student at Arizona State University. Even when he was wearing ASU clothing and carrying a backpack while bike-riding home from campus, the police wanted to know why he was out so late.
The police also stopped him in a nature reserve because they said he looked suspicious because he was wearing a jacket and running. Díaz says it was cold and he was outdoors. He says he just kept thinking, "I really don't want to get shot here."
Díaz believes that former President Bill Clinton's "War on Drugs" damaged communities of color and their relationship with law enforcement. Even though he knows that Hillary Clinton is different than her husband, he worries she might reenact some of the same policies her husband did.
"There is a saying in Spanish: 'Tell me who you hang out with and I'll tell you who are,'" Díaz says.
Díaz is also burdened with student debt. He is anxious about buying a home and building credit. He works as a consultant for nonprofits but expenses in Los Angeles can make things tight. He doesn't want to have to move around because rents might not be affordable.
Díaz sees a vote for Stein as the best chance he has for more liberal policies that will improve racial justice, the economy and international relations. A big turnout for Stein, he believes, will give the far left more negotiating power if Clinton does win.
Still, as a Democrat, Díaz says it feels odd to vote for a third party candidate. But the decision may be long overdue. He often has felt more to the left of the Democratic candidates but has voted for them anyway. Now he wonders if that was the right choice.
"I'm just imaging how different our country would have been if we had given a chance to folks that we don't consider to be in the mainstream," he says.
It's unlikely that Stein will win, but by voting for her, Díaz hopes her ideas will encourage the next president to be more progressive.