This is our moment

January 20, 2021

Today we are filled with hope and determination as we inaugurate a new President of the United States.

For the past four years, our communities have been under attack by the Trump administration.

Immigrants, Black, Brown, and Indigineous people, women, and so many more of our families and neighbors have been villainized by forces that seek to divide us against each other so they can maintain their privilege and power.

The prior administration sought to take away people’s freedom to join together in a union, making it harder for working families to keep food on the table — while billionaire CEOs capture ever more of the rewards of our labor.

We’ve choked on smoke from wildfires made worse by climate change, while the administration rolled back environmental protections at the behest of polluters.

The pandemic has hit Black and Brown communities — home to so many essential workers and families pushed into overcrowded housing — hardest, forcing us to say goodbye to loved ones via Facetime while the White House denied science and responsibility to act.

And most recently, violent insurrectionists have assaulted our democracy, egged on by politicians who pledged to govern in our name and enabled by some who swore to serve and protect us.

But these years also showed our collective strength. We have pulled through everything that’s been done to divide, derail and dishonor our most basic rights. We have stood strong in the midst of unrelenting attempts to discredit and silence Black, Indigenous, immigrant and other communities of color. We have acted at the local and state level to look out for each other and respond to the pandemic as best we can.

It is quite frankly a relief to have a federal government that believes in science, is prepared to tackle COVID-19, cares about working people, and recognizes the harms of systemic racism. There is much our leaders in Washington must do to meet the demands of this moment.

At the same time, we also know that transformative change rises from the bottom up. Ideas, policies, and strategies we pioneer locally can become models for other local, state, and national policymakers.

So in the coming months, we look forward to collaborating with our movement partners across the nation to win the federal action our communities need — and to acting locally to build grassroots power and shape innovative solutions for our communities.

This is our moment to draw on the strength and resilience we’ve forged in the fires of the past four years. The organizing done by so many — here and across the nation — to elect new leaders at all levels of government means we now have the opportunity to drive change impossible a month ago.

We must not let this moment go to waste. Look out for updates and action alerts in the coming weeks: we’ve got a lot of work to do.

Together, we will get through this pandemic, protect our planet, advance racial justice, care for our families, and lift up working people. We’re so glad you’re in this movement with us.

In solidarity,

Derecka Mehrens & Maria Noel Fernandez

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