promoted by Rosi
Tuesday night was a tough pill to swallow — not a shocker, but shocking nonetheless, America elected the candidate who repeatedly espoused racist, misogynist and prejudice beliefs. A man who proclaimed his right to grab women by the genitals and claimed that the children of immigrants could not be impartial judges. Although his racist hateful rhetoric may not be THE single reason millions voted for this man, the fact remains that by giving their support to a racist, many Americans gave their tacit acceptance to his racism and hate. White (and Male) privilege may shield many from the repercussions of that choice, but that’s not true for the targets of that hate.
None of this is to say that the anger and dissatisfaction amongst the working class, which culminated in a Trump victory, isn’t real. The social contract has been broken for years and this fact is clearly evident in a state like New Jersey. Our Garden State leads the nation in foreclosures and increased poverty amongst children. Our state has the worst funded pension system and our cities have higher levels of lead poisoning than Flint MI. Instead of systematically tackling the issue, our elected leadership have siphoned off critical resources directly to the wealthy and well connected. Our state has given massive tax breaks to corporations and banks, bad actors are routinely rewarded or absolved of their responsibilities and “Democrats” have happily gone along for the ride or orchestrate the whole thing in the name of “pragmatism”.
We realized Wednesday morning that our nation has a long way to go if it will ever be the beacon of freedom and fairness we truly wish it to be. A lot of that work begins at home. Not only in order to hold the line against a government that promises to be every bit as hateful and fascists as its campaign promises, but also in order to demand true support and change by the “Democrats” who lead or desire to lead our state. It was in that spirit of “getting to work” that we organized and carried out our NJ Working Families Take Back the State Summit. A convening of over 150 activists and organizers form over 30 organizations making the commitment to continue to push our state forward, as well as to hold the line on behalf of the most vulnerable communities. Advocates from across several issues committed to stand together and advocate for a comprehensive progressive agenda that holds the lines for all families across many issues across our state. Feminists pledged to defend the environment, Environmentalists declared their support for Tax Fairness, Marriage Equality activists proudly stated that Black Lives Matter.
Our goal is simple, we seek to craft a set of solutions or a Progressive’s Platform that can rebuild stability for working families and hold elected officials from the local level to national accountable to the goals of our ENTIRE community. Easy? Certainly not. One convening will not yield THE solution, but we’re glad to give it a shot. Together we took the first step and hope to move towards collective action that can bring forward real change. Afterall, that is what organizers who build a movement do.