We Choose to Believe in the Power of Organizing

The people of this country – led by communities of color – have fired Donald Trump. 

We choose to believe in the power of organizing. Despite egregious voter suppression, the strength of American democracy has been upheld by the millions of people that stood in voting lines for hours on end , and the hard work of movement builders who, for the past four years, have fought harder than ever to stop the erosion of civil protections for our people. And let’s be clear: defeating Trump was a movement win, not a win for the Democratic establishment. 

Now is not the time to rest. Over the past 4 years, protections to our health, and environment have been eroded and we are on shakier ground than ever. While we have maintained a resemblance of our democracy, we must be clear that the reality of a Biden Administration also does not serve our friends and neighbors the way we need it to. 

Our democracy is far from perfect. This no surprise given our country was built by and for the wealthy and elite. We have seen its corruption over and over again. 

And we see it all the time, right here in WNY, when governments do not hold corporations accountable for making poor and working class white communities and communities of color sick, exposing us to pollution and hazardous waste; when people of color and women are kept from advancing in publicly subsidized workplaces like Tesla; and when our Mayor, police department and holding center are allowed to systemically enable officers and racist citizens to take Black lives. 

But despite all odds, in this imperfect system that has beaten so many of our people down, we continue to show up. We continue to turn out, day in and day out, because we know that institutions are only as strong as we demand them to be. Because this is our country, and we are not going anywhere.

Throughout his campaign, Joe Biden has made many commitments to the Environmental Justice communities where our members live. He has stated that all Americans should have a fair shot at getting ahead. He has called for energy and environmental policy to advance public health and economic opportunities. He has called for an overhaul of the EPA External Civil Rights Compliance Office, and stated he will strengthen pollution laws to reduce the disproportionate impact on poor and working class white communities and communities of color. 

While his promises are a good start towards the world we’re fighting for,  we know campaign promises often go undelivered. It is our job to make sure a Biden Administration holds to these commitments, and to spend the next 4 years fighting for a country and economy that centers our health and dignity.

 We must continue to work to change the conditions that make Black communities more vulnerable to COVID, that leave poor and working class white communities and communities of color exposed to pollution and hazardous waste, that keep people of color and women from advancing in the workplace, and that systemically enable police officers and racist citizens to take Black lives. 

 This is only the beginning. Now is the time to show up to ensure that Biden keeps the promises that he made on the campaign trail. 

We know the road ahead will not be easy. Our movement is going to have to fight hard against a Biden administration – and we’re up against an emboldened and organized Right. More white people voted for Trump in 2020 than in 2016 and the Right will not let up for a single second. We’ve got our work to do to continue to organize more of our people away from white supremacy and towards a world where we can all be free.

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