Social change is a long term and gradual proposition, but sometimes we take a clear step forward. Last Tuesday was one of those days. Across the country we reaffirmed basic progressive values while reelecting our first Black president, a former community organizer.
We know that an election will not bring justice and equality and that real change comes from below. Still, in spite of the many progressive critiques of Obama, we now have four years ahead of us to go on the offensive on the issues we care about. We have already been building momentum at Social Justice Fund, and this in an opportunity to take bold action. If we breathe a sigh of relief and rest on our laurels we will miss this political moment. We will look back four years from now and wonder why we haven’t made any progress.
These victories did not come about just because of demographic changes and big political donations. They happened because of the long and hard work of grassroots organizations. By supporting Social Justice Fund, you have helped make this work possible. Many of our grantees played important roles in this election and are already taking next steps to ensure that one election results in years of positive social change.
Some examples, in no particular order:
*Entre Hermanos organized Latino communities in support of R-74. Their “Why Marriage Matters” video is here: video*Many grantees did major voter registration and get-out-the-vote work including Central Washington Progress, Got Green (video here), Native Youth Leadership Alliance, Causa, Partnership for Safety and Justice, Montana Human Rights Network, Rez Vote (affiliate of Equality State Policy Center who was also active throughout Wyoming), Idaho Community Action Network, and more.*Statewide Poverty Action Network knocked on many doors and called many phones, did amazing voter registration work especially among low-income folks and former felons. They created this voter guide.
*Washington CAN! did lots of get-out-the-vote work, including focused on the governor’s race. They are also jumping right in, organizing two rallies TODAY, one in Spokane and one in Seattle on the social safety net and immigration reform. They also created a voter guide. Other voter guides were created by Rural Organizing Project (STAND Voter Guide) and Causa (voter guide)
*Montana Human Rights Network led the losing fight against an Arizona style immigration referendum. They knew they couldn’t win, so they took the opportunity to spread a long-term message of immigrant rights and inclusion.
So many partner organizations did great work. A special shout out on the R-74 victory (Washington State’s same-sex marriage approval) to Pride Foundation and Western States Center (who pulled off the “Why Marriage Matters” campaign in communities of color).
Thank you to all and let’s keep this momentum rolling!