Welcome to today, Wednesday November 4th, 2020. The day when many people across the globe thought they would know who the next President of the United States would be.
But as we’ve done for so much of 2020, it seems our job today is to take a pause. Just as we paused to slow the spread of the coronavirus and give scientists time to develop treatments and vaccines, today our task is to pause to ensure election officials can do their jobs. As voters, we did our job and turned out in record numbers, casting our votes despite the pandemic and despite deliberate efforts to block our voices. Local election administrators are hard at work counting our votes now, and every hour that goes by is adding to the tally and emphasizing the voters’ decisive choice.
What we know with absolute certainty in this moment is that we are more ready than we’ve been in a generation to lace up our boots, sharpen our pencils, and go forth enthusiastically, even joyfully, into the realm of civic engagement. We’ve marched, we’ve voted and we’re claiming the high ground. Today, we’re celebrating the movement momentum built — and still building — toward a more just future for us all. We will advance to hold the next President, the next Senate, the next House, the next Mayor and every other elected official — to account to ensure the will of the people prevails.
From Black Lives Matter, we learned to put our core value statement at the center, and to never, ever back down from an assertion of our basic dignity, our basic worth, our right to protest. And for observers of this movement, we have learned that there is no limit to the size of our collective vision for liberation. We’re not talking about small reductions in horrific statistics, or tinkering around the margins of policy change, the Movement for Black Lives is talking about a comprehensive reimagining of public safety and community care.
From Indivisible we learned that ordinary members of the public can use real, focused strategy in how we push Congress to do better. We have to actually hold our own representatives accountable, because Lindsay Graham just doesn’t care how many Californians leave him voicemails. From Sister District we learned about the immense opportunity sitting on the table with flipping state legislatures, and we learned that we can offer a kind of political mutual aid to districts across the country from us. From Solidarity Sundays, we learned that meeting regularly with a pod, and making civic engagement a part of your regular schedule is how we sustain ourselves when the change we need is more of a marathon than a sprint. From Pantsuit Nation x Supermajority, we learned that our personal stories, our joys and tragedies, bind us together and strengthen our resolve to fight for each other.
Formed from Shanelle Matthews’s community call in the wake of the 2016 election, Radical Communicators Network has become a thriving online hub spanning the continent, and now spanning multiple countries around the globe. We are communicators, strategists, artists, storytellers, filmmakers, podcasters and more sharing not just traditional resources, but also our best ideas for how our work can be stronger and more inclusive… how our work can interrupt harmful narratives and build new public narratives about the world we want.
Most recently, #UnstoppableVoters has powerfully demonstrated that, here, at the point of decision, we all have incredible artistic gifts to bring to the table to reach potential voters who are too often left out. From horse rides to the polls, to dancing mailboxes, to a circus and brass band procession through a district with historically low turnout, to billboards and bus ads with a message tailored specifically to potential voters with court fees, to large-scale projections of civil rights style voting posters, we have learned so much from a campaign that digs deep to find the right message and the right messenger for each community that could increase its voter turnout for this historic election.
So… Are you ready to advance justice? Let’s sign up for those textbanking shifts. Let’s get 3 friends to join us Sunday afternoon. Let’s look through our phone contacts to see who we know who can sing or act or stir up good trouble. Let’s convince our nonprofit leadership that a healthy democracy is a precursor to every other thing we’re working for. Let’s form cheer squads. We all have gifts, and there is a place in this big, raucous movement for everyone who is ready to put into action their aspirations for justice for all people.