The election is over. Let’s get to work.
I was happy to remind you all to vote, and now the election is over. In the course of the first week after the election, I lost count of the number of conversations I heard about what we should all expect. I can’t count the number of times I was asked to talk about my feelings. What are my thoughts about the country under a Trump presidency? Will this new president have a negative effect on our work?
The conversations I have overheard expressed many worries. Does Donald Trump respect women? Does Donald Trump respect people with disabilities? Is he racist? Does he believe in religious freedom? Can he undermine the gains we have made? Will he stand in the way of the work we need to do?
While none of us controls the entire environment around us, and life is a mixture of hard work and luck, I for one will not give up my power of free speech and my commitment to social responsibility. We have work to do. I will do my part, what about you? I see this as an opportunity to do two things.
First, you need to know the issues really well. You need to speak up not just to me, but to the elected officials in your neighborhood. If we want real change, we need to be able to say what we want and why.
Second, I have identified those issues that affect our work, and I will speak up. And I will tell you what I am doing. We have goals. Later this week that goal site will be available to all our staff. That site will tell you what we are doing to advance our organization’s goals and it will tell you what issues I am pursuing through advocacy.
Many times in my professional life, I have been called on to make clear what matters, about the people we support and the people who do the work. We are all about social justice. It’s all about inclusion and respect for the contributions we make, and those we need to make in our communities. Now is not the time to doubt. Now is the time to learn and to speak up.
As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
I am not giving anyone consent.
Thanksgiving is upon us. Let’s be thankful for what we have achieved and determine to be optimistic. Let’s to do our part to make the changes we need happen.