Two hundred and forty four years ago, the United States began a tradition that continues to this day, unheard of anywhere else in the world at that time, whereby the people would choose their leader and every four years there would be a peaceful and dignified transfer of power. We expect that tradition to hold now and in the future. Let us all come together to bring unity to our country.
This election has been historic in many ways, but no more so than in the election of our first female, African American, South Asian, graduate of an HBCU (Historically Black College or University) to the Vice-Presidency! No matter who you voted for, this groundbreaking event must be acknowledged.
Many thanks to all who worked so hard to ensure that every eligible voter was able to exercise their right to vote! You made calls, sent texts, got people registered, posted accurate voter information on social media, worked the polls, gave rides to the polls, protected voters’ rights at the polls, and your hard work paid off. Voters came out in record numbers across the country, voting in person or by absentee, and their votes counted.
We all deserve a day of rest. Take the day to celebrate democracy, to enjoy this historic moment.
But then, we get back to work. Democracy does not end at the ballot box: That is just the beginning. Now that we have a new Administration, a new Congress, new people in our statehouse, it is time to hold these elected officials accountable to address the vital issues facing our country. Whether you voted for them or not, they are now our representatives in the halls of government, and we must ensure that they truly represent us.
In the year ahead, let us join together to advocate for sane, science-based policies to address the pandemic and comprehensive relief to deal with the economic fallout. Let us work together to resolve the crisis at the border and return our nation to its historic place as a haven for refugees and asylum-seekers. Let us work for policies to mitigate the effects of climate change. And let us finally undo the systems and policies that have led to the devastating inequities and entrenched racism in our society.
The task ahead may seem daunting. Two thousand years ago, Rabbi Tarfon, a 2nd century sage, said, "It is not your responsibility to finish the work of perfecting the world, but neither are you free to desist from it." (Talmud, Pirkei Avot 2:21). No one of us can do this work alone, but together, we can bring healing and wholeness to our world.