It’s election day. Finally.
We expect to see record breaking turnout of voters in this cycle, millions having already participated and many more who will show up at the polls on Tuesday. The contours of the outcome are taking shape and we believe there will be a resounding showing of people who are often counted out in these types of affairs.
Let’s just say it plain, because it is our reality, the last period has cost us a great deal. Just over the last year, millions of us have lost our livelihood, childcare, time with friends and family. We have lost family and community members. Some of us are getting to this moment struggling to catch our breath, some of us are crawling to the finish line hoping it is some respite, unsure of what the outcome will be and even more anxious about what happens after. Pero gente, we are here. Estamos presente. Let’s show up and show out.
As Mijente we set off over a year ago with the mandate that we would not sit on the sidelines at this moment. We determined that Trump was a significant enough threat that we needed to dedicate time and effort to ensuring he would be a one-term President. We deliberated, debated and made decisions on how to engage. Like many others across the country, we’ve made room and made sacrifices to carry out those decisions.
Amidst the obstacles and tragedies of 2020 we have contacted more than a million voters and millions more online. In addition to getting Trump out in battleground states, we are working to elect local candidates that if elected could stop police agencies from collaborating with ICE, could end cash-bail and pre-trial detention, and fight for our communities at every level of government. We are building our own infrastructure where political parties have failed to prioritize our people. We have brought that culture, ese espiritu chambeador and we have walked this path our own way, with our own sazón.
We said it before and we will say it again. This was never about picking our savior. This was about setting the conditions in order to advance solutions to poverty, climate crisis, criminalization to name a few. Today as each of us play our respective role and take our sacred place – whether you are knocking on doors, preparing food, running for office, accompanying our little ones, cutting turf, calling your family to make sure they are voting, or wondering out loud when the hell all this is gonna end – I hope you know that this was also, always, always about us. What comes after is up to all of us.
Each of us are of this time for a reason, we must remind ourselves that our ancestors faced down their share of great odds. And in these days of fall, passing that time of the year where the veil between what is present and what has passed is most thin the stakes of this time mirror this, where the veil between the things we most dream of and most fear are revealing themselves to us and only a thin veil separates very different fates. It is our turn and it is our time.
Over the next few hours and days, you may feel at times anxiousness, loss, ease and accomplishment. Know that whatever final tallies are, we must be vigilant to protect our victories. And rest assured, we will have them. When we take collective action to address the challenges of our time and place, we build power. Remember those accomplishments, those advances, the bonds that we build when we come together. Remember we are all ancestors in the making and we are leaving behind greater possibility for those who come after. What we face in this election is a threat to us all. We are engaged in the preservation of the democratic process, understanding that we have had to scratch and claw for our rights every step of the way, understanding its many flaws. At our core, we are most powerful when we are the most generous and when we can push for the common good.
In the moments when I seek inspiration and guidance I think of the prospects of those of us who are often denigrated, overlooked and counted out storming the stage, upending the story and bending that long arc of history a little closer to justice. For that, I thank you. See you on the other side.
Marisa FrancoMijente Director