Right now it feels as though there are very dark days ahead. Children have been ripped from their parents’ arms at the border and placed in far-away detention facilities with little hope of an immediate reunification. The administration is determined to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and deprive thousands of children critically needed health care. The House passed a Farm bill that would take food from the tables of millions of innocent and needy children. The level of vitriol and incivility some of our leaders manifest exceeds the boundaries of common decency we used to take for granted. Then this week, we learned that the “moderating” voice on the Supreme Court, Justice Anthony Kennedy, is retiring, paving the way for this Administration and Congress to attempt to expedite selection of a successor before the mid-term elections.
Now more than ever we need to renew our commitment to work together to protect our most vulnerable and precious resource, our children. We must collaborate to elevate and amplify our voices through non-violent protests, our media, and consistently demanding that our elected officials resist the harmful policies being advanced. We must partner with others to make sure that every individual eligible to vote is registered, engaged and by mobilizing voter turnout in the 2016 elections and beyond. We are working with our partners such as the Hispanic Federation to ensure that our students and staff are trained in registering and mobilizing and we’re identifying resources to make registration easier, like cdf.turbovote.org. Knowing that New York state ranked 41st in voter turnout in the 2016 elections inspires us to ensure that everyone is registered and going out to vote in future elections. In order to have a fully functioning democracy, all voices must be heard. We must never give up. Our children are listening and watching what we do.