By Rachel L. West
Advocacy & Community Outreach Consultant
Regrouping is what a lot of my peers have been saying this week. Many of us are shocked and dismayed by the election results. Fearful is also a term being used by many. There is cause to be concerned.
With Republican control of the White House and both chambers of Congress there is little doubt that 20 million people will be losing their health insurance.
The next president will get to appoint at least 1 justices to the Supreme Court. He will also get to appoint a slew of conservative federal justices. With regards to reproductive justice and health care; for now Planned Parenthood is somewhat shielded thanks to the efforts of President Obama.
Marriage equality is also somewhat safe. Presidents can not repeal a Supreme Court ruling.But it is unlikely that there will be further gains made t the federal level that support LGBT rights.
I am not writing this to cause further upset or frustration. I am publishing this to Hope for the Best and prepare for the worst. By preparing for the worst, I mean get ready to work hard and long hours.
The issues I plan on dedicated myself to:
- Electoral reformWhile I still go back and forth on whether the electoral college should be replaced entirely (I be writing on that later); I do believe we need every state to institute ranked choice voting.
- Voter registration and engagement46.9% of eligible voters did not vote on November 8th. That is a pitiful statistic. I will also be writing more posts in the coming year on this topic. We need to fight for early voting and same day voter registration in every state.
- Anti-oppression workI will continue to advocate for oppressed communities including those living in poverty.
I hope the events of the past week show the importance of social workers being politically engaged. I hope it teaches them about the need for community organizing work. If you are a visitor of this blog you probable understand both those points. I ask that you reach out to others in our profession and help them understand the importance of community practice.