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Post-Election 2020: How We Got Here & What Happens Now

Post-Election 2020: How We Got Here & What Happens Now

Editorial from the WeAct Team on the impact that grassroots organizations had on the election, announcement of our eight priority cause areas for 2021, and the first reveal of original artwork for this campaign.

Sage Wylder
Sage Wylder

It has been a long, difficult road to get here. Our country made the decision to vote out a man who spews hatred and bigotry, condones the oppression of marginalized identities, supports white supremacy, and has rolled back over 100 environmental regulations. These past four years have been immensely difficult for many of us—physically, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually.

But we did not let this defeat us. We showed up to vote for our friends, neighbors, and loved ones. We showed up to vote for women, undocumented folks, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, people with disabilities, those incarcerated, and the many who’ve had their lives taken at the hands of police brutality #SayTheirNames. Our resiliency and perseverance is what we must celebrate. Our voices and efforts matter. We do create change when we come together to collectively take action.

We want to acknowledge everyone who made this possible because we know that you are tired and on the verge of burnout (or fighting through many moments of burnout). It is important to have a bit of pause and recognize the hard work it took to get here, right now. OneMillionOfUs advocated to sign up one million youth to vote, Sunrise Movement reached approximately 3.5 million unique young voters, and many small grassroots organizations made a large impact with few resources. All amidst a global pandemic.

The impact was that millions of people opened their eyes and changed their minds, even slightly, to join in the fight for your cause—which was reflected at the polls. This is where we should find reassurance and hope; no matter how bad it gets, we will not choose silence or complacency.

Most of us realize that the journey is not over which is why we strongly believe that WeAct is necessary now more than ever. As many activists are aware of, social and political forces must be moving in the same direction for us to accomplish large scale changes. The president and vice-president are accountable to their people—they are accountable to us. As Vanessa Butterworth from Greenpeace USA says, "Now is the time to push for a Green New Deal. Now's the time to support the #LandBack movement. Now’s the time to push for defunding the police. To push for #Medicare4All. To get every single kid out of immigration jail. To win complete tuition forgiveness. And, to end voter suppression. Now’s the time to push as hard as we can for everything this country deserves."

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris must continue working with those of us on the ground who know how we must move forward. To influence their decision making, grassroots organizations must use the right tools and platform. WeAct is designed to help you communicate more effectively with your own group and collaborate with other organizations.

With the reality of how close this election was, our groups must consider: “Are we influencing those who do not already agree with us?” We must also inquire whether the Democratic National Committee has our best interests in mind and if it is truly in alignment with our values—or if it is time for a Progressive Party. Does our vehicle really serve us to accomplish our fundamental goals? Now more than ever we are questioning the framework of the United States political system, taking steps to fight for fair maps and end gerrymandering, stopping voter suppression and discrimination in voting, and dismantling structural racism by disbanding the two-party system.

After we collectively take a deep breath, we will keep organizing for social, racial, and environmental justice. The work continues as we get our local and national government to pass legislation that protects the environment and ensures equity for all people. This is why today we are announcing our campaign to keep building momentum for important issues.

Eight Priority Causes for 2021

  • Indigenous Rights
  • Black Lives Matter
  • Immigration
  • Wealth Inequality
  • Food Sovereignty
  • LGBTQIA+
  • Climate Change
  • Gun Violence Prevention

We also recognize the importance of mental health, opioid addiction recovery, and advocacy for people with disabilities. For this reason, these action areas will be woven through each of the eight causes to increase intersectional collaboration.

The intention of each cause area is to create intentional, focused activism across these issue areas. There are already thousands of groups out doing this work and WeAct strives to empower them to work as one, united entity instead of scattered, siloed movements. Our efforts go further when we work together.

Some more exciting news: very soon we will be releasing fully original artwork to center our efforts around these focus areas because we believe that art is a powerful tool for activism. Artists are at the forefront of envisioning the society we want to create. If you are an artist and want to be commissioned as part of our project to design the rest of the cause areas, please reach out to us! Here is a sneak peak into this project:

Black Lives Matter

Original illustration created exclusively for WeAct by Alana Magdalene. All rights reserved. 

Climate

Original illustration created exclusively for WeAct by Alana Magdalene. All rights reserved. 

We want to know how you or your organization plans to make a difference in 2021 and beyond. How did this election change the way you do activism and what do you plan to focus on in the next four years? Be sure to join the beta (which means first access to WeAct when the general release launches).

In the coming weeks you can expect to see us share more ways to stay involved. For now, here are some helpful resources that might help you understand how we got here and what we must do now.

Stay strong,

The WeAct Team

Resources

How we got here

House Democrats Dissect What Went Wrong And How To Rebound From Losses by Kelsey Snell

(Why) There Was No Biden Landslide by Umair Haque

Stressed Election by NY Times

What we must do now

If Trump won’t concede, these activists have a plan by Anna North

All Activist Resources by The Union of Concerned Scientists

Initial Thoughts on the Impact of the 2020 Federal Elections on National Climate Policy by Joel B. Stronberg

Post-Election: Movements, Not Politicians, Will Lead the Way by The Editors at Nonprofit Quarterly

Tell President-Elect Biden: We Need A Fossil Free Cabinet by Greenpeace USA

The #ClimatePresident Action Plan: 10 Steps For the Next Administration's First 10 Days by The Center for Biological Diversity


Cover artwork by Paul Zeaiter