The Washington State Community Action Partnership believes that ending poverty requires a commitment to multiracial democracy and to the truth. We unequivocally condemn the toxic cult of white supremacy and disinformation that tore apart the U.S. Capitol last week and has been dividing our country and tearing our families apart for generations. The events of last Wednesday are a chilling reminder that everyone must be part of the solution. We are all called to take part in what’s next for our country and to build more equitable communities in the process.
Our nation faces a reality not unlike the one that drove Congress to create Community Action Agencies in 1964. The work of post-Civil War Reconstruction was rolled back and replaced with Jim Crow through violence and hate. Authorities met peaceful demonstrators for equality with brutal force but accommodated and even facilitated white supremacists in their efforts. Thankfully, everyday heroes organized to build power and force a hesitant ruling class to pass legislation like the Economic Opportunity Act, the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. They advanced the cause of freedom and opportunity for all. We must make the same, brave choices to collaboratively make this another transformational moment for our democracy.
Washington State’s congressional delegation eventually found unanimity in its stand against challenges to the electoral college. This unanimity must continue and deepen into a commitment to a full accounting of events and consequences for those who participated. The 14th Amendment secures equal protection for all Americans and protects our democracy from tyrants. It must be enforced.
At Community Action, we promise to care about the entire community. We also know healing and reconciliation occur on a foundation of truth and accountability. The rioters sought to disenfranchise the same people bearing the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout: women of color, low-income workers, and people with disabilities are chief among these. We call for bold investments and reprioritization toward social, economic, and environmental justice policy at the local, state, and federal levels. The work of building communities where everyone has a chance to thrive must continue. Together, we must all do our part to elevate the truth, call out lies and cowardice, and demand accountability. Let’s all step up, from wherever we are, to secure our democracy and our communities.