April message from the Chair
Yes, the national election is over, but that does not mean we can sit back and congratulate ourselves. The Republicans and other right leaning organizations are working hard to make even deeper inroads into local, state, and national government. We need to be vigilant and active. There are a lot of activism opportunities available in our community.
Your vote for me as Chair was based on what I could bring to the membership: transparency, diversity, and honesty. And to change the status quo of the past. In that spirit, I ask that you carefully read and consider the proposed Bylaws changes and the code of conduct enforcement document – do not rubber stamp just because it is coming from the executive board. These changes will affect the running of the 45th for years to come. At our general meeting on April 7 there will be time to answer any questions, and you can send me a private chat message in Zoom if you want to remain anonymous but have a question.
We can support Ethnic Studies in our local school districts and educational institutions – and vote for leaders who will help make these changes. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have experienced centuries of violence in the U.S. We need to address the perpetual foreigner stereotype that frames Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders as outsiders to this nation. Due to this outdated “Orientalist” framing, Asians can be excluded, detained, deported, and attacked because they supposedly don’t belong here. Ethnic Studies helps teach students the sources of this racism and promotes racial empathy and solidarity.
We all remember the bright promise of the Obama years, which started with overwhelming majorities in both houses of Congress and saw how the opposition was able to use the filibuster to thwart progress. Obama’s desire for bipartisan solutions resulted in very few of the accumulated unmet needs being addressed during his first two years when he had majorities. Mitch McConnell will be able to convince the moderate Democrats not to end the filibuster this term and then abolish it whenever he and his Republicans return to the majority. So, let us do it first and actually achieve an existential win on voting rights right now.
Linda Jenkins (she/her)
Chair, 45th District Democrats