By Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson
Our nation has been wounded recently. But out of the wounds came something beautiful–millions of women, men, and children marched across the nation and worldwide on Jan. 20 in support of the Women’s Movement that has blossomed after the election. Everyone gathered in solidarity and were passionate in taking to the streets to profess their attitudes about respecting the rights of women, acknowledging that they do not fear immigrants but welcome a conversation to include them in our democracy, protecting our planet and the need to uphold justice and equality for all Americans whether Black, Latino, Asian, or in the LGBTQ community. The Women’s March was so enormous it transformed into a movement, but we must hold this momentum.
Having been in politics for a long time, I have witnessed many become emotionally defeated. However, I want our younger generations to know that their passion cannot be quelled when it gets hard—in fact, it should be stoked. It is imperative that everyone understands the era we are entering and not take for granted the tireless hard work being done by new and seasoned activists in their local communities to protect the rights of all Americans and bring awareness to issues that gravely impact our lives. What we witnessed Saturday was a demonstration of people saying enough is enough; no longer will they sit aside to watch their rights be taken from right under them. The people have proclaimed they are expectant of change and will demand it by organizing. Keep doing it.
We might be witnessing one of the next best moments in history. When people unite together the results of a victory allow a shifting of policies. So my hope is that this protest foreshadows that people will not give up easily during the uphill battle to fight for their rights and will be persistent in organizing.
My message to those who have been encouraged and motivated by the actions of the previous demonstration is to be committed to peace, justice and equality for all. I also encourage you to get to know each other, sit around the table and discuss strategic ways how you can contribute to solving local issues and be involved in your community. You are also not in this alone! In order to have a more informed decision on an issue research local organizations that are working to combat the issues of women’s rights, civil rights, climate change, LGBTQ issues and more.
You can also keep yourself informed of the issues that most concern you by checking the status of current legislation at www.congress.gov. Lastly, I always welcome the thoughts and concerns from you, the people, who have elected me to represent our district.
May your voices continue to be loud and energy resilient as you organize across our state and country to see the change we all desire, prosperity of the American dream for all.