Center for Popular Democracy Action State Of The Union Response

“To understand what makes the state of our union strong today, look beyond Washington,” says national community organizing network

January 30, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC -- In response to tonight’s State of the Union address, Center for Popular Democracy Action (CPD Action) released the following statement from Network President and Co-Executive Director Jennifer Epps Addison:

“Tonight, the state of our union is strong. It is strong, because millions of people have stood up, united in our resistance to the extreme agenda of hate at the foundation of this President and his GOP supporters. It is strong because of countless organizers, who have fought tirelessly over the past year to protect our most cherished values. It is strong because of immigrant communities, who have shielded each other against the worst of Trump’s attacks and whose youth have led an unparalleled movement to defend the American dream. It is strong because of communities of color, who turned out in droves last year to turn cities, counties, and states a deep shade of blue across America.

If you want to understand what makes the state of our union strong today, look beyond Washington. Look to the rest of the country, where local organizers are leading a resistance unprecedented in our time.

Look to Texas, where a host of cities banded together with fierce organizing groups like the Workers Defense Project and Texas Organizing Project to block a racist ban on sanctuary cities, providing a lasting lesson in how cities can fight state attacks on local control.

Look to the response to Charlottesville, which ignited a movement not just to counter Trump’s racist remarks, but to counter and dismantle white supremacy as a whole. With the support of community organizations, cities and towns began to rethink their budgets to invest into the prosperity of communities of color - and divest from the over-policing and mass incarceration that has held communities back.

Look to the toppling of Trumpcare, an effort that owes its success to the work of local community groups, who, day after day, kept up a relentless drumbeat of pressure on their elected representatives. Organizations in key swing states like Living United for Change in Arizona and the Alaska Grassroots Alliance forced Senators to face the consequences of their actions, and it made all the difference. The same communities are already turning their energy to a call for a real response to the opioid crisis.  

Look to Virginia, where New Virginia Majority and CASA in Action drove an unprecedented get-out-the-vote effort, mobilizing communities that had long been disenfranchised - including ex-offenders voting for the first time, inspiring new calls to better engage voters of color.

In that past year, the collective efforts of those organizers have stopped Trump’s most heinous policies, and, in the process, imagined a more beautiful America. Building from the local level out, they have stretched the boundaries of what was once thought possible.

The truth is, the state of our union is not the state of Washington. It is the state of our cities, our towns, our counties, our people. And there, we can see infinite reasons for hope.”

###

Media Contact: Asya Pikovsky, apikovsky@populardemocracy.org