Ring in the new

When Trump was elected, I realized I needed to do more.

I have worked for causes my whole career, always given money, signed petitions, voted. It wasn’t enough. In those first grim days of November 2016, Paul and I had been working hard every day for the Hillary campaign, and we were exhausted and depressed. The situation demanded urgency, but it was hard to know what to do about it.

When I read the Indivisible Guide, back then just a Google doc being passed around on Twitter, I said to Paul “this could be it.” The idea of constituent pressure appealed to me, the idea of using the Tea Party’s tactics against them appealed to me, I admit, even more. Paul said, “I want to do something that works.” Indivisible strategies had a proven track record. And so we leapt into the unknown, into leadership.

Stand Up San Francisco’s first meeting astonished me, as over 100 people crammed into the Noe Valley Library’s little meeting room to raise their voices in solidarity and commit to a new way of being in the world: as activists and as comrades, for the long haul.

Since then, every day that I’ve worked for Stand Up SF has been a day that I’ve been able to feel certain that I was doing something, doing more, making a difference. Every day I’ve been able to take some action to stem the tide of fascism, to stop Trump in his tracks, to say “this cannot stand”. For two years, in the face of increasing horrors from this administration, I’ve had a channel for my rage and passion, and a reason to hope.

You gave that to me. You showed up, at that first meeting and at others like it. You shared your ideas, led actions, demanded that the issues dearest to you be raised with our Members of Congress — and raised them. You became part of a nationwide movement standing up for justice. You protested, you stopped Trumpcare, and a few months ago you helped elect the most diverse of progressive slate of Democratic Congresspeople in the House’s history. You gave us a chance. You did that. And I will be grateful all my life.

Now Paul and I are passing the baton to Rachel and Shannon, who couldn’t be more qualified to lead the next phase of Stand Up SF with your help. But I’ll still be making calls, showing up, learning from your example, and partnering with you in the fight ahead.

Thank you for everything you’ve done, and everything you’ll do!

Laura

The most important political office is that of the private citizen.
—Justice Louis D. Brandeis

From the first days of Stand Up San Francisco, we knew that we were creating a vital body of lasting importance to the political conversation. Not just an effective resistance movement of the moment, but an instrument to empower the people with a crucial voice in our own governance — which is how this country was always meant to work.

Watching you, our members, learn about the intricacies of the issues of the day and engage in often-complex but necessary policy conversations has for me been both moving and heartening. Across so many different issues, you the members have always kept in mind our principles of inclusion, fairness and justice, and demanded that our elected representatives do the same. I think this is our most important legacy as founders of the group: an educated, engaged citizenry, stepping up to take our rightful place in the American system of self-government.

This is what you have built. Onward!

Paul