November 16, 2016
By Bill Lipton, NY Working Families Party
Washington, DC – The entire team at WFP has been struggling with some of the same questions, fears, and immense pain that I know many of you have been struggling with too.
For the second time in sixteen years, the Electoral College — a mechanism originally conceived in part to placate slaveholding states — delivered the presidency to a candidate who lost the popular vote.
It delivered the presidency to a candidate who campaigned on bigotry, xenophobia, and misogyny, and who has given little indication he will respect the Constitution, freedom of the press, or rule of law.
It delivered the presidency to an extremist Republican Party who will now control all branches of federal government.
There will be both short term and longer term consequences for New Yorkers.
The election of Donald Trump poses an immediate threat to many of our families and neighbors — especially people of color and immigrants. Here in New York, our first priority must be to draw upon our historic tradition of progressive leadership by demonstrating that a real alternative is possible.
New York, home to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, has been a beacon of hope for immigrants for centuries. Since the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848, we’ve been on the forefront of the struggle for women’s rights. We’ve led on civil rights, and always defended freedom of worship for all. And we’ve been an innovator on important social and economic policies such as the expansion of healthcare for the poor.
In the short term, New York can act to make sure we are protected from the attacks that could come from a Trump administration. That means protecting a woman’s ability to make her own reproductive decisions by codifying Roe vs. Wade. It means ensuring that New York remains a safe haven for immigrants and their families and that our Muslim brothers and sisters enjoy the same protections and freedoms as all other residents. It means making sure that New Yorkers who receive health care benefits under the Affordable Care Act are not stripped of coverage, and expanding voting rights.
Longer term, we have even more work in front of us. We need to articulate a strong, compelling vision of a new economic and political system that works for everyone. We need to push elected officials to embrace that vision. And we need to find, train, and elect dynamic progressive candidates who will fight for it.
The mission of the Working Families Party has never been more important than it is right now.