Remember Who We Are 11.9.16

Dear Justice Advocates,

On this day after the election, we address all of our members, Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Greens, Independents, winners and losers. Some feel the sting of defeat, some feel the heartache of feeling unheard, some are fearful, and some are triumphant.

As a member organization, Empower Missouri advocates for ALL Missourians. But especially we seek a better quality of life for those who are on the margins, who need a second chance, and who need their policymakers to understand their struggles.

Our goal is a society that ensures the welfare of all – and we believe people of many parties embrace that vision. So how do we at Empower Missouri envision getting there?

We remember who we are.

We were founded in 1901, so we know that justice-advocates must be persistent people – organizing and educating today for reforms that we may not see in our lifetimes.

Look at the good work we’ve done together –

  • Created the Missouri Commission on Human Rights;
  • Repealed laws that permitted discrimination in hiring, housing and public accommodation;
  • Extended food assistance programs to reduce malnutrition;
  • Raised the Missouri minimum wage through grassroots petition initiative,
  • and so much more.

We do this work by joining together in our local chapters, and by collaborating in our task forces. We work with political leaders in all parties. We train folks to advocate for themselves.

It is time to unite as organized social justice advocates in Missouri. Renew your membership now, invite a friend to join, donate to strengthen us going into the Legislative Session that starts January 4, 2017, and share our Tweets and Facebook posts with those in your network.

We have some challenges. Some of the things said in this campaign season have hurt. Some of the rhetoric has left us wounded and unwilling to come together. But we must find a way to persevere.

We have heard from vulnerable Missourians who are food insecure, unsure if Medicaid will continue, etc. They are frightened and anxious. Let us reach out to persons we know who depend on public assistance programs as this is a very unsettling time for them. Remind them that Empower Missouri and many other organizations are here to organize for and with them, that we will not allow them to be abandoned by society.

Let us remember the words of Frederick Douglass from 1857: “If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation, are [women and] men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.”

Courage, my friends. Let us love and support each other as we walk into the struggle hand-in-hand.

Jeanette Mott Oxford

Executive Director

To see the results statewide ballot measures, including a joint statement from the Missouri Voter Protection Coalition upon the passage of Amendment 6, click here.

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