When the polls opened early in DC, I already knew who I was voting for: Hillary Clinton.
I am not with her because she's the next best alternative. I'm with her because I believe in her ability to make substantive policy change in the White House. I live and breathe at the intersections of who I am every single day. And I am proud to stand behind Hillary Clinton as the next president of our country because I believe she will fight for the things I care about.
As a gay man, I would be lying if I said that the hateful speech and actions of some didn't get to me at times. I try to live my most authentic life, and that includes being proud of every part of my identity and encouraging others to do the same. I'm with her because Hillary has spent her life and career fighting for all of our equality. From standing up for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) community rights in the workplace to fighting for equal pay for equal work, she has long stood up for marginalized communities.
As a Filipino American and the son of an immigrant, I applaud the inclusion of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) and other immigrant voices throughout her tenure in public service and her campaign. Her dedication to the diverse voices and peoples she embraces makes me proud to rally behind her. Under a Clinton administration we can expect to see more people of color, women, LGBTQ folks and others who look like us and share our experiences at the decision making tables. And that means we will be able to develop policies that are functional and equitable on important issues like immigration, education, equal pay and so much more.
As a person of color, I have dedicated my career to ending racial injustice. This issue has divided our country for way too long--especially in the last few years. Each time I proudly wear my "Black Lives Matter" button, I hope to remind others that too many of our institutions still systematically, systemically and disproportionately fail communities of color. I am looking forward to working with the new Clinton Administration to address the root causes of the racial inequality and economic injustice that are embedded at the core of many issues in our society. And I'm excited to hold her administration accountable for the actions that deeply impact our communities the most.
As an organizer, I admire Hillary Clinton's work ethic. She is a policy wonk: a geek. She tirelessly does the hard work and does not know how to stop until the job is through. Her thirty years of public service and commitment to working families are unparalleled. Hillary embodies the mantra that I live by: "Can't stop, won't stop." Because as long as there is injustice, real organizers will never stop fighting for it.
As a progressive, I don't agree with her stance on every issue or each decision she has made in the past. But Hillary is pragmatic. She has a proven record of reaching across the aisle to get things done. Through this election cycle, including the primary, she has shown a willingness to listen to those who disagree with her and work with people of all political stripes to ensure that we move forward with a progressive agenda.
As a citizen and eligible voter, I vote each election because it's my right and civic duty. This election, my vote for Hillary represents a promise to my friends and family who do not have the privilege to vote that I'll continue to stand and fight for the communities, the identities, and the people in the country I call home.
Young people, women, people of color and the LGBTQ community lead the charge in electing the first Black president and hopefully making HERstory with our first women president. Together we made phone calls, knocked on doors, sent text messages, put up signs, donated and found other ways to engage voters and share our stories. But it can't stop and must not stop there. Even though we may all be ready for the end of the election cycle, we must continue to organize, build and assert our collective power. This will only be the beginning of our work to ensure the issues we care about are at the forefront of a Clinton Administration.
I am proud that I voted for Hillary, and I hope you do, too. She's been with us. Let's make sure we're with her at the polls on Nov. 8.
Cendana is Executive Director of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) and Institute for Asian Pacific American Leadership & Advancement (IAPALA), general board member of the AFL-CIO and a member of Hillary Clinton's Asian American and Pacific Islander Leadership Council. The opinions expressed here are entirely the author's own and do not represent the views of his organization or any other affiliation.