As we approach President Trump’s 100th day in office, many pundits and commentators are reviewing what he has not accomplished – and rightfully so. Whether it was his promise to build the wall and have Mexico pay for it, tax reform, getting a repeal and replace health care bill to the floor and more, Trump outlined his own agenda for the first 100 days but has clearly failed to deliver.
What we have seen instead is his Justice Department withdraw from a lawsuit in Texas on voter ID, announce an end to moving forward on police reform and an undermining of consent decrees. We have also witnessed increased immigration raids, threats to cut funding to sanctuary cities and the spreading of fear within immigrant communities.
“Trump outlined his own agenda for the first 100 days but has clearly failed to deliver.”
We will develop our own plan of action to protect voting rights, civil rights, police reform and other issues of grave concernAnd we have observed gender inequality, Islamophobia, stereotyping, racial inferences and very clear ways of marginalizing certain groups of people. That is why civil rights and social justice leaders, elected officials and faith leaders are converging in New York City under the leadership of my organization, National Action Network (NAN), for the first national gathering of its kind during this new Administration.
On Wednesday, April 26, we will kick things off at NAN’s annual convention with none other than former Attorney General Eric Holder, followed by DNC Chair Tom Perez addressing delegates, activists, clergy, students and others from around the nation that will all convene with us over the course of the next few days.
From Bernie Sanders, Gov. Cuomo, Harry Belafonte, Spike Lee, MC Lyte and Hill Harper to Mary Frances Berry, Van Jones, Shaun King, Joy Reid, Angela Rye, Michael Eric Dyson and many more, we will hear from some of the greatest minds of our time and those leading by example. We are determined not to sit back and watch the erosion of things we have personally and actively fought for.
We will develop our own plan of action to protect voting rights, civil rights, police reform and other issues of grave concern, and we will hit the ground running with our own 100-day strategy to do so.
“We will develop our own plan of action to protect voting rights, civil rights, police reform and other issues of grave concern.”
Those generations that proceeded us paid a high price so that we could obtain certain rights and opportunities, and we must ensure the same – and more – for future generations. We must organize from the local community level all the way to Congressional races and for the Presidential election itself. We must have media campaigns, economic withdrawals and press our elected officials to do the right thing.
In short, we must use everything at our disposal to resist. While Trump is able to guide public attention away from some egregious things taking place that impact underprivileged black and latino communities, the details are clear from the actions of Attorney General Sessions, Education Secretary DeVos and others in his Administration. We must operate now.
This Administration has declared war on crime when violent crime continues to decline. Sessions ordered a review of consent decrees (that those police departments are actually in favor of), and his actions are halting reform that all sides agree is desperately needed in order to improve police and community relations. We have always been pro-police but anti-police brutality; the distinction is significant. The current Justice Department is also actively allowing laws to proceed that blatantly disenfranchise the votes of people of color, the poor and the elderly ― that is frightening at best. We can defeat Trump and his Administration’s attempts; we did it before with grassroots planning and mobilization as witnessed by the pushback against his Muslim travel ban and their attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act. It is up to us to remain vigilant.
“We will mark the first 100 days by energizing ourselves.”
Some will mark Trump’s 100 days by measuring it and what he has or has not accomplished. We will mark the first 100 days by energizing ourselves. This Administration has hidden our pain, but we must not stifle or mute our voices.
As we gather for NAN’s convention, people from all corners of the country, the young, the elderly and from diverse backgrounds will all collectively organize for our future. One filled with increased equality, justice and opportunity. While they may try to reverse progress and turn back the clock, we march forward. As we near the 100th day of Trump in office, we renew our commitment towards organizing and civil rights for all.
The next 100 belong to us.