After the Election: We Keep Pushing Forward

The Story of Stuff Project is a global Community of more than a million people from many countries, cultures, and backgrounds. While we generally don’t talk partisan politics, we feel it’s important to acknowledge the results of the U.S. Presidential election on Tuesday and offer some thoughts about the job ahead, for Americans in particular.

Over the past year, candidate Trump has called climate change a hoax, pledged to undo the Obama administration’s steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and threatened to eviscerate our Environmental Protection Agency. He’s also argued forcefully against protections for workers, pitted native-born people and immigrants against one another, and threatened to build walls between us, rather than bridges.

These are not this Community’s values.

Our work just got harder, no doubt about it. But our team will do everything we can to fight attempts to undermine environmental protections, the rights of workers, and international cooperation. We’ll also redouble our support for efforts here and around the world to build an economy that works for people and the planet.

One of our core beliefs as an organization is that change is possible when people work together. So instead of being paralyzed by anger or overwhelmed by cynicism, let’s harness our collective energy and work together to create a brighter future.

Where do we start?

  • First, let’s all pledge to be the best changemakers we can be, wherever we are and whatever our passions are. It’s going to take all types of changemakers to move us forward, so believe me, whatever you have to offer, we’re gonna need it!
  • Second, let’s encourage local communities in the United States and elsewhere to continue to be laboratories of change: places where innovative policies, forward-thinking businesses, and pioneering institutions are built. It may be hard to get much done nationally over the next couple years, but that doesn’t mean we have to sit on our hands in the meantime. Early next year we’ll be launching a grassroots grants fund to support great local efforts, so keep your eyes open for that and please offer it your support.
  • And finally, let’s be sure to lift up and celebrate the humanity in each other and do our best to protect society’s most vulnerable. The fact is, in the eyes of some of our corporations and elected officials, some people do matter less in our current economy—the folks who live in fenceline communities, the workers who toil in awful conditions to make our Stuff, the people whose land or water is poisoned by greedy companies day in and day out.

We have a shared responsibility to protect, support, and uplift all people, especially those living on the margins of society. Now more than ever, let’s renew our commitment to visible solidarity with those being left behind by making contributions, of both money and time, to groups working to build a better world.

There were some bright spots in the United States yesterday, including a successful effort this Community supported to defend California’s historic statewide ban on single-use plastic bags.

We also continue to be awestruck by the courageous struggle of Native Americans in South Dakota to turn back the Dakota Access Pipeline, and we’ll be encouraging you to offer your support to that important movement in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, let’s not give in to despair. Let’s keep pushing forward, together.

There is no other choice.

Michael, Shana, Elisa, Stiv, Natalie, Brett and Miranda

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