As I write, the numbers show that Democrats may have won the popular vote, but have lost the presidency and did not gain control of the House and Senate. The Democratic Party is INCLUSIVE – embracing all racial and ethnic groups and religions – and is PROGRESSIVE, looking forward and not looking back. I think it's important to keep that in mind: Let's build a hopeful and enlightened future based upon knowledge and science, and not on desperation, ignorance, superstition, and outmoded colonialist notions.
As an educator who works with mostly newly arrived adults and their children to this country, I have the responsibility of ensuring they are not only able to communicate in English, but they are aware of their rights. I share with them one of their choices, which is the pathway to citizenship and getting the right to vote, both hard-won and still having to be vigilantly protected by generations of women, blacks, Latinos, and Asians in this country.
Post-election, my focus returns back to powerhouse California's challenges and local concerns. One of the issues I have found troubling is the large academic achievement gap between Latino/black students and white/Asian students in this state. This is an area where involved parents can make a tremendous difference. So, this is my issue and concern, and you have yours.
On a local level, on a personal level, there are things we can do to realize a positive change in our immediate environment. It may be as small as welcoming your child home with a smile and hug no matter how worried you are about tomorrow. It may be as significant as taking care of business even though it seems harder to get motivated to do anything when you are depressed about the election results. It may be as intimate as taking better care of yourself to have the good health and energy to take on larger tasks in the future.
Whatever you are thinking, do it now for a better you and a better tomorrow. Your voice across town, across time still counts. Let's be prepared and in position to protect our interests and our communities. Good luck to all of us in the days ahead.
Kat Avila writes on multicultural concerns and issues in L.A. and Orange counties.