Celebrating the meaning behind the win
Because we believe that the majority of Americans have values in common, we are committed at Americans of Conscience Checklist to messaging that is non-gloating, non-antagonistic, and non-polarizing. That said, we have never hidden our opposition to the current occupant of our White House for many reasons including his failure to respect the value of each person, the separate branches of government, nor the spirit of our Constitution and its enshrined laws.
For that reason, we could not be more pleased about the outcome of the US presidential election. The overwhelming turnout is a clear statement in support of democracy. Nations around the world are sighing in relief. Here’s to all the people who made it possible — who voted early, voted by mail, educated others, stood in line — or tried their hardest, despite strategic barriers.
I am awed and humbled by the deluge of Americans who organized, wrote postcards, made calls, donated to help people get ID, and risked their own health to ensure others could vote in person safely and without harassment. Especially our nation’s young people. Wow. It makes me tear up just thinking about it!
The true marvel is that this concerted effort happened at all
Our nation’s residents have so many good reasons not to vote. Some of us were (or are) evacuated due to wildfire, flooding, and impact of hurricane-force winds. Others have (or are) facing economic stress related to decreased work hours, job loss, fruitless job searching, possible eviction or bankruptcy.
Caregivers struggle to teach kids at home while also working from home. Front-line staff, teachers, health care workers, and people providing other essential services are managing under daily health threats and aggrieved by uncooperative citizens. For some, just showing up to cast a ballot felt threatening. So many people have been and are experiencing unrivaled levels of anxiety, targeted by words of intolerance by neighbors, watching acts of hate and inhumane treatment condoned by elected officials and public servants alike.
Who would want to leave the relative safety of home right now to vote?
Nothing was a given
With the odds we faced and the amount of strain We the People have been under, we should not have succeeded in replacing the incumbent. At some points, it appeared to me that democracy was more likely to fail than not. In fact, my team and I were preparing actions when the worst came, not whether. And yet we did.
Even if we’re not in the clear just yet, let us pause a moment to take stock.
Even though a handful of outlier Americans did everything they could to keep you from voting and from voting safely in a pandemic. Even though they tried to stop your vote from being counted, or changed after you voted, or even stop delivering your ballot at all. Even though many people tried to mislead online intending to fracture our communities and cause violence spill out into peaceful protests. You overcame it all. We did.
In fact (at the time of publishing), 78,664,742 Americans voted–an unprecedented number–for a duo that aims to represent all people, our democracy, and its potential to serve the common good. What statement of the nation’s conscience over the alternative of tyranny, xenophobia, and self-dealing.
Let us acknowledge what we did together, all of us.
What to do between now and Inauguration Day
We celebrate, but with humility. For even with new leadership, many people are still suffering, ignored, and struggling.
As we tiptoe into December and January, let’s also acknowledge the very real physiological impact of being in reptilian fight-flight-freeze mode for so many months, years, even decades. I won’t presume to know what’s right for you, but I am planning to take a screen sabbatical soon, to just spend time thinking about nothing while throwing a ball for a good doggo, and schlepping around in whatever weather happens to be outside just so to reconnect with my body and five senses. There’s probably a cathartic cry in there, waiting to bubble up too.
Yes, we’re mean, green democracy-protecting machines, but our spirits need space to process and purge the trauma. So my only advice is to be gentle with yourself. It’s been such an intense run, and most of us are more lonely and hurting than we care to admit. Personally, I find solace in talking honestly to people who care as much as I do, so try to pick up the 100 pound phone (as they say) and call just to talk. And listen. I believe that we can’t heal the nation and the planet when we, ourselves, are literally and spiritually sick. So join me in committing to begin recovering as best you can, however you can.
One more WOOHOO!
Allow me to sing your praises that even while you were sending bazillions of postcards, chewing fingernails down to a nub, and obsessively checking poll numbers, you STILL took action to support your neighbors.
From the October 25th AoC Checklist, you reported taking a whopping 749 actions! SO impressed!
And from last Sunday’s November 8th Checklist where we sent love to amazing groups, in just one week, you…
- Completed 334 actions to support voting access!
- Made 100 donations to the first seven featured groups of #30DaysOfThanks!
- Wrote 185 thank yous to our #30DaysOfThanks featured groups!
- Did a total of 619 kind deeds in just a week! Wow!
What’s up next?
In this week’s edition of the Checklist, please reply to our brand-new 2021 AoCC Planning Survey. We’re requesting your thoughts and priorities to help us guide AoCC’s direction in the new year. Thank you in advance!
In addition to our usual actions, we’re sending love to six incredible people and groups this week in 30 Days of Thanks. Help us give them a sweet shout out:
- Healthy Alaska Natives Foundation
- Vera Institute of Justice
- Casa de Paz
- Prison Book Program
- AoCC ally, Susan Krysak, and her group, Paz Amigos
Too long; didn’t read 🙂
Friends, we did our country proud in this national accomplishment. Take a victory lap, take a nap, and rest in the knowledge that we’re in this together. Onward!
Thank you for everything you and your staff did to persevere and support us during the nightmare of the last four years. I will be forever grateful. Now we must focus on healing the vast divides in our country and reach out to those who have different viewpoints than ours to find common ground. It seems daunting, but I am forever hopeful. I can finally breathe again. We’re going to be OK. Good always overcomes evil and love always trumps hate.
I want to thank all at AOC for you excellent work. I feel I did my small part by doing my AOC Checklist Homework each week but nothing compared to all of you.
It was this checklist and words of wisdom that got me through these last 4 years! THANK YOU!
Your Wow summary did allow me to shed a tear. It also energizes me to roll up my sleeves and start organizing for the Georgia runoff.
Here’s a great “good/bad” article from The Atlantic Magazine (Nov 14th)
The end may be near for the pestilence that has haunted the world this year. Good news is arriving on almost every front: treatments, vaccines, and our understanding of this coronavirus.
Thank you for inspiration every week even though I didn’t do the actions as often as I intended to.
Thank you, Jen and team for your amazing and supportive work over the last, long four years! When we were at our lowest points, verging on despair, your weekly checklist brought focus and hope. Thank you for your consistent and steady perseverance and heartfelt wisdom along the way. Thank you for keeping me sane during this dark and scary time. WE DID IT! WE REALLY DID IT! WOW is exactly right.💜🥳💜🤗
Thank you, Jen and team, for the enormous amount of work you did to make it easier for everyone else to take action without feeling like it was too much for us. I hope you all take a good self-loving break for as long as you need, and come back refreshed and replenished when you’re ready. Also, I sometimes did actions without checking the boxes next to them, so I’m sure even more actions were taken than were tallied. You effected real change in our nation. Thank you.