I am excited to write to you as the new Executive Director for Sacramento ACT. My last 4 ½ years at ACT have helped me developed a deeper and clearer understanding of the special role that faith-based organizing plays in creating a more just and equitable community.
A colleague once said, “Organizing is the process of constant confrontation. For every part of yourself you claim, you open another. It’s a process that constantly humbles you, reminds you of all the places you need to grow, and how much power you need to truly protect the people you love”- Kirk Noden.
During my time here at ACT, I have seen how much we have grown as an organization. Given our work together, we have been able to increase and diversify our congregational membership, we have strengthened our relationships with labor and other non-profits through coalition work and have engaged the largest number of low propensity voters in Sacramento in ACT history. It is this great work that can help us lead an expansion of our collective power to disrupt and transform the institutions and policies that are driving the inequalities of our region.
In 1994, I was in 6th grade when 58% of Californians voted to support Proposition 187. Proposition 187 stated that if you were undocumented you could not have access to non-emergency healthcare, public education or other basic services. I remember being so afraid to be kicked out of school because of my status, I remember the silence in my home when watching the news, and I remember the school walkouts and how empowered I felt. After the 2016 election, I felt just like my 6th grader self, scared of what the uncertain future may hold for all our families. Then I remembered that proposition 187 was a blessing in disguise. Our state had never seen such large number of naturalized citizens, or large number of voters of color turning out to the polls as we did following Proposition 187.
I believe that the 2016 elections will also change the political landscape of our country moving forward, but this is not only a political fight. We are fighting for the soul of our country. This fight will require that we cast a bold moral vision that continues to respond to this historic moment, while at the same time we heal the gangrene of racism and reimagine justice and radical inclusivity in our communities. The role of faith leaders is critical in leading us through these times.
I am honored to be the new Executive Director of ACT and look forward to working with you!