Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes We Can

Turf’s mission is to empower and support community residents through the process of improving the health their neighborhood. In this work, there are several challenges around addressing social and economic issues affecting the community and with bringing people from various backgrounds and experiences together to make change.

Last night was a victory for many people who could not imagine a black man as president, but wanted to believe it could happen with Obama; saw that Obama beyond his racial identity brought a message of change and a different kind of government; and/or just thought Obama was the best candidate.

People voted and made it happen.

President-elect Obama drew from his experience as a community organizer and included people who are normally marginalized from or skeptical of the political process into his campaign. President-elect Obama is also just enough of a politician to understand that he needed the support of his opponents to win and therefore invited them along the way (to get to know him and his vision for the country) during his campaign.

So what is next? We have to keep the momentum and use the same vigor we used to elect President Obama to make changes around us. We can learn from his way of looking at social and economic issues from multiple perspectives to find solutions and begin to question and respond to challenges in our own communities. We can vote not only for presidents, but become more active in local politics to improve our schools, healthcare for families and the elderly, opportunities for housing and employment opportunities for the disadvantage, and the environmental health of our communities by voting for borough presidents, city council members, and mayors that will advocate for the issues important to us. We can become leaders of social change ourselves.

Yes we can. We did it. And there is so much that still needs to be done. Let’s keep going!

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