It is safe to say that almost everyone was surprised by the results of the Presidential Election on November 8th. To many in Chicago Southwest, that surprise was not a happy outcome. President-Elect Trump’s comments on immigration, crime, banking legislation, and many other issues are in direct conflict with the work of SWOP and its partners.
What to do about that? The answer is easy, don’t mourn, organize. In a time of increasing partisan rancor, name calling, and disdain for the “other,” the focus of SWOP’s organizing in building relationships and understanding between people and institutions is more important than ever. This isn’t a feel-good answer about how we all just have to know each other and get along. No, this is an answer about understanding self-interest and building power.
Political leaders of all stripes need to understand and support the important role that immigrants, young people, women, the working class, unions, and so many others play in making Chicago Southwest the vibrant place it is. It is the children of immigrants that fill the public schools. It is young people who are taking on social issues. It is women who are leading at many local institutions.
SWOP calls on the President-Elect to really learn about the issues he has spoken on over the course of the campaign. SWOP leaders want a leader who respects them and their contributions to the community, the city, and the country. SWOP leaders expect and demand to be treated with the respect they have earned with their hard work of improving the world around them.
SWOP hopes that after learning about these important issues, that important programs like DACA, ACA, and others will be kept in place. Not because these programs represent the work of one partisan side or the other, but because these programs have been good for people and good for this community. SWOP looks forward to the work ahead.