Following the election of Joe Biden as the nation’s next President, our communities have been given the opportunity to truly reimagine what our democracy should look like. The confluence of a global pandemic, economic meltdown and nationwide uprising against the epidemic of police and state violence primed the electorate to center the impact of these events while filling out their ballot – but we are far from done.
As it stands, neither our economy, nor our democracy, is truly representative of its citizens. Millions of Americans still do not have the right to vote. Millions more workers deemed “essential” during the pandemic have been denied critical economic aid. While millions more, unemployed as a result of the pandemic, are wondering how they will pay last month’s rent, this month’s rent, and next month’s rent. For Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) communities, this election has always been about the critical need for an administration that will consent to shift the balance of power towards regular working class folks and families.
The record turnout from indigenous, Black, latinx, youth and female voters despite a growing national health emergency and in the face of unprecedented attempts to suppress the vote proves that BIPOC communities are organizing to gain the political leverage needed to change the face and function of our democracy.
Marguerite Casey Foundation believes that philanthropy must commit to unapologetically support community leaders who have the vision and capacity to build a representative economy. The state-level reforms and community-driven solutions they are implementing are the only way to shift the balance of power to people who have been excluded from a meaningful stake in our economy or democratic discourse. Supporting community-driven leadership that will hold this new administration accountable to its responsibility to center the needs of excluded communities is in fact the only way to advance a truly inclusive economic and democratic union.