After One Nation, I’m Ready to Recruit
by Orelia Busch
The One Nation Working Together March this past Saturday, October 2nd, mobilized progressives from all over the country. Nearly 200,000 people representing more than 400 different sponsoring groups rallied from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument. Participants gathered from every state and the District of Columbia to demand equality, jobs, justice and education from our leaders in Washington. We also pledged to get out the vote for the upcoming November elections.
More than 100 Unitarian Universalists and friends gathered under the Standing on the Side of Love banner, many whom had traveled from as far away as Seattle, Washington, Florida, Maine and New Jersey.
The resounding message of the March was one of unity, equality, and love. Groups that had never before worked together, such as the National Baptist Convention and the Human Rights Campaign, joined the same effort, and showed that the demand for justice and equality is stronger when it is made with many voices. Advocates of immigrant rights stood alongside faith leaders and LGBT equality activists to ask our government for policies that treat everyone equally in education and employment. Elders stood alongside young progressive organizers to stress the interdependence of all people and call for economic and environmental justice.
I was most moved when a speaker acknowledged that we stood on holy ground – in the same area where Americans first heard President Lincoln’s affirmation of the humanity of every resident of this nation. The rally reaffirmed for me that the sacred nature of social justice work arises in the connections among and between people with very different identities and histories. When we stand on the side of love, we stand for the rights and dignity of our neighbors. Our movement becomes stronger when we stand together – when we stand not just for ourselves, but for each other.
As I was leaving the rally, I picked up a card with a request from the One Nation organizers. They asked each person who attended to call ten friends and ask them to vote on November 2nd, and then to recruit two other people to do the same. If each of us who came to National Mall for the rally recruited two friends, and all of us made ten calls each, the results could turn out 4 million votes for candidates who believe in jobs, justice and education for all. As Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. said at the rally…that is power.
Our votes have the power to elect candidates who reflect our values — at the local, state and national levels.
Consider yourself recruited as well. Between now and November 2nd, make sure you are registered to vote. Try www.rockthevote.org — this is one very simple way to register.
Please recruit two other people, and pledge to make ten calls each to your friends encouraging them to vote. I will be doing the same, and while I would never tell you who to vote for, I hope that you will vote according to your deepest values for candidates who will stand on the side of love and equality for all of your neighbors.