Dear Friends of LEDA,
This fall, we launched a non-partisan campaign to encourage our LEDA community to participate in the 2020 election. We provided them with information and resources on learning about local and national candidates, registering to vote, and volunteering at the polls. We also asked them to share why voting matters to them and featured some on social media. It was incredibly inspiring to see young people so committed to exercising their right to vote as citizens in a democratic society. And in November, they cast their ballot along with 159 million fellow Americans, the largest voter turnout in our nation’s history.
This week, insurrectionists attempted to overturn the results of the election, storming the U.S. Capitol and trying to confront and intimidate our elected officials who were in the processing of certifying the results. It was horrifying to watch: lawmakers fearful for their lives, the brandishing of weapons, the unfurling of a Confederate flag in the Capitol, the sense of entitlement and impunity, the stark contrast in law enforcement’s treatment of this violent mob compared to its response to last year’s Black Lives Matter protesters. It was an outright assault on our democracy.
But it failed. Order was restored in the Capitol. The election results were certified. Our democracy – as imperfect as it may be – stands strong.
And so must we. LEDA was founded to pursue a bold vision: a United States where our leaders reflect the country’s rich diversity and work to create a more just and equitable society. Today, we stand committed to this work. We stand on the shoulders of those who have worked to help our country live up to its ideals. We stand in solidarity with communities throughout our nation that continue this important work. And we stand alongside our LEDA Scholars, Career Fellows, and alumni who showed up at the polls in November determined to have their voices heard, filled with hope for a brighter future.