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Reflections: Now is the Time to Build Our Community

Local Progress Members,

Tuesday was a difficult and shocking day, and only one of many to come. As leaders committed to just economies, equal protection under the law, sustainable communities and government that serves the public interest with integrity, it is impossible today to not feel the real threats that exist to the furtherance of those values. The road before us will be difficult and there will be many big fights ahead. But today I’m more grateful than ever to have and to continue to build the community we have created at Local Progress.

As I’m thinking about the days, months and years to come, here is what’s on my mind:

Protecting and empowering our most vulnerable communities: Over the first five years of our existence, Local Progress members have worked hand in hand with community organizations to advance policies that protect our most vulnerable citizens. From severing local ties between local law enforcement and ICE to reforming and creating oversight for police departments to protecting LGBTQ civil rights to our recent effort uniting over 500 local leaders to stand up against Hate and Anti-Muslim Bigotry, our members have advanced policies focused on protecting and empowering our most vulnerable communities. This work will be both more difficult and more essential in the days, weeks months and years to come, but I am inspired and motivated by what we have already accomplished standing together against hatred and bigotry.

Restoring public trust in government: Our public institutions are places for us to work together to find common good and solutions to our problems. As local elected officials we fiercely love and are committed to service in our cities, towns, counties and school districts, and we must recommit today to building our governments as places of service, trust building, listening and the hard and good work of governance for our communities.

Continuing to fight for our ideas (they are winning!): On Tuesday we had a few victories worth celebrating. The states of Colorado, Arizona, Washington and Maine all either raised their minimum wage, passed paid sick days or both by ballot initiative. These movements for shared prosperity, which started with city level victories led by Local Progress members, are growing and winning broad public support. In a midst of crises of faith in government and political establishments, the core ideas and values that motivate us to do our work daily are winning in big and important ways that we must celebrate and build on.

Organizing and supporting each other: It is hard not to feel loss and fear for the future. In this moment, we need each other, and the need to organize is greater than ever. We will continue our work at Local Progress to connect our cities, towns and counties, to build a movement of solidarity based on our values that crosses geographic and regional divides, and recommit to building our community of support for each other.

I am glad to be in this fight with you. I hope you will take a moment today to help us build and strengthen our community. Reach out to other Local Progress members and connect in this difficult moment. Send this message to your collagues and encourage them to join and strengthen our community. Let us know what we can do to support you.

In Solidarity,

John Avalos

San Francisco Supervisor and Local Progress Board Chair

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