Sometimes, it feels like it was just yesterday when the Presidential election sent shock-waves in 2016 throughout our nation and frankly the world. Ever since then it feels like we have gone back to the dark ages in many respects. We find ourselves in more than a juxtaposition in unequal rights. We have a conundrum of ideals ideology and legislative caveats that crosscut and clash throughout religions, morality and societal ills. It seems these days things are out of wack in more ways than one. Everyone seems to be asking the question, “How do we get it right?”
January 1st marks 400 years since the first slaves arrived to the united states of America in 1619. Watch night services became an american tradition as slaves awaited the emancipation proclamation from Abraham Lincoln in 1863. Yet, freedoms still seem so complex in a world where hate is so in your face. We seem to be inundated with it so much so that the point of America and freedom has gotten lost in other messages circumventing and redefining what our foundation precepts are.
From turmoil we see at the borders and throughout government shutdowns we are experiencing new struggles in different ways on dividing lines that go deep through our history. Even as New York celebrates its first African American Female Attorney General, we find uphill battles all the way to the supreme court. While women have gained position and roles within Congress, there is still progress to be gained on the local level where it it is even more potent. In New York City, we have antiquated laws that disproportionately hurt women. Staggering statistics like one out of every four women are homeless because of domestic violence assault that happened against women should be dealt with more effectively. Situations like Jasmine Headley going to city agencies like HRA for assistance finding herself struggling in conflict and assault and leaving with her child being snatched for her while she ends up in jail should never occur, especially in what is supposed to be known as the most progressive city in the world. Yet we need more leadership to challenge and change these matters.
Since 2016, progress in City Council for women empowerment and leadership has waned from 18 women out of 51 to just 11 women, and everyone will be looking to see who will take on the public advocated role.
This is not just a time to sit back and be inactive. 2019 brings an opportunity to change course and directions for further goal setting to enable more rights and freedoms for women. It provides an opportunity to make things right and protect women’s needs. 2019, is a chance for change that can bring about a better future for 2020.
We have learned first hand that freedom must be constantly fought for, constantly protected and we must continuously improve the plight of those who suffer under archaic laws that keep our communities and constituencies stagnated.
In order to bring about these changes, we need to provide support for those who are vulnerable to these setbacks. Our women and children need our protection more than ever. We did not come this far to go backward in freedoms and values. Legislation needs to be created and leadership needs to be reflective of our diverse communities. We can only provide the changes we need if we are willing to put in the effort to support those on the front lines. This new year provides us with the time to lay the groundwork to make the necessary changes we need.