We Cannot Lose Hope; Progress Takes Time

jason-headFAN’s Director of Campaigns and Development, Jason Miller.

At FAN, due to our line of work, advocating with Franciscans on behalf of the poor and marginalized, we often have a difficult time measuring success. We knew that no matter yesterday’s election results, we would have to work harder than ever on our core issues: immigration, climate, peacebuilding, and money in politics. But there were some signs of hope that folks around the country are looking out for the least of these and progress is being made on these and other issues. The Spirit works in mysterious ways. Take these examples:

  • Four (red) states voted to raise the minimum wage: South Dakota, Alaska, Arkansas, and Nebraska.
  • Two cities San Francisco and Oakland raised the minimum wage to $15 and $12.25 respectively.
  • Oakland also passed a law for paid sick days. As did the state of Massachusetts.
  • California passed proposition 47 which dealt with prison reform, reclassifying a number of nonviolent crimes.
  • The state of Washington passed proposition 594, closing the gun-show loophole.
  • In Tallahassee Florida, two thirds of voters voted yes on a bipartisan backed referendum amending the city charter limiting the influence of money in politics and enacting new ethics rules.
  • Two cities Denton, Texas and Athens, Ohio voted to ban fracking. As did two California counties: Mendocino and San Benito.

It remains to be seen what a new Republican controlled Congress or a President who may use executive action will do with issues such as comprehensive immigration reform or the Keystone Pipeline. But beyond the headlines, last night’s election results show that the American people realize that we are our brother’s and sister’s keepers.

Perhaps our politicians will now put partisan rhetoric aside and begin to listen to the American people and their needs.

While we continue to work for justice, we’ll also continue to hope and pray.

Jason Miller is FAN’s Director of Campaigns and Development. Follow him on twitter @419in703


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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Yes, we cannot lose hope and progress does take time. But the hope for immigration reform has been much too long and too many promises made. For the thousands of immigrants locked in detention center (prisons actually) and immigrants fearing deportation hope and time are words.   Roger Yockey, OFS   Deportation NO!   Legalization YES!

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