A week ago today, Americans learned the outcome of an historic election that will undoubtedly have enormous reverberations across the nation and the world. At Legal Aid, we understand that our supporters may hold a wide range of political views. But we also believe that all of us can agree on one thing: as a country and as a people, we are better than the divisive, uncivil, and sometimes intolerant rhetoric that has defined this election.
Many of us are still trying to make sense of what happened and what it portends for our client community: our neighbors living in poverty in the District of Columbia. We do not yet know what the next four years hold, but we do know that in the face of this great uncertainty, effective advocacy on behalf of our most vulnerable neighbors is as critical as ever. At Legal Aid, we reaffirm our unwavering commitment to this task.
We pledge to approach our work on behalf of people living in poverty with renewed vigor. We will advocate on behalf of our clients and our client community as zealously as we ever have. We will seek creative solutions when traditional ones are unavailable. We will take stock of our existing resources and explore expanding and improving our programs to meet the ever changing and growing needs of our client community. We will pivot and redirect our advocacy to the issues that emerge to threaten the rights and dignity of our clients. We will be especially mindful of those within our client community who may be most vulnerable – people of color, people with disabilities, the LGBTQ community, women, immigrants, single parents, survivors of domestic violence, people with limited or no English proficiency, the elderly – and strive to make justice real for them. We will pursue court and law reform efforts that seek systemic solutions to structural inequality and discrimination.
One thing you can be sure we will not do: give up. The day after the election and every day since, our lawyers have been in court helping survivors of domestic violence get to safety, helping families stay in their homes, helping the elderly receive the health care they need and to which they are entitled under the law, and so much more. This work will continue unabated. Supporting our clients, supporting the social safety net, is as important as it has ever been.
We are as committed as ever to improving the lives of our clients – to making justice real – in individual and systemic ways for people living in poverty in D.C. We stand in solidarity with our clients, with our supporters, with our legal and social services friends, and with all Americans who envision a kinder, more generous, and more just society for the least fortunate among us.
We hope you’ll join us.