They Cannot Take Away Our Power

LOS ANGELES

GUEST WORDS--On Saturday, I was proud to join with millions of my sisters in California and across the country to march and make clear that we have the power to advance an agenda rooted in equality, justice, and tolerance for all. It was an extraordinary day where millions of women proved we cannot be dismissed or written off to the sidelines.

I had the privilege of speaking briefly to the more than half a million people who came to Washington, D.C. for the March. Here’s what I told them: while they may have taken the House, the Senate, and the White House, they have not and cannot take away our power.

We have the power to stop this administration from targeting communities of color and deporting millions of people who have known no other home than the United States.

We have the power to create a more perfect union where the law finally guarantees equal pay for equal work, no matter your gender or race.

We have the power to defend women’s reproductive rights and the millions of women who would be left without care if Planned Parenthood is defunded by the Republicans.

We have the power to save the Affordable Care Act and our social contract from policies that would leave millions of people without access to quality and affordable health insurance.

Yesterday was the beginning of a movement where millions of women (and men) rose up to challenge lawmakers in Washington who are trying to take us backward. This movement knows that the arc of the universe is slow, but it bends toward justice -- and it is now our responsibility to continue our work and bend it ourselves.

Remember that your voice is your power. You cannot effect change if you sit on the sidelines waiting for someone else to solve the problems facing your community. Whether you were able to participate in the march yesterday or not, we need you to dig deep from here on out to take ownership of the future ahead of us.

We are stronger when we raise our voices together -- and that is precisely what we did yesterday. When people of all ages, colors, religions, and backgrounds come together, unified in our collective struggle for justice, there is nothing we cannot accomplish.

Let’s make yesterday a beginning. Stay involved -- and we will win this fight in the end. Thank you.

(Kamala Harris is US Senator for California and former California Attorney General. She can be reached here.

-cw

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