Tenth Dems’ motto has long been that politics is about more than just elections. It’s the process of working together to improve our community, state, and country – to make our world a better place.

Like most Americans, we were devastated by George Floyd’s murder. In the days since, people have taken to the streets to demand not only justice, but that concrete steps finally be taken to address systemic racism. To build a better future, we have to acknowledge our painful past.

The direct line running from slavery and the slave labor of incarcerated black men in the Jim Crow South to lynchings and these modern-day murders of African Americans must come to an end. Protesters march not just for Floyd, but for Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many more boys and men, sons and fathers, and mothers and daughters.

Elections matter, but they aren’t enough to bring about the change we need. Peaceful protests, vigils, and marches bring attention to the cause, and should be met with nods of agreement and an urgency for more solution-oriented dialogue, not shut down with mounted troops, rubber bullets, and tear gas. But we still must work to help elect (and re-elect) candidates who share our values.

As President Obama said this week, “The bottom line is this: if we want to bring about real change, then the choice isn’t between protest and politics. We have to do both. We have to mobilize to raise awareness, and we have to organize and cast our ballots to make sure that we elect candidates who will act on reform.”

We’re ready to keep moving forward in the struggle together.

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