Next Tuesday, the hour of decision will be here for millions of our fellow Americans. This Nov. 3 is Election Day. With all that has happened — particularly during the seven months of the COVID-19 pandemic in which tens of thousands have died, businesses have shuttered, and now 22,000 of our hardworking sisters and brothers in the New York City public sector are facing pink slips — this election is not simply a matter of choosing between two individuals running for President: this election is a battle for our survival, and to save the soul of our nation.
As our country reels from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, our city faces huge economic and social challenges. What lies ahead is not just due to the human devastation wrought by the disease that has ravaged this country, however. It is the chaos and lack of moral aptitude we’ve seen during the last four years that has brought us to this moment.
This Nov. 3 is our best opportunity to set things right, our best chance to get back on the path to a future we had believed was a steady stream of progress to a country that would fulfill the vision of generations that had come before us.
We saw the potential of building a nation, a visionary project of true equality. We saw a secure safety net for all citizens, a green economy that protects the environment, good jobs for millions of American workers. We had opened our doors to the world, with hard-working immigrants joining us to create an open society.
This was in our grasp, or so we thought at the time.
Instead, four years ago, we were collectively shocked by the victory of Donald Trump, a retrograde billionaire showman pretending to be a populist. He spoke to the very worst nature lurking under the surface of our nation’s history. Enough — just barely enough — of the American population listened, believed, and voted accordingly.
Since that time, we have lived a nightmare. We have endured a reframed U.S. Supreme Court with Trump’s appointment of Justice Neil Gorsuch. We saw immigrants come under attack, with families ripped apart by wrongheaded reactionary policies. Nothing could be more defining than the tragic sight of migrant children kept in cages at the Texas border. We saw a deepened racial divide, encouraged by our very own commander in chief.
We saw a so-called booming economy created from anti-worker policies, an environmentally-disastrous oil boom, and Wall Street transformed into a casino where the 1% won while the rest of us were given crumbs.
In the meantime, we fought hard. Resistance was word and action, and millions marched in the streets with a single voice to counter the right-wing extremists that had taken power when Trump won the White House.
Through this fight, and despite defeats, we were able to blunt Trump’s power by winning back the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018. That victory proved decisive in stopping much of the worst plans of the 1%. But this is not enough.
Now we face a new challenge in this election. The choice could not be clearer. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have the experience to guide our nation out of this crisis. Retaking the U.S. Senate is vital. It will stop the logjam preventing passage of the HEROES Act, a set of economic proposals that would support our frontline public workers and give much-needed aid to our communities, cities, and states — especially New York City — in order for us to recover from the pandemic.
It is imperative that we elect our supporters in the state Senate and Assembly so they can pass the laws to allow the City to borrow, and institute a millionaires’ and billionaires’ tax so that they finally pay their fair share of the services we provide for them.
The fake Trump economy created in the last four years has crumbled into dust in the nationwide lockdowns of the COVID-19 pandemic. Under a President Biden and a truly progressive state legislature in Albany, we can, and will, bring back a deeply wounded nation, and City, and build them into a better, stronger force to be reckoned with. The recovery will be slow, but it shall be certain.
This is our opportunity to set us back on the right path. Our future depends on you. The time is now.