Living in New York City, diversity abounds. Nowhere was that more evident than at the community meeting my sweet husband and I attended last night hosted by our City Council representative.
The purpose of the meeting was to begin a conversation, and to develop tools, to wrap our heads around the presidential election results. There was a panel of experts representing services for immigrants, mental health, and environment issues, as well as law professors from nearby Columbia University.
Here’s what I got:
The people of New York City are AWESOME! Everyone who was there showed up ready to roll their sleeves up and get to work. I saw the same intention and spirit of resilience that showed up in the days following September 11, 2001.
New York City is a sanctuary city. This means that we have local laws in place to protect our immigrant neighbors and to help them live productive lives that they may contribute to the collective well-being of our city.
SPEAK UP! Yes, we’re sort of known for speaking up in New York. At our table, everyone was respectful of one another, appreciated the opportunity to speak AND to listen and hear what our neighbors had to share. Given the sharing that happened after our break-out session, I know that happened at every table in the room. All 30+ of them!
The consensus was that now is the time to be involved in local, community affairs. The laws and ordinances of our towns, cities, and states have a greater bearing on our immediate well-being than anything that happens in Washington, D.C. Makes sense to me: Congress has been taking home a paycheck without showing up for work for years (talk about unearned income!), and we’re still here!
We can wonder what happens next… , Or we can take the next step: go into our communities, reach out to our local representatives and our neighbors, find out what opportunities to help are available and create new ones if necessary.
Together, from the ground up, we can create the America we’re longing for.