I have been honored to serve in the United States Congress for 16 years. Before that, I served for 14 years in the State of Rhode Island, first as a State Representative and then as Secretary of State. In that time, there have been countless highs and lows, accomplishments and setbacks, and many issues that galvanized our communities, like health care reform and same-sex marriage.
But never in my life have I seen Americans more passionate, vocal, and engaged than they are right now.
At a time of uncertainty, the unprecedented advocacy of my constituents is a silver lining. On the day after the inauguration, 7,000 Rhode Islanders descended upon the State House as part of the Women’s March. In our nation’s capital, 500,000 did the same, as did millions more around the world. The following weekend, activists returned to the State House to oppose President Trump’s Executive Orders on refugees and immigration. These rallies are democracy in action, and it fills me with hope. Hope for a better future and hope that we can withstand whatever challenges lie ahead.
This isn’t just about one group. We are coming together to fight for inclusion and equality for all – women, immigrants, the LGBTQ community, people of color, people with disabilities, and people of differing faiths and backgrounds. This is the diversity that makes us stronger, and this is the diversity that President Trump must now represent in a way that is befitting of the honor and dignity of his office. Together, we must hold him accountable to protect opportunity for all Americans, not just a select few.
If you share this belief, I encourage you to stay active. Martin Luther King, Jr. taught us that “our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.’ Let us instead amplify each other’s voices and stay informed through my website, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. A rising tide lifts all boats, and I believe that the rising tide of engagement and passion we are seeing in this country will lift all Americans.