President’s Message – Leah Jaramillo
There was a lot of fear in the room at a recent community organizing meeting I attended – fear about our political system, the ramifications of the recent election, and more generally, a perceived lack of knowledge on how to engage. As the group discussed ways that people could affect real change in their local communities and more broadly, a woman asked how she could get more involved in decisions that affected her.
Despite having practiced P2 for more than a decade, it was still surprising for me to see just how many people had little to no understanding of the opportunities to influence decisions happening all around them. I was similarly surprised to learn about the large number of Americans (over 90 million eligible voters) who simply did not vote in this year’s election.
In recent weeks I’ve heard a great deal of concern about how the new political climate may cause a potential chilling effect on our practice and on people’s ability to express themselves. I believe the opposite to be true.
This is the time for Americans of all stripes to come together, participate and share their voices. This is a time for dialogue, a time to build understanding, and a time to engage in topics we are passionate about. As P2 practitioners, there is no better time to ensure we are engaging for diversity and inclusion. This is a time to reflect on our own experiences and improve our practice.
I encourage each of you to engage with your chapters and your peers to share stories, compare notes, and find ways to broaden the practice, to make it more accessible, and help all Americans share their voices.