“This inauguration reminds us that the power is in our hands; and when we exercise that power, there is nothing that can stop us….As I watched our president and vice president take the oath of office, I thought about all of those who persisted and resisted over the last four years. Today is only possible because of them — because of all of us.”
WASHINGTON — United States Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) issued the following statement today on the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as President and Vice President of the United States:
“This historic day proves that the flame of democracy still burns bright, that the power always belongs to the people and that America is forever a place where change and progress are truly possible. Millions across this country united, organized and mobilized each and every single day over the last four years, refusing to allow one dangerous president to change that fact.
“I extend my enthusiastic well wishes to President Joe Biden as he begins to lead America with compassion during unprecedented crises. As the first South Asian American woman ever elected to the House of Representatives, I am also deeply proud to call Kamala Harris our Vice President — the first woman, first South Asian American and first Black woman to ever hold this position of public trust. This is a truly meaningful moment in history for our country, including for so many women, people of color and immigrants.
“I look forward to working closely with the new Administration on a COVID-19 relief package that meets the scale of this crisis, on putting people back to work in good union jobs that pay a living wage and on guaranteeing health care. We must address the urgent crisis of climate change and climate justice, create a humane and just immigration system, expand voting rights, end forever wars, fight corporate greed and make higher education accessible to everyone. Throughout everything, we must be fully dedicated to dismantling racism, white supremacy and inequity in every institution and addressing the disproportionate effects of racism and inequality in America on Black, Brown and Indigenous communities.
“As I watched our president and vice president take the oath of office, I thought about all of those who persisted and resisted over the last four years. Today is only possible because of them — because of all of us. We put aside cynicism, doubts and fears to step up, speak out and organize. Millions of people took to the streets for women’s rights, flooded airports to fight xenophobic bans, turned back assault after assault on our health care and demanded an end to kids in cages and family separation. Even as we opposed, our movements for justice proposed a different vision: one that stands firmly for Black lives and racial justice, for climate justice, for respect on all levels for women, for public education, for peace domestically and internationally, for love meaning love regardless of gender, for respect for each person and differing abilities, the power of people over the power of corporations and for a country that works for all of us not the wealthiest few.
“That organizing does not end today; it is all the more important now that we have a Democratic White House, Democratic Senate and Democratic House. We cannot rest as we take on a devastating public health and economic crisis, as we recover from the deadly attack that Donald Trump incited on our democracy and as we fight for racial, social, economic, gender and environmental justice. Let us never forget that working people of all races joined Black, brown, AAPI, immigrant, Indigenous and young voters in making today’s change possible. Now, we must deliver on a transformative agenda that makes a real difference in their lives and the lives of everyone across America. This inauguration reminds us that the power is in our hands; and when we exercise that power, there is nothing that can stop us.”