Catalyst Action Fund Endorsement for 2020

This election is the most important election in many years, possibly in our lifetimes. Lives depend on it.  Communities are threatened by everything from white supremacist street violence, to covid-19, to more blatant attacks on immigrants, to a dire economic crisis, to increased climate chaos, and more. For those of us who care about racial justice, sitting this election out is not an option. 

Electing a Democrat in this election will change the terrain on which we fight. We know that the democratic ticket is not going to get us to the liberation we are fighting for. But they will give us more breathing room in which we can organize. Four more years of Trump is not an option. 

That means voting for a democratic presidential ticket, and that means joining forces with any of the hundreds of progressive organizations that are already in motion talking to voters, protecting the vote, and turning people out for the biggest landslide against white supremacy we can possibly have. 

In 2016, we, like many progressives and social justice organizations, mostly sat out the election. We cannot do that again. That election was so close, and if we had participated, maybe we could have changed the outcome. Just like in 2016, Trump is already setting the stage to contest the election, while doing everything he can to suppress the vote. We need to defeat him by the largest margin possible. We are a force to be reckoned with, and we must bring that power to the electoral arena, now. We must resoundingly defeat Trump at the ballot box, and build our movements for the long-haul. 

We have only several weeks left before November 3rd. Not sure where to engage? Here are a few projects that are prepared to plug volunteers in right away:

  • Seed the Vote is partnering with grassroots people of color-led organizations in swing states to reach key voters, while building those organizations’ power for the long haul. 
  • With Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), do voter outreach to Georgia with Collect Your Cousins, or join to take action in the case of a contested election with the Election Defenders
  • Protect the Results is building a mass base of people ready to mobilize if Donald Trump refuses to accept the results of the 2020 presidential election.

We are guided and inspired by radical women and queers of color who have called us clearly into this work. Find powerful quotes below to be moved into action. 

With heart and hope,
Catalyst Action Fund

Alicia Garza, co-founder of Black Lives Matter, “It is not hyperbole when we say that this election cycle is probably one of the most important in a generation. And you know, its no longer about parties – at this point, this is about survival. And we cannot afford to be ambivalent about this process we cannot afford to let somebody else figure it out we cannot afford to just simply rest on its not good enough and it doesn’t do enough.  The fact of the matter is our lives are at stake, our communities are at stake.

Marisa Franco, Mijente Director, “It’s up to us now to build the national political vehicle to continue mobilizing against Trump. He has always been our target, and our commitment to get him out is all the stronger.

After years of denigration and attacks, for Latinos this election is a fight to demand respect. Now, in the middle of a global pandemic, it is linked to our very survival. This public health crisis shed a painful spotlight on how Latinxs are among the most directly and disproportionately devastated as a result of having a cruel and negligent president in charge.”

Noura Erakat, Palestinian-American organizer, professor, and human rights attorney:  “We have to get Trump out of office in order to create enough room to do the political work that we want to do,” said Erakat. “[Biden’s] definitely a foe, but a foe under whose liberal administration gives a little bit more breathing room for us to organize effectively.” 

Angela Davis“I don’t see this election as choosing a candidate who will be able to lead us in the right direction. It will be about choosing a candidate who can be most effectively pressured into allowing more space for the evolving anti-racist movement. Biden is very problematic in many ways…. But, I say but, Biden is far more likely to take mass demands seriously. Far more likely than the current occupant of the White House. So this coming November, the election, will ask us not so much to vote for the best candidate, but to vote for or against ourselves. To vote for ourselves I think means that we will have to campaign for and vote for Biden.”

Taina Vargas-Edmond, co-founder of Initiate Justice: “as an organizer and a leader, I understand VERY CLEARLY that it will be much easier to move a liberal centrist government than a right-wing fascist regime. We can not afford 4 more years of Trump. Some of the most vulnerable will literally not survive it.

So I am voting #BidenHarris on November 3, and I hope you all will too. My advocacy does not start or stop at the ballot box. Voting is just one of many tools we have.

I will continue to fight because I believe in a better future and I believe in people power. I have hope that 2024 / 2028 will be different, and I will work hard toward that vision.

Come on y’all. Let’s hold the complexity of what it means to cast a vote for a harm-reduction ticket while continuing to fight like hell for the radical liberation future we envision. ✊?”


Catalyst Action Fund Endorses Bernie Sanders for President

The outcome of the 2020 presidential election is critical. We face the existential threats of climate crisis, the global impacts of reckless warmongering by the current administration, and the increasing insecurity of housing and medical care for poor and working class people, who are disproportionately Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. We know that a national election is not how we reach the liberated world we all desire, but that doesn’t mean we can afford to sit this one out.

We will work to defeat Trumpism no matter who becomes the Democratic candidate. However, the primaries are a time when we can make a big difference in how we defeat Trump — whether through pushing progressive priorities or returning to the racist, neoliberal status quo. What we need to turn the tide of rising white supremacist power in this country is powerful, thriving racial justice movements that both win elections and build power outside the electoral arena. 

After many conversations with our mentors and partners, Catalyst Action Fund is endorsing Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary.

Beyond any individual candidate, this election needs to be about building a movement. Regardless of who wins the election in November, we need movements that hold politicians accountable and push racial justice priorities. The movement building infrastructure of the Bernie campaign offers the best chance of carrying forward the organizing energy going into the election.

Bernie is the strongest candidate to beat Trump in the general election. Bernie’s coalition is the most multi-racial and most working class of any contender; the consistency of his long record reflects a principles-oriented approach to politics that sets him apart from the field and can help win back the trust of disaffected voters; his massive grassroots operation is working tirelessly to beat Trump by expanding the electorate, engaging would-be-voters who have `historically been ignored or used by both parties; and his left populism offers a necessary social justice alternative to Trump’s rhetoric of economic nationalism and racist scapegoating. 

Many of our top issues are on the ballot this election. The issues we fight for and care about are being discussed and debated on the national stage, mostly being pushed by Sanders and sometimes Warren – Single-payer healthcare, passing a Green New Deal to address climate change, abolishing ICE, ending money bail, being resolutely anti-war, making public universities tuition-free and canceling all student debt, restoring voting rights to all currently and formerly incarcerated people, and meaningfully addressing disability rights

While Bernie Sanders is our top choice, we know many progressives and people we respect are also supporting Elizabeth Warren, including Black Womxn For. It will take all of us to build the power we need to get a progressive candidate nominated and believe strongly that our side has nothing to gain from infighting. 

Whoever wins the the Democratic nomination will undoubtedly need to be pushed on racial justice issues. As we throw our weight behind Bernie Sanders and commit ourselves to supporting the nominee whoever they may be, we must also commit to pressuring the next President of the United States to prioritize and center racial justice.

2020 requires us to act boldly. Join us as we organize like hell to beat back white supremacy and build a movement that can win in November and beyond!