Together we are not powerless; no situation is hopeless

California Common Cause's Gavin Baker reflects on the tragedy in Orlando

Posted on June 13, 2016

I grew up in Orlando. It was extremely upsetting to wake up to the news yesterday. When your friends, one by one, have to report on social media that they are safe… somehow it doesn’t feel safe at all.
In fact, I grew up just a few miles away from where Trayvon Martin was shot a few years ago. So it has been a tough several years for my hometown.
When I think of my hometown, I think of myself as a teenager. It is deeply troubling to think about the teenagers who are growing up there today – for them, this is all they’ve ever known.
I know that many of you are also from communities that have been affected by gun violence.
I think it is important for us, as humans, to grieve and to comfort.
And I think it is important for us, as citizens, to act.
I think nobody can disagree that our governments are failing us. It is government’s job to “insure domestic tranquility.” We are pretty far from that today.
We are supposed to have a government of the people, by the people – and that works for the people. As citizens, it seems right to demand change.
We may not agree 100% on what the right solutions are. As Americans, we rarely do. But to do nothing seems, frankly, un-American.
I think Common Cause can play a role in reminding people that they are not powerless – they are not voiceless – and in America, when the people come together, no situation is hopeless.
“And you have to give them hope. Hope for a better world, hope for a better tomorrow, hope for a better place to come to if the pressures at home are too great. Hope that all will be all right. Without hope, not only gays, but the blacks, the seniors, the handicapped, the us'es, the us'es will give up.” –Harvey Milk

Office: Common Cause National

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