Dear Friends of CHC

As we all await the presidential results, let’s be clear about the outcome we already know. Large segments of this country remain committed to systemic practices and systems that perpetuate the holding of power over our communities. This is nothing different from what has our been our reality for the past 300+ years. Nonetheless, there are nuggets of hope that we must seize as we continue to move toward systemic change. It is estimated that youth turnout for 11 battleground states was nearly half of all eligible young people (47-49%) and in many of those states, Biden’s youth advantage is evident. What are the pathways and strategies that can actually change the gamut of opportunities and experiences for young people in their neighborhoods so they feel supported all the time? Transformational change is a systems approach, deriving its power from unity—from a shared vision of what could be. Interestingly enough, if someone asked you, what does systems change look like in your neighborhood? The answer will mostly be based on some basic principles of fairness, safety, compassion, and opportunity. Isn’t this what we all deserve?

We must re-commit to staying in this fight, with laser focus attention on dismantling systemic racism by creating and supporting pathways, systems, and partnerships that will build our collective bench to stay in this battle. This is war. Let’s be intentional about how we prepare and show up for our team members, our families, and our communities. A great win for SLA and our county is the supervisorial victory of Holly Mitchell who has been and will continue to be a beacon of hope and progressive action. The results of our local and state elections will influence our policy work but they should also serve as a reminder that most voters don’t have enough information prior to voting. Why are folks voting against their own needs? And if they do, the choices are about what’s in it for them and what perceived power they might lose.

As I’ve stated to you all before, it is critical that we stay nimble and adaptable so that we are better able to respond to situations that can actually have positive outcomes for the long term. Engaging in systemic change through reform is not for the faint-hearted. It involves taking bold steps into an uncertain future. And, if what we truly seek is catalytic change, history shows us that transformation can only happen when there is an integrated range of approaches and methodologies. It is not an overnight sensation. It is a process that requires commitment to collectively engage in a ground-up approaches that include residents, organizations, coalitions and networks, public officials, government entities, and progressive movements; mobilizing people through facts, analysis, and critical thinking; while equally engaging through our deepest aspirations for a more just future.

I stand committed. Are you?

Veronica Flores
Veronica Flores, CEO at Community Health Councils