Thanksgiving is always a great time to enjoy family and friends — but also to reflect on what we are thankful for. This past year has been one that I did not expect, and had hopes would have been very different. But as I said a year ago — this was not a year to hide or retreat from, but rather one to confront head-on, stand up in, and not back down or fear fighting for what you believe in.
For me, this was a moment to double down in the fight for a country where people are treated with respect — no matter who they are or where they come from. And it was a moment to fight harder than ever for a country that says we are big enough and great enough to care for our neighbors and friends — that we can be there for them, and that we can work to make sure everyone has access to health care, education, and everything else that comes with an economy that truly works for today’s families.
I was proud to stand with so many to fight against an Education Secretary who did not share those values. An Administration that worked singularly to take away people’s access to affordable health care. A Republican majority in Congress that focused exclusively on taking away women’s rights to make her own health care choices. A President who does not hesitate to attack anyone who questions his policies. And so much more.
What I am thankful for the most is all those who had the courage to stand up and speak out, to say loudly at the Women’s March in January that “this is what a Democracy looks like”. To share personal stories not just once, but time and again, about their families’ need for health care. To those who rallied to fight back against divisive behavior.
I am so thankful that so many people in our country didn’t stand down — they stood up. They spoke up. And they continue to — because they care about our future.
And I am proud of all who are there — in so many ways — to keep doing the hard work to define our future for the better, and for what we truly are: A country that is compassionate, caring, and strong enough to understand that we are not defined by the bullies who may be the loudest, but rather by respect, dignity, and compassion for all.
May you and your family and friends have a wonderful Thanksgiving.