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Congrats on making it through convention season! <insert sigh of relief here>

For this week’s Resistance Roundup, we’re focusing on some of the themes and highlights from the past couple weeks—but the biggest message is we need to get out and vote in just 67 short days.

Here’s what we observed:

People like us took center stage

The future of our democracy reflects the breadth, depth, and diversity of our nation. That was on display last Tuesday, when 17 rising stars (including Stacey Abrams) gave the keynote speech at the DNC. Not only were New Americans, people of color, immigrants, and allies—people like us—well-represented, but NAL was front and center. Three of the speakers were our own NALpistas—Georgia State Representative Sam ParkMichigan State Representative Mari Manoogian, and Nevada State Senator Yvanna Cancela. (Another one of our alums, Nevada-based climate activist Katherine Lorenzo also had a cameo at the convention!)

Then, on Wednesday, California Senator Kamala Harris made history as the first Black woman and the first Asian American to formally accept a major party’s vice presidential nomination in a powerful speech rooted in her family history.

(Side note: If you were inspired by our alumni at the DNC, apply to our first-ever virtual Ready to Lead training, happening over two weekends in September! Get more info and apply here.)

Character matters

Throughout the conventions, we were reminded that it’s important to have accountable, authentic leadership. We need our elected officials to treat everyone with kindness and respect and lead with integrity, compassion, and perspective.

When we don’t have leaders who have been closest to the pain closest to the power, we pay the price. At NAL, we envision a democracy where all people are represented, and our leadership should reflect that.

Racial justice was central

Black Lives Matter, and we cannot rest with the disproportionate number of Black Americans killed by police each year.

With the murders of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the recent police shooting of Jacob Blake, we’re reminded once again of the urgent need to demand justice for Black lives and put an end to systemic racism and discrimination. We’ve seen people like us organize, protest, and demand change like never before over the past few months. That critical work can’t let up.

It will take all of us working together to dismantle systems of oppression and create a truly inclusive democracy. But we know that people like us are up to the task, ready to wipe the stain of racism from our national character.

Make a plan to vote

“The future of our democracy is at stake.”

We heard those words last week, and they couldn’t be more true. With Election Day only 67 days away, now is the time to:

  • Check your voter registration
  • Make a plan to vote
  • Make sure your friends and family have a plan, too
  • Ask young people and new citizens if they’re registered to vote (if they aren’t, send them here)
  • Look up your state’s vote-by-mail rules
  • Volunteer as a poll worker if you’re healthy and able (sign up at Power the Polls)

How many of these have you checked off? If you haven’t done any, there’s still time, but don’t wait—there are a lot of important deadlines coming up. (For more information on organizing, mobilizing, and helping BIPOC communities safely get out the vote and rebuild, check out this webinar we hosted last month.)

Let us know what your plan is by tagging us on Twitter or Instagram @NewAmericanLd and, as it gets closer to November, remember John Lewis’s last words to us: “The vote is the most powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society. You must use it because it is not guaranteed. You can lose it.”

And that’s it for our recap of the conventions! Let us know your thoughts and, as always, stay safe and healthy out there.

The NAL Team