Now What? Work to be Done

I’m happy to share two responses to the inevitable days-after-the-election question:  Now What?

The first is from Kim Moore (fellow participant in the Faith and Reproductive Justice Leadership Institute at the Center for American Progress, pictured here with me and two other fab women near the White House in September) who posted the following yesterday over at Soul Revision:

A couple of weeks ago I tuned into The League of Young Voters event and the most profound thing I heard came from a powerful activist, Rosa Clemente. The statement was a simple, thought-provoking call to action, “Voting is in 12 days, but what are you going to do on the 13th day?”

Well, election day is here. You went to the polls, you cast your vote, great! November 7, 2012 comes, now what will you do?

Veterans will still need jobs, students will still need financial assistance to go to college, what are you going to do to ensure that this can and will happen?

That change that we so desperately seek, the change we have so desperately longed for; it happens as a nation working together. What you do or don’t do tomorrow, matters. The work doesn’t stop at the polls; the work cannot stop today. The campaign for jobs, change, women’s rights, veterans, college students, immigrants and other social issues must go on.

We have an individual responsibility to challenge our elected officials and see to it that they keep their word. It is our accountability that helps make our leaders great. But it is not the President alone that we must hold accountable; our local officials, as well as ourselves must be held to that same standard.

Your candidate will either win or lose today, but regardless of the outcome, what will you do tomorrow?

If we should see tomorrow, what will you do to ensure that our new President, whether he was your choice or not, upholds the promises he’s made to America? What will you do to ensure that the Mayor of your city acts in your cities best interest? What will you do personally to implement the changes you would like to see on a local level?

If November 7th comes and we go back to doing nothing, we will have defeated our purpose at the polls today. Remember, change is an ongoing process that requires constant and consistent action from the collective!

Let’s maintain continuity by continuing tomorrow what we started today, because the day after the election matters just as much as election day.

The second one is from Mark Hanson, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, speaking of how important it is to find ways to talk with one another:

“Such conversations will take humility.  A willingness to listen and imagine a different way to live and work together.  Can we continue to hold our convictions while turning the walls that divide us into tables of conversation and reconciliation?”
Watch the rest of Bishop Hanson’s message here:
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OK, people.  Get busy.  Justice still needs to be done.
About Caryn Riswold

Caryn D. Riswold is a feminist theologian in the Lutheran tradition. She is Professor of Religion and also teaches Gender and Women’s Studies at Illinois College in Jacksonville, Illinois, where she has worked for over a decade teaching undergraduates to think critically and creatively about religion. She earned her Ph.D. and Th.M. from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, holds a master’s degree from the Claremont School of Theology, and received her B.A. from Augustana College in her childhood hometown of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.