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Resolving to Defend Inclusive Democracy in 2021

by Susannah Morgan, CEO

I had intended to come to you today with Oregon Food Bank’s resolutions for the new year.

But the attack on our U.S. Capitol and anti-democratic action in Salem and Olympia this week bring new meaning and focus to what we must all “resolve” to do together in the coming weeks and months.

Make no mistake, peaceful protest is a cornerstone of our democracy. But violence of any kind destroys

the fabric of our society.

We cannot allow this type of anti-democratic action in our communities.

That’s why Oregon Food Bank joined more than 40 community organizations and local leaders to condemn violence and white nationalism — and call for renewed action to defend our democratic institutions.

We can’t achieve key anti-hunger policy goals — let alone true systemic change that will end hunger for good — without an inclusive democracy that works for everyone. Whether through paralyzing walkouts or outright violence, anti-democratic tactics jeopardize our mission, vision, and the well-being of millions of Oregonians. So, like me, I hope you’ll revise your resolutions for 2021:

  • Join us in the effort to rebuild the inclusive democracy we need to ensure resilient communities that never know hunger.
  • Join us in centering people experiencing hunger in your giving and volunteer work — be there for our neighbors who are facing incredible challenges in the wake of COVID-19.
  • Join us in engaging in the civic process to advance anti-hunger policy and systems change.

The scenes playing out on our television screens and news feeds are the latest escalation of the challenges we’ll have to address together in the weeks and months ahead. But this community offers me so much hope for the future, and I am so incredibly grateful for the ways this community has come together over the past year — all of you who are with us in this shared mission to end hunger and its root causes.

Thank you for standing with us in the fight to end hunger — and for the work I know we’ll do together to ensure an inclusive democracy that works for all of us.

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