Our Stories

Reflections on 2020, election uncertainty, and the road ahead

November 5, 2020

What a year. An historic year. A time that will be remembered as one of great suffering and piercing disappointment, but also one of great strength and courage. An historic groundswell of civil and human rights activism. And an historic election that showed us we are as deeply divided as many of us feared.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, embedded systems of inequality made Los Angeles one of the most racially and economically segregated cities in the nation. The current public health and economic crises have only exacerbated these inequalities – exposing the dire situations Public Counsel’s clients have been facing for years – living in tents or overcrowded housing, fending for their families paycheck to paycheck, unemployed, or in debt, and struggling to enforce their basic rights. Despite all of this, our clients and partners rose up this past year, as they have historically, and demanded justice and equity – equity for immigrants and veterans; equity for students, renters, consumers, and workers; and equity in the demand that Black Lives be valued.

Our work and support of transformative change at Public Counsel will continue regardless of this election’s outcome. Systems of inequality, discrimination, and oppression do not have an election cycle expiration date. And neither do movements for change and justice. We will continue the work we started 50 years ago to enhance community stability for low-income communities and communities of color, to support veterans, immigrants, children and families, and to help consumers and students exercise their rights under the law and obtain life-saving services and benefits. We will continue to strengthen nonprofits and small businesses, advance housing and economic justice, and strengthen the health care safety net. We will continue to support the grassroots organizing that secured historic victories to transform our local systems to be more inclusive, accountable, and just. We will stand with those fighting for every vote to be counted. And we will hold whatever administration is in power accountable for satisfying the values that drive us: equity, inclusivity, hope, justice, community, and solidarity.

We will continue to have “reservoirs of hope and optimism,” in solidarity with you, for our collective futures. This is a moment to deepen our commitment to racial and economic justice, continue to meet the immediate needs of those who are suffering, and continue to fight with the communities most harmed by the pandemic and generations of systemic racism to ensure a just and equitable recovery.

In community,

Margaret M. Morrow

President & CEO