There are two key struggles we are all combatting at the moment: an election in which the moral fate of our nation and our own human rights are at stake and the COVID-19 pandemic that has already taken more than 227,000 American lives. There is not one person nor one organization that can lead us forward. It will take all of us, and that means you.
Here in San Diego, COVID-19 rates and indicators have us teetering on the edge of a more restrictive tier of shutdowns. Large underground parties and events continue throughout the county where no safety procedures are in place, putting us all at risk. With Halloween coming around this weekend, many may feel tempted to celebrate in person rather than protect themselves or our larger community. Just last week, one of our community’s most beloved venues, Martinis Above Fourth, was forced to close. If we do not take personal responsibility to curb the spread of this virus we will lose more LGBTQ venues, organizations, and opportunities for talented LGBTQ artists to find stable income.
The steps we need to take here are simple:
- Wear a mask.
- Wash your hands.
- Keep a safe distance.
Meanwhile, the pandemic, attacks on the US Postal Service, and a larger number of people voting by mail are making access to voting more challenging. Additionally, there is a growing concern about voter intimidation led by white supremacists and other hate groups at polling locations in an attempt to suppress the votes of communities that are already historically marginalized. With so much at stake this election, again, your leadership can make a difference.
You can support voter turnout by:
Often we look to leadership to help through difficult times. We don’t always recognize our own personal role in that work, our own power, or our own ability to lead by example. This is one of those critical moments where your leadership is needed. All of us are needed, in this fight and in the hard road ahead. I’m grateful for the privilege to serve in this work with you together, and Together We Rise.
Fernando Zweifach López
San Diego Pride