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On the 23rd annual Martin Luther King Day, the Eve of the Inauguration
Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love. -Martin Luther King, Jr.
In the weeks leading up to the election, we held discussions with community members about the financial crisis and people’s hopes and fears for the election. What people talked about is very much a map of the current conditions that are front and center in our communities’ realities. We talked about the stagnation of real wages, an understanding that the ratio of people’s income to expenses has gone down for the last thirty years, meaning that even when people earn more over time, our money pays for less. We talked about an unprecedented level of imaginary profit made by a very small number of people, and the cost of deregulation on homeowners, poor and working class people; and the deepening gap between the rich and the poor in the global south due to free trade agreements, structural adjustment policies, and currency speculation (http://economicmeltdownfunnies.org/).
We identified the impacts of these issues on our communities locally: people feeling trapped in jobs that they are afraid to leave; the rise in homelessness; the decrease in small businesses; gentrification (the process by which higher income households displace lower income residents of a neighborhood, changing the essential character and displacing original residents of the neighborhood) and the decrease in affordable housing; less resources for education and an increase in military recruitment; rising scapegoating, racism, transphobia, depression, hopelessness, and crime. We talked about the budget cuts which are affecting all of our organizations, and how in many ways homeless LGBTSTGNC people, especially younger people, elders and people with disabilities, are feeling these cuts to services most immediately.
As we hold these hard realities among others, as LGBTSTGNC People of Color based in New York City we identified some of the policy and movement commitments we will make during the next period...