By Louis Libert,
NASW California Staff
I have been a NASW California Chapter staff member for more than 16 years. I perform a variety of different duties for the Chapter. Under the supervision of Lora Pierce, Director of Online Education, I help manage the Chapter’s online continuing education program as well as email marketing, chapter website content management, and customer service among other tasks.
Before going any further, I want to emphasize the importance of the two upcoming Senate runoffs in Georgia (polls close January 5). This is the Democratic Party’s last chance to wrest control of the Senate from an increasingly anti-democratic Republican Party that intends to sabotage the incoming Biden administration in any way that it can. Here are links to give time and financial support to the two wonderful Democratic candidates in these races:
It’s an understatement to say that 2020 has been a really rough year. Were in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, an unprecedented assault on our democracy from the president and many in his party, a nationwide reckoning with police violence and racial injustice, and mass unemployment and economic insecurity.
We still have a long way to go with all of these challenges but this moment also represents a big opportunity. There is heightened awareness of the racial, economic, and health inequities in this country. An unprecedented number of people became actively involved in getting out the vote in the November election, participated in mass nationwide protests against police violence, and turned out to vote in historic numbers.
Voters chose competent, experienced leadership over hatred, divisiveness, corruption and gross incompetence by more than 7 million votes. I will certainly not agree with every decision that Biden administration will make. He was not my first choice of candidates. That being said, there is no doubt that he is vastly more suited to the role of president than Donald Trump and will bring real leadership to this country’s pandemic response and the corresponding economic crisis. The rest remains to be seen and will in part depend on how involved we all are in our political process and how much we advocate for real change.
As a part of the NASW California Chapter team I’m proud of our response to the pandemic and our involvement in and support of the movement for racial justice at the state and national level. In my work for the chapter I’ve been involved in posting resources related to the pandemic and racial justice on an ongoing basis as new resources become available.
The online continuing education program team has put up a number of free and discounted courses on COVID (including telemental health) and racial justice related subjects. In response to the devastating 2020 wildfire season in California and ongoing pandemic, we are offering free continuing education scholarships to members who have been directly affected by these disasters. We’ve had an unprecedented number of users this year registering for courses on the online continuing education website and, as always, have responded to all customer service inquiries in a timely and professional manner.
The upcoming year represents a huge opportunity to turn the page on the damage that Donald Trump and his enablers have done to this country for the past 4 years while flattening the curve of the spread of the pandemic and distributing vaccines to the entire country in a timely and orderly fashion. We should advocate for real changes that address racial injustice, police violence, gun violence, mass incarceration. income inequality, healthcare, climate change, and many other problems that have been neglected for far too long. These opportunities and many others give me hope that we can pivot to being a more equitable and humane society if we can stay engaged and continue to advocate for positive change.
I wish you all happy and healthy holidays and new year!