Our group was founded in January 2017 on a commitment to the common good. We called ourselves Indivisible Berks, and we were among the first of thousands of grassroots groups that sprang up in the wake of the 2016 election. We toppled a Congressman, ran a successful campaign to save our county-owned nursing home from privatization, and learned just how broken our systems were.
In January 2020, we became Berks Stands Up, joining forces with other powerful groups in Pennsylvania Stands Up. We’re member-supported, volunteer-led, and part of the vast multiracial, multi-generational, cross-class movement to redeem the promise of liberty and justice for all. Our mission was and still is to ensure that our elected officials represent all their constituents, including the most vulnerable, but we know now that “resistance” isn’t enough and that racial and gender justice must be at the core of every campaign, whether for housing, healthcare, fair wages or the Green New Deal.
For too long, political discourse in our country has been dominated by a narrative that serves only to help the rich get richer. At its heart is an unholy trinity of beliefs -- trust in the marketplace as the arbiter of what’s worthy, veneration of the “self-made man” coupled with fear and loathing of people of color, and contempt for government as a vehicle for service. Thus we have elected officials who do not view their job as representing their constituents, only business and their business-forward ideologies.
We share a different vision that links solidarity with people of all races and classes with shared prosperity and racial justice. This is what we mean when we talk about government that works for all of us. Because for this to be a place where everyone can thrive, we cannot let the richest 1% and the politicians they pay for exploit divisions among us based on what we look like, where we come from, or how much money we have. It’s up to us to be the force for change.