2020: A Year for Reflection

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

The New Year was a time for people to celebrate new beginnings and embrace the future with optimism, potential, and opportunities not realized. But unfortunately, many of our worlds
were turned upside down, three months into the year with an unprecedented Pandemic,
Coronavirus (COVID-19), social injustices, suppression of voting rights, protests, racism, the
imbalanced scales of justice and governments (federal, state, and local) that put capitalism before
the health and safety of citizens near and far.

When we look at the impact of the pandemic as of June 30th, 2020 which took 510,154 lives globally, 128,513 lives in the United States, and 16,863 lives in New Jersey, the numbers are disheartening, unconscionable, and none of us could have predicted such staggering numbers as we listened to the daily news reports that caused despair, anxiousness, fear, and pandemonium while governments enacted strategies to control the spread of the virus and to flatten the curve of daily deaths. During which, UWUA. Local 601 saught to make local agreements to ensure the health and safety of members that have proven to be successful in minimizing risks of infection and the spread of disease.

Unfortunately, while the world was quarantined and practicing social distancing, remaining STILL from our normal hustle and bustle of life, we recognized the underbelly of racism, inequality, imbalanced scales of the judicial system and social injustices rear its head in an overwhelmingly depraved indifference for the lives of African Americans, Blacks, and people of color. The organized movement Black Lives Matter and other protestors Took it to the STREETS, protesting incidents of police brutality and disparaged treatment of African Americans, Blacks, and people of color.

Say their Names: Ahmad Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Eric Garner, Philando Castile,
Tamir Rice, Trevon Martin, Sandra Bland and countless more whose lives were devalued and unjustly taken because of their appearance.

When you know better, you do BETTER! This year is an opportunity for all of us to exercise our Collective Voice, and Collective Power at the polls. It is imperative that "WE THE PEOPLE" VOTE OUR INTEREST! On a federal, state, and local level, let our votes count, electing officials that support better healthcare, higher wages, putting people to work, veteran apprenticeships, laws and legislation against racist acts, enacting police civilian review boards, and taking a strong stand to make it a reality that the disenfranchised are counted in the rhetoric "All Lives Matter," this is how we become stronger as a people and nation.