Letter from the Co-Chairs

Human rights continue to be under attack in our own country and the news is bleak. The rights of immigrants and the citizenship of their American-born children are threatened by the stroke of a pen; the repeal of transgender rights is on the Massachusetts ballot; many inner-city and rural Americans are being purged from voter registration lists in unprecedented numbers; and the funerals continue for the victims of the shocking Tree of Life synagogue shooting.

We know that as you read this, time has lapsed, and the immediacy of these events has faded. The results of the election will have changed the agenda for better or for worse, yet the threat to our civil liberties continues to loom. What can we do? As former CCHRC Chairperson, Polly Attwood, expresses in this issue’s guest editorial, we must not stay silent.

Americans have two powerful weapons with which to confront the violation of human rights in our own country: our voices and our votes. Speak up and out: defend the freedom of the press. Information must flow freely; if not, we will struggle to keep ourselves informed about the issues of the day, and our voices will be silenced. And vote. This November, we were again given the opportunity to vote and we must continue to retain this right. Change can come through the ballot, but only if we exercise the right to vote and get our neighbors to do the same. And we must stop efforts to disenfranchise large swaths of our population who are being intimidated from voting or simply not given free and easy access to voting opportunities.

Through our voices and our votes, let us recommit to nurturing democracy. Let us recommit to fighting bigotry locally and further afield. Let us recommit to building a world guided by knowledge and compassion. Let us recommit ourselves to the defense of human rights.

Rob Morrison & Louisa Paushter
Concord-Carlisle Human Rights Council Co-Chairs