– Julianna Rennie, Solidaridad intern
As SAF’s policy intern, I’ve had the privilege to work with organizers who are fighting for social justice. These people are passionate and tireless. Many of them have been part of the movement for decades. They are my heroes!
But sometimes I wonder where they find the energy to keep going. We’re advocating for commonsense reforms – a pathway to citizenship, a national heat stress standard, and in-state tuition for undocumented students, to name a few – but there are so many obstacles in our way. Politicians won’t budge. Big industries lobby against our reforms. And the bureaucracy slows everything down!
Even worse, we often spend time just trying not to go backwards! We recently argued against the NC General Assembly’s HB 259, a proposed anti-immigrant law that could have exposed non-citizens’ private information and removed naturalized citizens from the voter rolls.
Despite all of these obstacles, organizers still fight to enact our vision for a better future. We join Zoom calls at 6:30pm – after most people have stopped working for the day – to strategize. (I particularly love seeing people’s pets or toddlers make a cameo on their screens!) We share information and resources, and we show up for each other!
That kind of love – for our mission and each other – sustains our movement. Sometimes I feel frustrated about the pace of progress, but that’s okay because I don’t give up! Through this internship, I’ve learned that making new policy isn’t easy, but I’m committed to this work. I’m also humbled and inspired by the organizers who have dedicated their lives to the movement!