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  • Writer's pictureNorthern Illinois DSA

If Not Now, When?

This piece was written by an NIDSA member and originally appeared as an op-ed in the Rockford Register Star.

2020 not only brought us a global pandemic, but it was also the year that forced almost every systemic problem in America to the forefront of our lives: racism, police brutality, the failures of our for-profit health care system, billionaires making more money than they can spend while millions of people wait in line at food banks. The list goes on.

As we head into 2021 and count the immeasurable losses we’ve faced in 2020, we have to ask ourselves — if now is not the time to work toward building a better world, then when is? Luckily, activists all over the country (and Rockford too!) are answering that question; the time is now.

In nearly every city, organizations like the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) are actively working to create change that puts power back into the hands of everyday people like you and me. They’re organizing to fix our rigged economy, combat racism in policing, and end corruption in all levels of government. DSA policy ideas rooted in helping working class people like Medicare for All and canceling student debt, often decried as “socialist,” have become incredibly popular amongst people of many backgrounds! In fact, 10 million Americans voted during the 2020 presidential primary for a candidate named Bernie Sanders who supports those very ideas. That’s a lot of “socialists.”

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that our collective well-being is inextricably tied to one another. Ultimately, we have more in common with each other than we do with politicians or the Wall Street executives who fund them — and the sooner we realize that the more powerful we’ll be.

When it comes to building a world rooted in solidarity for everyone, there’s no going back from here. We can’t afford to.

–Daniel Davis, Rockford

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