The violent incursion at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, January 6 disrespected, demeaned, and threatened the right of every citizen who peaceably engages in the democratic process in our country.
Deliberation, debate, argument, compromise, deal-making; these are the tools to advance our interests in a democracy. The leaders and organizations of One LA IAF teach and practice these political skills every day. We vigorously engage on the issues that impact our families by deliberately building the relational power needed to advance these issues with our elected officials. We teach and practice a culture of learning, reflection and action. Our work takes the form of hundreds of conversations across lines of race, class, religion, and geography and is full of respect, dissent, concession, and sometimes victory. In other words, we MAKE DEMOCRACY WORK.
What happened yesterday at the U.S. Capitol not only endangered, the officials, staff members and public safety officers who were present, but endangered our democratic institutions by introducing violence to what has, until now, been a tradition of a peaceful transfer of power in our national leadership. To arrive at consent at the point of a gun is the weakest form of power, and our nation was weakened on January 6 by the use of violence in place of political debate.
As a network of religious, labor, education and community leaders from all walks of life and all political persuasions, we condemn the acts of insurrection and violence in Washington D.C., and recall the words of of the late, great Congressman John Lewis:
"Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part to help build what we called the Beloved Community, a national and world society at peace with itself".
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