THE YEAR IN REVIEW
As we reflect on 2021, we know that we are on the precipice of historic change thanks to the power of our communities. With partners like you by our side, Community Change is proud of the role we played in setting the agenda on major policies like immigrant justice, child care, the child tax credit, and other anti-poverty initiatives.
This year, we continued our extended journey through pandemic life; we found new and innovative ways to connect with each other; we examined and supported the different ways our communities protect their most vulnerable members; and most importantly, we continued to build power for ourselves and each other to meet extraordinary challenges with grit, determination, and community.
In this issue, we reflect on the triumphs of 2021 and consider the challenges still to come, using videos to share the stories of directly impacted people. We hope the people-driven power represented in the six videos below, which were created by our team, staff, and partners, will inspire you as we look ahead to 2022.
Inauguration 2021 Calls Us to Keep Organizing
At the beginning of the year, Community Change Action celebrated a moment of hope and history with the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, and the shift to Democratic control of the U.S. House and Senate. This milestone was made possible by the millions of people of color, especially Black and Latinx voters, who turned out in record numbers in 2020. And while we kicked off the year in celebration, we were aware that our fight had only begun–that the work continued to ensure this victory yielded real relief for our communities. As Danielle Atkinson said, “The past four years are like you’ve been running a marathon with weights all over your body. And now you’re taking the weights off… but you still have to run the marathon.”
Welcome Back, Congress. Do Your Job.
On September 21, immigrants, allies, and community members from across the country converged in Washington, D.C. to demand Congress take action to ensure the budget reconciliation package includes citizenship and protections for immigrants, as well as investments in the care economy and green infrastructure to fight climate change. Watch the recap of this powerful action. Today, our fight continues. It is critical that Congress recognize that investing in citizenship, child care, anti-poverty measures, and climate justice is necessary. Congress must deliver on its promises and address the issues that disproportionately affect communities of color. This is the year. #WeAreHome
Elida: A Day in the Life of a Child Care Provider
Meet Elida Cruz, a child care provider from California who supports the children of farmworkers. In this video, she shares the struggles and rewards of her work. Elida’s story is a prime example of why investments in child care infrastructure, including better wages for workers, is an essential part of the Build Back Better agenda. In 2021, we continued to share the stories of those most directly impacted by the American child care system as part of our call for Congressional action. The reality is that when we don’t have child care, parents can’t work. When parents can’t work, our economy stops.
Organizing Isn’t Random, It’s Relational
Relational organizing in 2020 made the difference and won elections in critical places across the country. In 2021, we continued to build power through organizing and our simple theory of change: You are the person best qualified to shape the opinions and actions of your friends and family. Over the past year, Community Change Action expanded and activated a massive network of relationships–organizing meetings with Congressional offices, sharing personal stories, and shaping the narrative around the need for legislative action–to make sure elected officials heard directly from the electorate on the issues that matter most to their communities. As we look towards elections in 2022 and 2024, we know that these same voters are ready to continue organizing to make sure that their communities turn out to hold elected officials accountable and realize a vision for a different future.
A Clear Vision for Racial Justice
As the wave of racial reckoning grew in 2020, we knew that 2021 would be an opportunity to build on the power of those who were now paying attention to the racial injustice of this country and to amplify the voices of those who are hurting. And as the movement accelerated, so did our work. This year, we launched Community Change’s Black Freedom Collective, a growing Black political powerhouse of 29 partners with a unique focus on grassroots organizing. Explore our clear vision for racial justice through this video and learn more about the Black Freedom Collective.
TikTok: Build Back Better Meets Squid Games
In 2021, Community Change and Community Change Action upped the game with our social media reach and strategy, shaping the political narrative around our agenda and reaching new audiences to join our fight. This year, we reached over 115,240,000 impressions on TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook and received 4.6 million engagements, including likes, comments, and reposts. With the help of our staff, partners, and social media fellows, we increased our engagement by 164%. One fun example: this @laurynandsteph video that parodies the Squid Games series with the Build Back Better agenda.
In early 2021, the American Rescue Plan’s one-year expansion of the child tax credit and its advance monthly payments laid the groundwork for an income floor for families with children and significantly reduced overall poverty. To make sure that eligible families took advantage of this critical anti-poverty policy, and to build the narrative and momentum to fight for a permanent tax credit in the Build Back Better agenda, Community Change experimented with new ways to spread the word through social media. Check out this video by Kerry Washington and our partners that explains the child tax credit!