If you feel passionate to fight for equality after the election, there are plenty of national and Bay Area organizations to get involved with. (iStock)
Last week, we cast our ballots and proudly donned our “I Voted” stickers. We gnawed our fingernails and ate too much ice cream as we awaited the slowest election tally in recent history.
Then, on Saturday, Joe Biden was declared the president-elect. Celebrations broke out in the streets across the country. YG’s “FDT” played out of car stereos. Horns honked. Rainbow flags waved. Americans breathed out sighs of relief that an impeached president who ordered the teargassing of peaceful protesters, separated immigrant children from parents, rolled back transgender rights and purposely downplayed the COVID-19 pandemic was voted out of office.
As many rejoiced at the prospect of returning to “normalcy” under a Biden presidency in 2021, others pointed out that many of America’s woes are not uniquely Trumpian problems. Immigrant detention centers and deportations, mass incarceration, systemic racism, homelessness, transphobia and drastic income inequality are bipartisan issues that have been going on for decades, and they aren’t going to vanish under a new president. So if election season and this summer’s protests filled you with energy to do something, the fight’s not over.
Here are organizations accepting volunteers or donations that are doing the groundwork in the Bay Area and beyond:
If you’re worried about a potential coup...
The group Hold the Line created a guide to prep people for a contested election, and now that the Trump administration is attempting to invalidate results, they’re holding weekly meetings for citizens who want to protect the integrity of the democratic process.
Another national organization, Seed the Vote, is continuing its election protection work in battleground states by partnering with local, grassroots social justice groups in Arizona, Pennsylvania and Florida.
If you’re concerned about policing and mass incarceration ...
The Anti Police-Terror Project is a Black-led, multi-cultural activist coalition. Most recently, it led an organizing campaign for Oakland City Council to divest funds from the police department in its latest budget cycle. Members of the group also founded Mental Health First, which is a program providing a non-police response to mental health crises, substance use and domestic violence in Oakland and Sacramento. APTP holds an open online meeting every month.
UnCommon Law provides free legal representation for people incarcerated for violent crimes. They advocate for a trauma-informed approach of restorative justice.
Critical Resistance does policy work and direct actions with the mission of prison abolition. It has chapters in Oakland, Portland, Los Angeles and New York City.
People’s Breakfast Oakland is a mutual aid collective inspired by the philosophies of the Black Panthers. This Black socialist org is focused on improving the material living conditions of unhoused people: during COVID-19, they’ve served meals to the residents of West Oakland’s tent encampments three times a week and handed out clothing, gear and hygienic supplies. They also bailed out Black protesters arrested during the George Floyd uprisings. Currently, they’re seeking donations for a tent drive.
Based in San Francisco, Coalition on Homelessness is a policy-driven organization that lobbies state and local elected officials. During the pandemic, they’ve been running a campaign to house unsheltered people in hotel rooms, provide COVID-19 testing and stop encampment sweeps that destroy unhoused people’s belongings.
The Village Oakland is a mutual aid group led by unhoused women. One of its key focuses is direct action: they regularly protest to stop evictions, build tiny homes for unsheltered people and, most recently, they protested outside of councilmembers’ houses to attempt to stop the city’s controversial Encampment Management Plan, which has been decried by advocates.
Compass SF helps families experiencing homelessness access resources, secure jobs and find permanent housing. They accept donations and volunteers.
Larkin Street Youth Services works to get young people off the streets and into stable housing and employment. They accept volunteers to help distribute supplies and spread the word about their campaigns.
Homies Empowerment in Oakland operates a free “store” with food and toiletries for anyone who needs them. It accepts donations.
Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) seeks to mobilize white people to join a multi-racial coalition to fight systemic racism. Its members phone bank, attend rallies and write to elected officials. In the next online meeting on Nov. 12 they’ll discuss how they can “ensure that white folks who were activated against Trump don’t fall silent and complacent under a Biden administration.” SURJ has dozens of chapters across the U.S., including several in the Bay Area.
When white supremacist groups come to town to sow fear and hate, Bay Resistance organizes counterprotests. They also mobilize volunteers to help with direct actions and campaigns for trans, immigrant and Black people’s rights.
Care about what’s happening in Bay Area arts? Stay informed with one email every other week—right to your inbox.