Human Rights: Social Justice and Equal Opportunity for All

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IMAGINE all people—regardless of race, gender, country of origin, or religion—having true equal opportunity to live the life they want…

California is the most diverse state in the nation. We celebrate our differences and all that makes us open-minded, inclusive, and welcoming. We respect every person’s right to live the life they choose.

Food, shelter, health care, and education are basic human rights. When people are denied these rights, it drives a community into poverty, crime, and despair, making the people of that community even more vulnerable and further from having equal opportunity for a happy life. Institutionalized discrimination, including racism, sexism, classism, and anti-LGBTQI bias contribute to the growing disparity between the top one percent and the rest of us in an alarming trend.

The glass-ceiling for people of color, women, undocumented Americans, and the LGBQTI community must be shattered and we must commit to safeguarding basic human rights for everyone. In addition to strengthening programs that support our most vulnerable communities, we must also understand how important it is to stand up against racist and sexist rhetoric that harms our progress. We must understand the value of hope. It is true that hope will only get us so far. This is why we must pass policies that protect all human rights. But hope and love are in themselves proven motivating factors. Therefore, we must combine a security of basic rights for all human beings through policies (clear path to citizenship, saving DREAMERS, stopping terror tactics by ICE, bail reform, improving quality of police training, effective civilian oversight structures of police, removing barriers to reporting police misconduct, requiring police body cameras, ending privatization of police and prisons, ending war on drugs, reparations for past and continuing harms) while we also transform the way we talk about and think about one another.

We all know that when we help children to have confidence in themselves, when we provide a clear path to a bright and happy future, they achieve greatness. It is time that we invest in lifting one another up because when our neighbors are safe and happy, so too are our own families. Imagine.

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Ricardo Gonzalez