After nearly two years of hard work and dedication, I am proud to tell you that we won our election last night. I am humbled and honored to serve you and the people of California in the U.S. Senate.
There is so much to be grateful for in the results coming from our beautiful and diverse state, but it is clear that the cause of justice and equality has never been more urgent.
I know the way many of you are feeling in this moment. The only thing I can say is this: we must not and we cannot despair. We must not be overwhelmed in our national loss—or focus only on our victory here in California. We cannot throw up our hands at a time that requires all of us to roll up our sleeves.
We can either retreat or we can fight. I intend to FIGHT for who we are. I hope you join me.
I intend to fight for a state that has the largest number of immigrants, both documented and undocumented. We must bring them justice and dignity and fairness through comprehensive immigration reform.
I intend to fight for Black Lives Matter and to ensure truth, transparency, and trust in our criminal justice system.
I intend to fight for a woman’s access to health care and reproductive rights.
I intend to fight against those naysayers who suggest there is no such thing as climate change. Now is the time to intensify the fight for our environment, not abandon it. Our children’s future literally depends on it.
I intend to fight for the civil rights of all people, because no one should be denied housing, employment or the right to marry the person they love.
I intend to fight for our students and invest in them. We cannot let them graduate with devastating amounts of debt. Education is the only path to success, we must solve the student loan debt crisis.
I intend to fight for commonsense gun safety because it’s the right thing to do. I have not forgotten the lives that were lost in San Bernardino, Sandy Hook, or the tragic attack on my friend, Gabby Giffords.
So, here’s the deal: our ideals are at stake right now and we will have to fight for who we are. This is a pivotal moment in the history of America.
I believe it is an inflection point—similar to the time and place when my parents met and were active in the Civil Rights Movement. I believe this is a moment in time when many of us must look in the mirror with furrowed brow and ask ourselves: who are we?
I believe that answer is a good one. We are a great country. Imperfect, but great because of our values, ideals, and diversity. One presidential election cannot erase that.
It is important to remember what Coretta Scott King taught us. That the fight for civil rights—the fight for justice and equality—must be fought and won with each generation. It is the very nature of this fight that whatever gains we make, they will not be permanent.
The same is true of our opponents. The gains they have made in this election are not permanent. That is why we must come together right now—not despair—and fight for who we are and the country we want to be.
Thank you for everything you have done in this election. I am humbled by the fact that we would not be here without you.
This campaign for Senate has ended, but the work is just beginning. Please stay involved. Please own a piece of the next four years and help us fight for the future of this country. Together, we can do this.