Faith Groups Win Key Initiatives in Four States, Intend to hold Electeds Accountable

No Time for a Victory Lap; People of Faith Intend to Hold Elected Leaders Accountable

WASHINGTON – Following the election of Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States, PICO National Network, the nation’s largest network of faith-based groups, released the following statement:

“Following a presidential election cycle marred by vitriolic and harmful rhetoric, this election surfaced deep divides” said PICO National Network Executive Director Scott Reed. “As people of deep faith, we are uniquely poised to not only help our nation heal, but to serve as a moral compass for the country. To that end, we are committed to dialoguing with those who think differently and will attempt to engage President-Elect Trump. But President-Elect Trump should be forewarned that our faith will not allow us to permit him to fulfill his promise to criminalize immigrants by conducting mass deportations, or sit idly in the face of racial profiling of African Americans, Latinos and religious minorities.

“We know there is much work to be done, especially around creating a society that is inclusive for all people. Regardless of the challenges ahead, I am confident that we will prevail. If there’s anything I know about myself, it is this; I am a fighter. If there’s anything I know about the American people, it is this; Americans are fighters as well. Put us in front of an obstacle and rest assured, we will overcome.”

“While it may be tempting to focus on the presidency alone, we should look down ballot,” said Denise Collazo, PICO National Network Chief of Staff. “People of faith voted for ballot initiatives -- such as pre-K expansion in Cincinnati and Dayton, public transit in Indianapolis, living wages in Colorado, and juvenile justice reforms and revenue for education and health in California. These measures show that Americans, even in states that voted for Donald Trump, will vote for measures that give all families a chance to thrive. Regardless of what happened at the top of the ticket, we are more committed than ever to pushing an agenda that leads to a more inclusive America.”

“We’ve shown through our ballot measure work that voters support policies that raise wages, create jobs and provide all families with opportunity,” Collazo said. “Moreover, we made strides this election cycle and are organized to hold President-Elect Trump and other elected officials accountable.”

“A national network of 45 state and local organizations in 22 states and over 150 cities and towns, PICO federations made impressive strides at the local level,” Collazo continued. “The network had 815,620 live, person-to-person conversations with voters whom others typically ignore -- communities of color and persons living in poverty. PICO affiliates Faith in Florida Action Fund and Stand Up for Ohio also ran spirited accountability campaigns to force prosecutors to end mass incarceration and hold police officers accountable for lethal shootings.”

“While there may be temptation for newly elected leaders to perform a victory lap of sorts, there is much to be done to ensure this nation works for everyone, and not just for the very wealthy,” said Bishop Dwayne Royster, PICO National Network Political Director. “Our faith will not allow us to rest until America lives up to its promise to become a nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all.”

“We are called to love our neighbors as ourselves and we take this sacred admonishment to heart as we move into the months ahead,” said Pastor Michael McBride, PICO National Network LIVE FREE Campaign Director. “We are committed to guard against scapegoating the poor, people of color or marginalized communities for the challenges our country faces.”