I originally wrote this Huffington Post piece on the eve of the 2016 election, urging everyone to vote. I even embedded video of Maya Angelou from 1993, reciting her poem, “On the Pulse of Morning” at Bill Clinton’s presidential inauguration. It all seems almost quaint now, with a pandemic, systemic racism called out at last, and a world in turmoil all happening at once.
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I believe more than ever that every voice matters. We are all America, and America has made it clear— we cannot, will not, stand silent. Morning in America happens when we use that voice.
“Lift up your faces, you have a piercing need
For this bright morning dawning for you.
History, despite its wrenching pain,
Cannot be unlived, and if faced
With courage, need not be lived again.
Lift up your eyes upon
The day breaking for you.
Give birth again
to the dream.”
Download this PDF for the full text of Maya Angelou’s poem On the Pulse of Morning.
Your Voice, Your Vote, Our Food, Our Future
I don’t need to remind you that tomorrow is Election Day, Vote like your life depends on it — not just for president, but for every elected official on your ballot. They all affect how we eat. The Union of Concerned Scientists, HEAL Food Alliance and Food Policy Action have joined forces to create Plate of the Union, calling on candidates to make food and farming central to their mission, and if elected to fix our fractured food system.
Launched four years ago, Food Policy Action posts a scorecard on how elected officials vote on food policy. That means farming, labor, safety, school lunches, SNAP programs, food waste, protecting animals, GMO labeling and more. You probably know the nonprofit’s co-founder Tom Colicchio as the Top Chef judge or as the chef at Craft and Gramercy Tavern. He’s omnivore, I’m vegan, but we both believe safe, healthy, affordable, accessible and sustainable food is an unalienable human right. That means all of us:
the Asian, the Hispanic, the Jew,
The African and Native American, the Sioux,
The Catholic, the Muslim, the French, the Greek,
The Irish, the Rabbi, the Priest, the Sheikh,
The Gay, the Straight, the Preacher,
The privileged, the homeless, the teacher.
— from Maya Angelou’s “On the Pulse of Morning,” the inaugural poem for President Bill Clinton.
A long and bruising campaign season concludes tomorrow night. Then once again it will be morning in America. Sign Plate of the Union’s petition to our next president. We all deserve to be served at America’s table.