Statement in Celebration of the Inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris  


January 20, 2021

Editor’s note: Deborah Weinstein, Executive Director of the Coalition on Human Needs, released the following statement on Wednesday, January 20:

The U.S. Capitol as the Sun begins to rise before events get underway before the 59th Presidential Inauguration (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

We welcome President Biden and Vice President Harris with high emotion. 

We are grieving many losses:  people lost to the coronavirus, people lost to racist violence, to too many guns, to overdose, to suicide.  President Biden understands our grief and is committed to presiding over a government that strives to lessen its causes. 

We welcome President Biden and Vice President Harris with a celebration of their commitment to free us from the grip of the pandemic.  They understand the critical importance of distributing vaccines and other steps to prevent the spread of disease, while also grasping the urgency of protecting people from economic disaster.  They know our children – our future  will suffer irreparable harm if we do not act, and so the economic rescue they will press for on Day 1 will reduce the number of children in poverty by half and invest in repairs to their education.  We celebrate their clear-eyed recognition that we cannot recover and sustain progress without including everyone.  

We welcome the new President and Vice President with a kind of wounded hope. We have seen the malign power of lies and the cynical protection of privilege.  

But our hope is ascendant and determined.  We are among the legions of advocates who stood together to turn back many destructive proposals and to press successfully for protections against the pandemic’s devastation and against efforts to suppress our democracy.  We celebrate President Biden’s swift actions to combat the four intertwined crises of pandemic, economy, systemic racism, and climate.  Members of the Coalition on Human Needs are ready to join Americans nationwide to support and advance this essential work. 

Cynicism is easy.  Turning hope into action is hard.  President Biden and Vice President Harris have committed to justice, to truth-telling and -sharing, and to decisive and competent action.  It is our greatest wish that they succeed. We invest our hope and pledge our hard work to realize our shared goals of justice, freedom from want, protection from threats to our well-being, and inclusive opportunities to thrive.