I hope you’re enjoying spending time with loved ones this holiday season. I was blessed to be back at home in California, spending some time with my family — which included making my mother’s tamales and chile relleno during Christmas and reflecting on the past year.
I’ll be honest — 2018 was full of challenges.
The Trump Administration doubled down on their attempts to gut our health care and slash taxes for corporations and the ultra-wealthy, all at the expense of working families. Our country bore witness to more than 300 mass shootings. Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s brave testimony captured the nation’s attention and served as a solemn reminder that — despite the progress we’ve made — women in America are still not believed. My home state was devastated by the Camp Fire, now the deadliest and most destructive fire in California history. Just this month, two young children died while in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. And in recent days, Donald Trump shut down the federal government because he wants American taxpayers to contribute $5 billion towards his border wall.
That’s enough tough news to make anybody want to give up. But you refused to throw up your hands and give in to despair. Together, we rolled up our sleeves and fought hard for the very soul of our country — and, together, we achieved so much.
In November, Democrats swept the midterm elections. We retook the House of Representatives, flipped six state legislatures and won several Governors’ seats. We also elected a record number of women — and women of color! — to fight for our values in Congress.
And this grassroots team — including you — helped raise more than $9 million for candidates running across the country, including Kyrsten Sinema, Jacky Rosen, Tammy Baldwin, Sherrod Brown, Tina Smith, Debbie Stabenow, Maria Cantwell, Jahana Hayes, Stacey Abrams, Andrew Gillum, Beto O’Rourke and more. This is nothing short of incredible, and I am so proud of our team.
In short, although 2018 was a difficult year for so many Americans, we have a lot to be hopeful for. Nothing has inspired me more than the activism and enthusiasm I’ve seen from people like you who have stepped up to fight for our values. You showed that, during some of the darkest times in our country’s recent history, there is still light.
Let’s look forward, together, to the fights that lie ahead. We must continue to invest in coalition-building and defend our progressive values in the new year. Across all communities, we must stand together. We can leave no one to fight alone.
May every single day of 2019 be filled with love, happiness, and joy for you and your family. Wishing you and your loved ones a fabulous new year.
U.S. Senator, California