It’s been a hard year. It’s been a hard three years. But in times like these, we find out what we’re made of.
At the beginning of 2019, we knew that the threat of white nationalism would only grow — and it did.
We knew that the Trump administration and its enablers in Congress would continue to attack our communities — and they have.
But we also knew that support from people like you would make it possible to fight back — and we have.
Bend the Arc has been at the forefront of the Jewish resistance, uniting Jews across the country in solidarity against Trumpism since 2015. You are what makes this movement strong. Together, we’ve risen up against antisemitism, we’ve won progressive victories, and we’ve shown our courage and resilience.
A look back on what we did together in 2019
This year, we saw a terrifying increase in antisemitic attacks and rhetoric, mainstreamed by President Trump and his enablers in Congress.
When Trump called American Jews disloyal in August, our leaders sprang into action, launching a #DisloyalToTrump petition with thousands of signatures, and lobbying their local members of Congress to demand they condemn Trump’s antisemitism.
In October, we disrupted Trump’s speech in Pittsburgh, making it clear that “Trump Endangers Jews.”
And we kept showing up for all communities under attack: we led nationwide protests of ICE and CBP’s attacks on immigrants, rallied with our Muslim family to protest every version of the Muslim Ban, and coordinated solidarity actions in response to white nationalist attacks in Christchurch, Poway, and El Paso.
In September, we organized a coalition including United We Dream Action and DailyKos to deliver 32,000 signatures demanding the Democratic presidential debates confront the growing threat of white nationalism. In the following debates, candidates like Cory Booker, Julián Castro, Kamala Harris, and Bernie Sanders directly addressed white supremacist violence and their plans to keep our communities safe and free.
In 2019, Bend the Arc’s field grew larger than ever before, with new moral minyans from New Mexico to South Florida joining our field of 18 cities across the country, and more than 1,300 people trained in our campaigns and organizing.
And we had big victories, too. In New York, our leaders joined the Green Light coalition and won driver’s licenses for all, regardless of immigration status — meaning more than 750,000 undocumented New Yorkers will be able to drive without fear.
And in California, Bend the Arc leaders were part of a statewide effort to pass the California Act to Save Lives, which will explicitly restrict police use of deadly force — a major victory for police accountability and people whose loved ones have been stolen by police violence.
In 2018, we played a key role in flipping the House. In 2019, we brought your voice and your values to the new Congress.
In April, Rep. David Cicilline read our statement into the record at a House Oversight Committee hearing on white nationalism — and in May, Rep. Ayanna Pressley did the same at a hearing on white supremacy.
Throughout the year, our leaders and staff worked hard to get their members of Congress to hold ICE and CBP accountable and support immigrant communities.
Here’s just one of dozens of examples. Our leaders on Long Island worked hard to move their Representative, Tom Suozzi, to take a strong position against funding for ICE and CBP. After meetings and calls and town halls, Rep. Suozzi not only announced his support to #DefundHate on the House floor — he credited Bend the Arc for changing his mind.
With our partners at CREDO and Define American, we called out two events for inviting former DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to speak — because someone who separated families and lied about it doesn’t deserve a cushy embrace. Nielsen was forced to back out of The Atlantic Festival, and prominent figures dropped out of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit, refusing to share the stage with her.
And this fall, we joined dozens of Jewish groups, the progressive movement, and hundreds of members of Congress in calling for Stephen Miller’s removal from the White House for his white nationalist rhetoric and policies.
This summer, we learned that the Trump administration was planning to open a detention camp for migrant children at Fort Sill in Oklahoma — a former internment site of indigenous peoples and Japanese Americans.
In response, thousands of allies — indigenous, Japanese American, immigrant, Black, and Jewish — came together for a massive, powerful solidarity action at Fort Sill. Within the week, Oklahoma officials announced that plans to use the facility were on hold indefinitely.
We believe that we were made for this moment. And you prove that every day. Your support, your activism, and your leadership in cities across this country are the backbone of the Jewish resistance.
In 2019, we showed we were ready for anything. In 2020, we’re committed to doing it again — but we need your help. The amount we raise now will determine what we can achieve next year.
Every dollar you give will directly support tens of thousands of Jewish leaders, whether it’s fighting back against this administration’s white nationalist agenda, winning local progressive victories across the country, or beating back Trumpism at the ballot box in 2020.
In solidarity and strength,
The Bend the Arc team