What is Oxfam doing around the 2020 election?

By Oxfam
Illustration: Sandy Stowe/Oxfam

The stakes are high this election, and we want you to vote!

“Your vote is precious, almost sacred. It is the most powerful nonviolent tool we have to create a more perfect union.”

These are the words of the late civil rights activist Congressman John Lewis. With the presidential election just weeks away, we’re asking Americans to fulfill this powerful duty and vote.

This is a pivotal moment in our history. We’re grappling with a pandemic, racism, economic inequality, gender discrimination, climate change, a refugee crisis, and more. There is so much at stake, and now is the time to fight for what we believe in.

The most important thing we can do is vote—and make sure others vote, too.

How can our elected leaders ensure a dignified future for everyone? Here are five issues we believe will reduce inequality and contribute to a brighter future.

Stop COVID-19 and save the economy

The pandemic has created an economy where working people, especially women and Black Americans, are struggling to pay their bills, afford childcare, and avoid eviction, while a small set of large corporations and extremely wealthy investors are profiting off the crisis. We’re calling on the next president to:

  1. Champion a people’s vaccine that is free, fair, and available for all.
  2. Rebuild the economy for working people.
  3. Guarantee that everyone can vote safely (no one should have to choose between voting and their health).
  4. Restore American leadership and work in partnership to save lives.

Oxfam staff outside Boston City Hall as part the Global Climate Strike in September 2019. Photo: Oxfam America

Fight the climate crisis

Extreme weather, rising temperatures, and changing rainfall patterns hit the vulnerable first and worst, but the impact will reach all of us. We must stand up for the right to a livable planet for all. Oxfam calls on the next president to:

  1. Re-join the Paris Agreement and commit to significantly reducing US emissions and addressing climate impacts on the poorest and most vulnerable people.
  2. Scale up US contributions for climate aid and finance.
  3. Reduce emissions from our food system in a way that reduces hunger and ensures livelihoods for farmers and food workers.
  4. Allow the people most impacted by climate change—particularly women and indigenous groups—to have a role in decision-making.

Champion gender equality

Across the world, women and gender-diverse people are disproportionately affected by violence, discrimination, food insecurity, and climate change—all of which drive the cycle of poverty. When we reduce gender inequality, everyone benefits. Oxfam calls on the next president to:

  1. Create an Office of Gender Equality at the White House.
  2. Develop a women’s economic empowerment agenda for both the US and the world.
  3. Immediately reverse policies and initiatives that endanger the health and security of women, girls, and gender-diverse and non-conforming people, such as domestic and global gag rules.
  4. Increase funding to protect the rights of all women and girls.

Opportunity for all

All of us deserve to be governed by fair rules that are applied equally to everyone, and we all deserve good jobs, health care, and high-quality education. Oxfam calls on the next president to:

  1. Reward work over wealth through a “decent work” package.
  2. Curb corporate power over politics.
  3. Reduce inequality through tax policy.
  4. Check excessive concentration of power by multinational corporations.
  5. Fight for racial and economic justice.

Illustration: Sandy Stowe/Oxfam

Protect the rights of people forced to flee their homes

We must treat refugees and migrants with compassion, offer them help when they need it, and protect their rights. Oxfam calls on the next president to:

  1. Recognize the dignity of migrants and America's responsibility to protect refugees.
  2. Do our part to solve the global refugee crisis.
  3. Make the asylum process fair and accessible.
  4. Address root causes of forced migration.

Collaborate globally to defend human rights and equality

The US must contribute to shared progress and prosperity, rising standards, and all forms of equality— not seek to gain at the expense of families and communities elsewhere. Oxfam calls on the next president to:

  1. Modernize and increase investments in a better and safer world.
  2. Stop coddling dictators and war criminals. We must support human rights and the rule of law around the world.
  3. Reinvigorate international cooperation.
  4. Use trade to fight poverty, inequality, and climate change.
  5. Work with partners to crack down on corruption.

With the 2020 election on the horizon, Oxfam is urging supporters to vote and to encourage friends and family to participate in the election. To find out more info on how you can help get as many people out to vote as possible in 2020, pledge to help get out the vote.

Pledge to get out the vote

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