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Statement Record

May 3, 2022

On Monday night, Politico published a draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito, striking down Roe v. Wade (1973). If Alito’s draft opinion becomes the court’s final decision, pregnant Americans’ fundamental right to choose will be jeopardized, and several states will swiftly criminalize abortion.

Alongside scores of individuals and organizations across the country, the Stanford Democrats are devastated and deeply concerned by this opinion. Most people who seek abortions are already mothers who feel unable to take on the immense physical and financial burdens that come along with carrying another baby to term. Forcing such Americans to shoulder these burdens against their wills represents an overt human rights violation, as recognized by the World Health Organization.

Issues of bodily autonomy aside, the data is in: abortion bans do not prevent people from terminating their pregnancies. Indeed, abortion rates are basically identical in countries where abortion is legal and in countries where it is illegal. Criminalizing medical abortion merely ensures that people experiencing unwanted pregnancies are forced to seek out clandestine and potentially deadly treatment options.

We urge Stanford students and community members alike to consider Alito’s draft opinion as a call to action. Just like generations of activists before us, we must fight to protect our most fundamental freedoms.

- Stanford Democrats Executive Board ‘21-22

February 15, 2022

On this occasion of Vice President Pence’s speaking engagement at Stanford University, the Stanford Democrats unequivocally condemn Pence and his continuous active contribution to and complicity in the weakening of our democracy. From his time as the governor of Indiana – when his failure to properly fund and support public health measures saw an HIV outbreak in the state – to his tenure as vice president – where he oversaw the Trump administration’s efforts to destroy Social Security and Medicare and devastate the right of US workers to organize – Pence has proven his only true commitments are to crushing efforts for economic democracy and to tearing up the key planks of our nation’s social safety net. Pence’s refusal to overturn the 2020 presidential election was the correct and moral decision, but the Capitol Riot only occurred as a result of the Trump administration’s false claims regarding election security and voter fraud, claims that Pence parroted for years during his time as vice president. Quite simply, Vice President Pence’s long career spent in the service of privatization, bigotry, and assorted ultra-conservative causes far outweighs his brief moment of political courage on January 6th.

As the date of Pence’s speech approaches, the thoughts of the Stanford Democrats are with our university’s queer students and students of color, who deserve to feel safe on campus and are justifiably incensed that Stanford remains committed to funding campus speeches put on by anti-gay, xenophobic politicians, but not to properly funding the Martin Luther King, Jr. Institute, hiring and retaining faculty of color, or providing queer students the mental health resources they desperately need during the ongoing pandemic. Indeed, at a university where students endure poverty and homelessness and workers find themselves laboring in unsafe conditions and unable to afford housing anywhere in the Bay Area, Stanford’s decision to spend outrageous sums inviting conservative speakers to campus is morally bankrupt and deeply removed from the wants and needs of the student body.

Free and open political discourse is essential to a democracy, and we respect Pence’s right to speak on campus. That stated, we feel that allocating funds to prejudiced speakers when the material needs of many students, workers, and faculty members remain unmet represents a dereliction of duty on the part of Stanford’s leadership that we hope will be someday corrected.

- Stanford Democrats Executive Board ‘21-22

January 6, 2022

Rioters and insurrectionists descended on the U.S. Capitol exactly one year ago today. The attack – which was meticulously planned on mainstream and fringe far-right websites alike – occurred during the certification of the 2020 presidential election results and symbolized a blatant assault on our democracy. The riots were more than just a show of political dissent: they threatened lawmakers, breached a procedural political process, and led to the destruction of sacred property in our nation’s Capitol.

Former President Trump bears significant responsibility for these events. On the day of the insurrection, he held a rally, during which he touted the calculated lie that he won the 2020 election and urged his supporters to “stop the steal” of the election by heading to the Capitol in protest. It came as no surprise that many of the Capitol insurrectionists came directly from Trump’s rally.

One year later, we still have a long way to go. The National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago found in multiple demographically representative surveys of American adults that eight percent of American adults, or 21 million people, believe Joe Biden stole the 2020 election and support the use of force to restore Donald Trump to the presidency. These results are a concerning reflection of a growing anti-democratic sentiment among the American populace.

We thank House Democrats for tirelessly investigating the January 6th attack on our nation’s Capitol. We hope that accountability and justice will be achieved. Our democracy demands no less.

- Stanford Democrats Executive Board ‘21-22

November 19, 2021

On November 19, 2021, Kyle Rittenhouse was found not guilty by an almost all-white jury on counts of intentional homicide and four other charges. We, the Stanford Democrats, are deeply saddened and frustrated by this news. This verdict is not only a direct endorsement of vigilantism by our courts, but is also emblematic of the two justice systems that operate in this nation and the ongoing epidemic of senseless gun violence.

Kyle Rittenhouse is not a hero, and he should not be celebrated as one. We are disappointed that elected officials in this country have positioned themselves alongside right-wing extremists and outright fascists in applauding his actions. Rittenhouse attended the Kenosha protests with an AR-15 not to protect himself or others, but to protect a car dealership, and he unjustly took two lives in the process. The verdict reached in this trial gives license for right-wing extremists to attend left-wing protests, wait until any piece of property is damaged, open fire, and ultimately claim self-defense. Rittenhouse and other like-minded, heavily-armed extremists continue to pose a threat to the safety and security of individuals exercising their first amendment rights.

In recent months we’ve seen numerous examples of unarmed Black individuals being unjustly persecuted and murdered by law enforcement. These individuals – such as Jacob Blake, Ahmaud Arbery, and Atatiana Jefferson – were entitled to self-defense; Kyle Rittenhouse was not. However, the verdict reached this morning tells a different story: one that not only endorses outright violence but perpetuates white supremacy.

Our hearts go out to the families of Joseph Rosenbaum, Anthony Huber, and Gaige Grosskreutz, as they did not receive justice today. We urge those who are able to support organizations on the ground such as Black Leaders Organizing for Communities (BLOC), the Milwaukee Freedom Fund, or any mutual aid organizations that continue to fight for justice.

- Stanford Democrats Executive Board ‘21-22

January 6, 2021

Like many Americans across the country, we are deeply disturbed and saddened by the acts of insurrection and domestic terrorism carried out by Trump supporters today. We are grateful to those who put their lives on the line to respond to this attack on our democratic system.

Today’s events were a particularly extreme outgrowth of the poisonous insults to democracy hurled day after day, year over year, by Donald Trump, his accomplices, and his supporters. Even today, Donald Trump poured gasoline on the fire, spewing further his anti-democratic conspiracy theories in what we hope is the last act of his desperate clawing for power. As a result, the peaceful transfer of power was temporarily disrupted, and at least one person was killed at the Capitol.

We were additionally angered by the profound difference in treatment by the police toward those who are white and those who are not. The brutality, aggression, and assumed guilt that protesters faced at the hands of police this summer, and that Black Americans face every day, is fresh in our minds. The restraint and allowance bestowed by these same forces upon a mob attacking the United States Capitol in the midst of a constitutional joint session of Congress vividly illustrate the great degree of dangerous hypocrisy and racism in our country.

Together we will salvage our tarnished democratic norms and values, and push closer to the yet-unfulfilled American promise of a fair, free, and democratic society for all. Doing so will not be easy; it will take sustained hard work, and it is incumbent on everyone to contribute their time, effort, attention, and vote.

- Stanford Democrats Executive Board ‘20-21

November 18, 2020

Today’s been a pretty tough day; we’ve all been grieving these last hours.

We want to take a brief moment to welcome the many new members — especially the frosh — joining our community this week. We know this wasn’t the Stanford experience any of us hoped for, but we’re happy you’re joining us, and we hope that your time with the Dems will be fruitful and fulfilling. We’ll be sending out information regarding logistics and meetings soon, but we wanted to write today on the passing of Justice Ginsburg, a feminist groundbreaker, a role model for countless women and girls, and a great hero to all of us.

Justice Ginsburg was a staunch champion for equality under the law, a defender of human rights and democracy. As long as there was more to fight for, she was there. Her unwavering moral leadership has inspired a generation dedicated to fighting for a more fair, inclusive, and equal society. We miss her already.

In the coming days, there will be those who try to exploit the moment for partisan political gain. There may be moments when you, like us, feel frustrated with our system or hopeless about the future of our institutions. Justice Ginsburg bore the weight of our democracy on her shoulders graciously and unyieldingly, but the burden should never have been hers—it should never be any one person’s.

Today we will grieve and mourn and reflect, together and separately. Tomorrow, we’ll pick up the mantle and continue the fight of Justice Ginsburg’s life: a fight for justice, for equality and for an America we can be proud of.

Stay strong. We’ll get through this.

- Stanford Democrats Executive Board ‘20-21