The Surdna Foundation is proud to be among the early signers of the Democracy Letter from philanthropists.
As representatives of nonpartisan philanthropic institutions, serving rural, urban, and suburban communities across the nation, we condemn the violence that broke out at the U.S. Capitol this week. The events in Washington are a stain on our nation’s history and a painful break in the peaceful transition of power that has been a defining hallmark of American democracy for more than 200 years.
The shameful events are the result of actions by President Trump and other political leaders who have recklessly fanned the flames of grievance. Those responsible for this deadly violence and insurrection must be held to account, and we call on Republican leaders, in particular, in government and media to unequivocally reject conspiracy theories and the actions of extremists who use violence. After hard-fought campaigns, extraordinary voter turnout, and the resolution of more than 60 election-related lawsuits, it is long past time for our nation to accept the results of the 2020 election so that our duly elected leaders — President-elect Biden, Vice President-elect Harris and members of the 117th Congress — can move forward with addressing the nation’s pressing challenges.
Our organizations donate hundreds of millions of dollars to charitable causes each year to advance the common good. While we have different funding approaches, vary in our areas of focus, and are ideologically diverse, we share a belief in the importance of finding common ground to solve problems and serve people and communities. And while we may vary in our views on the size and scope of government, we share a belief that safeguarding the health, security, and rights of people and communities requires a government whose leaders can accept the election results, bridge divisions that have roiled our nation, work in good faith to forge solutions, and stand up for democracy.
As the U.S. faces the most dire global health emergency in 100 years, the worst economic crisis in modern history, and a racial reckoning overdue for centuries, it is time to move on from last year’s election, cease further delays in the transition of power, and turn to governance. To our duly elected leaders, we urge you to follow facts and let science lead the way toward solving the COVID-19 crisis. We encourage you to listen to diverse voices — including those of people who have been overlooked, forgotten, and excluded, and who are facing persistent threats to their lives and livelihoods. We call on you to repair our tattered social fabric and help our democracy live up to its ideals. And we stand ready to work with you to move our country forward and increase opportunity for all who call it home.
>See All Signatories