As President Barack Obama was sworn in for his second term, I could not help but feel a sense of pride. Afterall, he started with Gamaliel as community organizer, a place where I now serve as its executive director, the first woman of color to have the title.
There have been many things said about Gamaliel, but what I know to be true is that this grassroots organization has greatly affected thousands of working families and individuals by protecting their human rights and upholding their dignity in the workplace. Gamaliel has saved good jobs and protected communities.
President Obama often refers to his positive experience as a community organizer and speaks to how important the work is -- because organizing gives ordinary people a platform to be heard and counted by their elected officials.
In his second term serving as president, I am so hopeful that much will be accomplished and there is still so much work to be done. Our country needs increased investment in sustainable infrastructure, job creation, a better education system, and a clear pathway to citizenship for immigrants.
In the words of our president, citizens have the power and an obligation to set this country's course. That is why Gamaliel launched the "Fire of Faith" campaign in August, 2012. A campaign that is designed to give our elected officials the will to continue creating good jobs with livable wages, safeguard our children's education and work for equality and human rights.
And now, President Obama has said "Immigration Reform" is at the top of his list and it is also at the top of Gamaliel's list. Polls show that most Americans believe that reform must include earned legalization with a clear pathway to citizenship. We need comprehensive immigration reform, no more wall building. It doesn't work.
Immigration reform is what is best for our nation as well as our economy for it will help to ensure that workers are paid fair wages and have a voice. I feel blessed to be a part of this faith-based organization and the good work it does.