December 21, 2016
Given the results of the recent election, we don’t yet know what changes we will encounter on the road ahead. What we do know is that our mission has not changed, and our resolve remains undiminished.
A hallmark of philanthropy is our ability to take the long view when addressing complex social issues like health care and domestic violence. It took us decades to get to where we are today. Where we go from here depends upon our ability to remain committed to our core values and continue working toward our goals without sacrificing what we believe in – and what we believe is possible.
As we enter into uncharted territory, I want to take this opportunity to reaffirm what’s fundamentally important to us and share the values that guide the Foundation’s work:
- Integrity - We are trustworthy stewards of resources and can be counted on to do the right thing to advance our charitable mission.
- Partnership - We are a committed and thoughtful ally who works to understand the needs and aspirations of our partners and intended beneficiaries. When we lead, we do so with humility and empathy.
- Possibility - We seek out new ideas, embrace experimentation, make informed choices, and act courageously.
- Equity & Dignity - We respect all people, honor diversity, and aim to bring those at the margins of our society to the center of our work to ensure that every Californian has the opportunity to be healthy and live free from violence.
Let the results of this election motivate us to come together; reinforce the beliefs that inspire us; connect with our communities and families; and redouble our efforts to improve health, safety, and equity throughout our great state.
In contrast to ongoing debate at the federal level, it’s clear that voters in California strongly believe in the policies and priorities that have brought us this far. Together, we have supported the successful implementation of the Violence Against Women Act and reduced our uninsured population by half in just a few short years - with more than 5 million Californians gaining healthcare coverage and 13.6 million insured by Medi-Cal. Now, it’s up to us to maintain the positive and inclusive vision that we share for the future of California.
It's likely that adjustments will need to be made in how we work and operate within a new environment, but the way forward is not shrinking away nor turning inward to protect vital organizations, policies, and movements individually. We must be willing to rise and respond in a unified way to the challenges in front of us. We can foster hope through our collective ability to improve the lives of all Californians and stand, undaunted, in the face of adversity.
In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” On that critical path towards justice, I look forward to seeing all of you - grantees, supporters, partners, and advocates – along the way.
Peter Long, PhD
President & CEO, Blue Shield of California Foundation