Congressman Davis Cicilline, D-RI announced in a letter to his constituents that, while he will attend the Inauguration of President-elect Donald J. Trump, he will “not surrender the field to Donald Trump for a single moment.”
Over the past few days, I’ve heard from many Rhode Islanders about this week’s Inauguration.
Like many of you, I worked hard to prevent Donald Trump from becoming our 45th President. When Trump’s affinity for Vladimir Putin came into focus last summer, I asked President Obama to cut off his access to classified intel. I denounced his deplorable comments on women and people with disabilities, and his attack on Latinos as the hate speech that it was. And I condemned his selection of Mike Pence, a running mate with an unambiguously anti-LGBT record.
Since his election, I have refused to give a single inch to the President-elect. I led more than 160 of my colleagues demanding that he rescind his appointment of Steve Bannon as White House chief strategist. I introduced new legislation that requires him to release his tax returns so we finally know what he’s hiding. And just this past weekend I condemned him for his outrageous comments about John Lewis, an icon of the civil rights movement and a man who I am proud to call my friend.
I understand the frustration that people are feeling over the results of this election, and I share it. Some of my colleagues have decided the most powerful way to express their opposition to the incoming administration and the policies of the new President is to boycott the inauguration. I have deep respect for their decision and recognize that this is one way to express strong opposition. Others, like me, think it’s an equally powerful message to attend the inauguration to make it clear that we’re in this fight from the very first minute he takes office and for the next four years.
Tens of thousands of Americans and many Rhode Islanders are taking time out of their lives to travel to Washington D.C. to protest the incoming Administration on Inauguration Day, and I will be there in solidarity and in opposition to the policies and the rhetoric of Donald Trump. And to carry on that message, on Saturday, I will join the Women’s March on Washington to oppose Trump’s agenda and to commit to fight for our shared values.
Serving our state is the honor of my life. It’s a responsibility that I never take lightly. And as your Representative, I promise that I will not surrender the field to Donald Trump for a single moment. He may be our 45th President, but I will be there to make sure your voice is heard loud and clear in Washington.
As President Obama reminded our nation last week, the work of democracy is always hard. Our forward progress is often uneasy and even fraught with peril.