Dear Supporter Ji,
On the heels of this intense national election cycle, I want to share how the Sikh Coalition has been successfully advocating for Sikh rights on Capitol Hill in 2020--and what we’re looking to achieve next year and beyond.
This year, as the pandemic worsened, we engaged with the U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to ensure that Sikhs’ religious rights were maintained with respect to facemask policies. At the same time, we were also advocating for Sikhs around the world, recruiting a bipartisan group of 20 senators and 26 representatives to sign a letter in support of admitting Afghan Sikhs and Hindus as refugees. And throughout the year, we worked with the Houston, TX congressional delegation to advance a bill through the House of Representatives this fall which aims to rename a post office after the late Deputy Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal.
Due to this being an election year that was also beset by the COVID-19 pandemic, there was understandably limited progress on most major pieces of federal civil rights legislation. However, this didn’t stop our efforts to advocate for your rights in the areas that matter to you most--be it anti-bullying events with legislators, meetings with Hill offices on employment discrimination, or discussions about anti-hate crimes measures. All of this has been possible because of the financial support that the community continues to provide.
As the governing landscape in Washington, D.C. shifts, we remain fiercly committed to strengthening hate crime protections, pushing for measures to prevent employment discrimination, and working directly with federal agencies to ensure that Sikhs don’t face profiling or other unequal treatment. We also plan to continue our work on specific issues from equality of opportunity in the U.S. military to the protection and dignity of immigrants, asylum-seekers, and refugees. We will doggedly pursue this nonpartisan civil rights work regardless of who sits in the White House or which political party controls Congress.
So many sevadaars like you have already been an integral part of our work. You are the ones who tell us where we need to focus our attention--and this year, more community members have been directly involved in our advocacy efforts than ever before, whether through lobbying visits to state capitols or efforts to register Sikh voters and empower them to get to the polls. Now, as we look to the year ahead, I hope you’ll continue to support us--not just through your action, but through sharing your dasvandh, if you are able to do so.
Thank you for empowering us to continue fighting for the issues we care most about.
Sim J. Singh
Senior Manager of Policy and Advocacy
The Sikh Coalition
If you would like to be removed from our mailing list, please click here.