Counting Every Vote for Our Feminist Future

Surina Khan
3 min readNov 4, 2020

We are entering a new era.

On a day like today, I am struck by what it means to live into change as it unfolds before us. To participate wholeheartedly in something that is at its best when it belongs to everyone and no one all at once.

So many of us voted. Over 100 million Americans voted early and by mail and tens of millions of us took to the polls yesterday to participate in our imperfect democracy. A record-breaking 11.2 million ballots were cast in advance of election day here in California alone.

We cast our ballots at home and slipped them into bulky blue mailboxes with a clang over the last few weeks. We stood in line with masks on, six feet apart in church basements and libraries and high school gyms each buzzing with its own neon lighting. All across California, all across this country, we voted for this and not that. We said “yes” and we said “no.”

We voted to give more people the right to vote with Proposition 17 and restore voting rights to people on parole. We voted to defeat Proposition 20 and keep Californians out of prison. We voted for Senator Holly Mitchell who currently leads her election on the LA County Board of Supervisors. We voted Women’s Policy Institute alum Suely Saro into the lead on her Long Beach City Council race.

With all that voting, we need to ensure that every vote is counted. That it’s November 4th and the winner of the presidential election is still unclear means that each ballot is being taken into account and being counted and our democratic process is prevailing.

It is uncomfortable to sit with this unknowing and it’s part of how we get where we’re going.

Shirley Chisolm — the first Black woman — the first woman to run for president in 1972 remarked, “I am and always will be a catalyst for change.” As we wait to find out the results of the election, that is the spirit that I want to carry into the next four years and the four years after that and the four years after that and on and on and on.

Shirley Chisolm made way for Kamala Harris. Kamala Harris is making way for a new generation of women of color and non-binary folks charged to lead.

At Women’s Foundation California we strive to make sure that women of color and non-binary folks are invested in, trained, and connected because we know they have the solutions we all need to not just make it through the next four years but to thrive in the decades to come.

We are catalysts for change and we are building our feminist future. Right now.

No matter who wins the presidential election, our feminist future in California needs your investment today.



Surina Khan

is the CEO of Women’s Foundation California, which invests in, trains, and connects feminists advancing racial, economic, and gender justice.