A Union That Remains Strong, Must Stand for All
By Bastian Lehmann, CEO & Co-Founder, Postmates
Last night, as the world tuned in to the time-honored tradition of our President addressing the nation, we heard that the state of our union was on the verge of a “new American moment.”
And yet, by turning our backs on our very heritage as a nation of immigrants, for immigrants, we risk squandering it.
By equating our neighbors to gang members and targeting young people, we not only retreated from a position of basic human decency last night. But we also threatened our position in the global economy, by risking our ability to train the next generation of entrepreneurs and unleash game changing innovations.
It reminded me of the journey I took to this country. I grew up in Germany. Served in the armed services. And lived in other countries before ever arriving to San Francisco. Even still, throughout my life I couldn’t help always feel like a piece of me was innately American. I looked up to the CEOs from Boston to Berkeley, who pioneered the tech that we all now put in our pockets. And all along the way I learned, American is who I am, not what I’m trying to be. It felt so natural to me because, it was always a land of hope that embraced eccentric global citizens like me.
That has always been the American promise. A promise that we are all worthy of protection, we are all equal, and we all count. It’s that promise that has attracted global talent, built inclusive communities, and even motivated my own journey to cross an ocean and create jobs right here on U.S. soil.
But today that promise is at risk.
It’s at risk due to Administration policies that appraise our worthiness as a people, measure who is ‘American enough’, and decide who can be bargained away.
Such politics of division, have not only harmed vulnerable communities or held Dreamers hostage — they have turned the prospect of American opportunity into a zero-sum game. They have turned the promise of America into one where we can only take care of sick kids if we sacrifice DACA protections. Where we can only create jobs at home, by banning others abroad. Where our cities can only be safe, if we deport those who aren’t from here.
But today I write to tell you: we reject these false choices. We denounce this distortion of the American promise. And at Postmates: we choose everyone.
We will fight for all, by choosing a community of dreamers, over a callous culture of fear.
We will extend a hand to global entrepreneurs, when the others clench their fists.
We will build bridges to Mexico, when others demand a wall.
Because at the end of the day, we get it.
We get that the very communities we are able to unlock through the power of an app like Postmates, only thrive when we stand up for an American promise for all.
As we continue in our fight for that promise, we are proud to call the American Civil Liberties Union a partner in mobilizing grassroots action across vulnerable cities.
And I encourage each and everyone one of you to stand up with us.
Start mobilizing in your community through the People Power program.
Stand up for the entrepreneurial mother trying to open a restaurant without fearing for her DACA status.
Fight for your local hardware store owner to support the neighborhood without risk of deportation.
And proudly declare that our democracy is at its best when we don’t peddle policies of fear. Because at the end of the day, nothing matches the strength and spirit of a people united in defense of their communities and their future.