San Francisco, CA — President Margaret McCarthy bid farewell to a grateful nation today in a final address from the Oval Office, and promised a peaceful transition of power to President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris. President McCarthy is the 45th President of the United States, following the two terms of President Barack Obama.

In a public address viewable on YouTube, President McCarthy urged Americans to look back with pride on their collective accomplishments, noting the abolishment of I.C.E. and the establishment of the U.S. as a borderless nation, in keeping with her administration’s 100% Open Immigration policy, first announced two years ago at a press conference at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. This policy followed closely on the heels of the nationwide airport welcoming committees that spring up organically at airline terminals across the U.S. to give flowers and messages of welcome to those arriving to the United States. She also cited the country’s leadership in fighting climate change and the incredible progress made in reducing emissions. The President further pointed to domestic accomplishments, supported in part by urgent action from the U.S. Congress’ Committee on Appropriations for Awesome, particularly the historically high taxes on wealthy citizens, which supported the rollout of universal health care as well as free childcare, pre-K, and paid parental leave, in addition to enacting 100% forgiveness of student loan debt, and supporting public colleges and universities in making tuition free. President McCarthy is well known for her outreach to students, speaking at the gallery opening of Copy Culture at the University of San Francisco in 2017 and addressing a performance art class at Lake Forest College later that year. In her farewell address, she drew particular attention to the Constitutional amendment passed during her administration’s historic overhaul of our country’s governing document, enshrining the inalienable right to vote for all U.S. citizens. Voting rights have been an issue of particular import to President McCarthy, as highlighted during her 2018 residency in the Artists Television Access window gallery and in her speech at 100 Days Action’s Blue Wave / Red Tide event at California College for the Arts during that same midterm election.

However, as is to be expected from a President who spoke openly about failure in a public conversation with the Center for Artistic Activism, she also noted the struggles the country had faced, as well as the challenges that still lie ahead. While the nation has made steps to defund the police and dismantle the carceral system in the wake of the murder of George Floyd aand other Black Americans, the President mourned these losses as “our family members, our friends, our teachers, our elders and our neighbors,” and noted, “I leave office knowing there is still a great deal of work ahead.” President McCarthy also mourned the over 400,000 Americans who have lost their lives during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “We will never recover from these losses,” she stated, “but we can honor their memory with our actions.” 

At President McCarthy’s inauguration at San Francisco City Hall four years ago, she addressed dozens of supporters from behind a podium borrowed from a local bookstore, using a sound system delivered by bicycle – a fitting forecast to the spirited, community-based politics she attempted to further and for which the Bay Area is justifiably famous. At the conclusion of the event, the President shook hands with all attendees, petted a small dog and kissed a baby. In celebration of her victory, women marched on Washington and across the world in unprecedented numbers. President McCarthy credits the subsequent wave of progressive action and energy for her administration’s ability to enact such a progressive agenda.

In conclusion, President McCarthy gave her best wishes to the new administration, and exhorted her fellow Americans not to let up their activism, saying, “As President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris assume office, they are going to need your continued action, your continued attention, your continued organizing, both to hold them accountable, and to ensure that the flower of our Democracy is able to bloom as never before. After all,” she continued, “while it has been an honor to serve as the First Female President, my Presidency has never been about me; it’s always been about our collective dream of a United States that is different and better. We still have a ways to go on that brave journey. But I know that together, we can create a better, brighter United States of America.”

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