Editor’s note: The November election has brought thousands of people into the activist role who never thought they’d be making almost daily calls to their elected officials, or regularly joining public protests such as “Trump Tuesdays.” In the days following the election more than one in three Democrats said they planned to become “more involved in the political process in the next year,” and after the inauguration the number of phone calls received by members of Congress showed action on the commitment. These statements by members of one of the many North Carolina advocacy groups working under the banner “Indivisible” are representative of the movement.
If Hillary had won, I doubt I’d be calling my Senators every day to voice my opposition to Cabinet candidates or bills that gut our democracy. Trump has got me marching, phoning, writing, meeting and paying closer attention to how government works—or doesn’t. Our Indivisible meetings help us focus on relevant actions at a time when we’re feeling overwhelmed and thinking, “What difference can one person make during this onslaught?” An unintentional consequence of Trump’s win is the awakening of a sleeping giant—us.
We’re in boot camp and finding our voice. Here are a few of the voices from our group.
I took democracy for granted, having known no other culture. Since the election and the rise to power of Donald Trump and Steve Bannon, I’ve experienced emotions of despair and fear, but have learned I am not alone in these feelings. Because of this visceral response, I have joined others in my community. We are following the wisdom displayed in the document “Indivisible.” I am personally undergoing a crash course in how our democracy works. I have been at protests, a new activity for me. I am making calls to my senators to voice my opinion, a new activity for me. I am feeling the power and security a community can provide—this too is new for me. I am no longer sitting on my couch waiting for others to do for me. I am now a soldier for my democracy. Karen
In learning to contact congress, senators, and legislators, I felt overwhelmed. There were so many issues to address; I felt contacting them about everything would cause them to close their ears to all the issues. When I picked an issue to address, I chose HB2 in North Carolina. I called George Holding’s office to repeal HB2, but he is my federal representative. Turned out HB2 is a state issue, and I had contacted my US representative! I felt good that I had made contact, but it was the wrong representative. Lesson learned. Jean
One year ago today I was basking in the freedom of retirement. I had lots of plans for my expected free time—travel, book clubs, cooking classes, volunteer work, more time with grandchildren. Then things changed on November 8, 2016, around 11 pm. Along with millions of people across this great nation, and the world, I was devastated. My initial feeling of helplessness morphed into asking “What can I do?” I could return to Canada and opt out of this particular American experience, or true to my nature of not being a “quitter,” I could use my new free time to actively resist Trump’s agenda. “Indivisible” is allowing me to be part of a movement with citizens who are bound together by the values that built this great nation, along with care and concern for the environment, climate change, and the values written on the Statue of Liberty that welcomes others. I feel empowered by joining others in marches, Town Hall meetings, phoning federal and state representatives by expressing my concerns with issues, attending local precinct meetings, and regular Indivisible meetings to plan our activities.
We face a long, tough road but a very necessary one in order for our democracy to remain “with the People, for the People.” Donald Trump and his team create mayhem every day; therefore, along with other “resistance” groups, I intend to let my voice be heard daily so together our voices amplify to a “roar.” I could never have dreamed a year ago I’d be calling myself an “activist,” but Donald Trump has unleashed in me a call to action that gives me hope. Sylvia
I went to the Town Hall my Democratic representative David Price held in the northeastern wing of his very-gerrymandered district. About fifty people were there, and I thought the questions presented were excellent. When asked a blatantly political question about Trump by one person, Price declined to comment. He said the ethics of a Town Hall required us to discuss only the issues before the country. He told the audience that his interest and expertise going back decades is fair housing and the budget. He said, “That’s what matters. If you want to do more low-income housing, then the Appropriations Committee (on which he serves) determines how much money is available. The budget is not amenable to ideological arguments.” Attendees asked about immigration policy. His response was, “It doesn’t make the US safer at all. It plays into the Isis agenda.” When the scheduled hour was over, he said, “I can stay another 15 minutes if people have more questions,” so the meeting continued. I attended because he’s my representative and I want to know how he’s representing me. Dan
I found myself feeling full of despair and fear after learning the EPA will become ineffective, and our environment is at unbelievable risk. I’ve never been an activist, but I felt the need to do Something! After participating in The Women’s March on January 21, and wanting to continue to be part of a community of those who care about the environment, I attended the first meeting of Indivisible. We encourage each other to make phone calls to our local and US congressmen, requesting them to support (or not) current legislation we feel is important; attend town halls and rallies at local legislators’ offices; and even “vent” to each other when necessary. It’s a good feeling to be part of a group trying to effect the change we desperately need. Ingrid
Find an Indivisible group near you: https://www.indivisibleguide.com/groups-nav