Post Women’s March: How I’ll Help

Last night, every time I woke up to feed my daughter (four times!) I struggled to go back to sleep because my mind was racing. All I could think about was Trump’s team having zero qualms about lying on their first full day in office, the overwhelmingly uplifting feelings of solidarity I felt at the Women’s March in Boston yesterday, and wondering what the fuck I was going to do next.

Yesterday wasn’t just about feeling the catharsis  of standing together with other people against oppression, nor was it about getting a photo-op capturing my participation in the march for posterity (though I will teach my children and grandchildren about what I did). On election night, I was enveloped in sleepy and tearful postpartum hormones that made me feel like I could do nothing but hold my newborn baby and let a deep sense of dread seep up from my core to my brain, filling it with doubt and sadness. Three months later, I feel firmer in my footing and more confident in my ability to help. But, here’s my problem: I am an introvert through and through. Meeting new people gives me anxiety. I get nervous when I order a coffee. I have to psych myself up to call people on the phone for work. But, I’m prepared to set that all aside and tell my ego to shut the hell up for once because the fear of being embarrassed if I say something wrong is not as bad as the fears I have of hate, discrimination and oppression becoming legalized.

I’ve probably seen this statement from Trump supporters a thousand times since November 9th: “I lived through Obama, you’ll live through Trump. Get over it.” OR “We won, get over it.” Well, remember the Tea Party Rallies? Me too. Sit down. BECAUSE GUESS WHAT MY TAX RATE IS GOING UP UNDER TRUMP AND I’M NOT HAPPY ABOUT IT. Also, the asinine crap about how happy Trumpists are over the repeal of “Obamacare” aka the Affordable Care Act make me sick to my stomach. That rant is for another day. I hope you all don’t get injured, sick or die before then.

The point of my writing this is that this morning I visited the Women’s March website to view the 10 Actions/100 Days. It reminded me that I live in a very progressive district, so I need to double my efforts and reach out to swing districts to help. Here’s what I came up with:

  • Are you registered to vote?
    • No? Get that taken care of well in advance so you aren’t scrambling to do it before the midterm elections. Rules are different in every state. Find out more here. When you’re done, mark your calendar for the Midterm Elections.
    • Yes? Great. Please mark your calendar for the Midterm Elections.
    • Either way: Here’s what’s at stake. The Conservative majority could get even bigger. Millenials need to outnumber the backwards Baby Boomers who show up at the polls.
  • Do you know where to find out about legislative activities?
    • If not, go to  Congress.gov and sign up to get alerts on the bills that affect your life and your community. These are the issues you need to call your Congress members about.
  • Sign up for Swingleft.org to find out where your nearest swing district is so you can get involved and help influence the elections.
  • At least once a week, or when it is urgent, I will call Congress.
    • I could say to myself, gee, I wish I had the time. As a nursing mother, I have to take multiple breaks during the work day to pump milk for my baby. During those 15-30 minutes, I will make a phone call. PHONE CALLS ARE THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY TO REACH REPRESENTATIVES. You can’t ignore a phone call the way you can ignore an email or a letter. Be persistent.
  • If I’m not sure what to say, I will do my research and write myself a script so I do not fumble.

More than once since the election, I’ve been asking my husband if he can apply for residency in another country. I’m seriously dreading what could happen with this illegitimate presidency. I’m really glad that I live in the Northeast, and I plan to live in a progressive part of the country for the rest of my life. The only problem is that inside this bubble, everyone else who is left vulnerable in red states doesn’t get to enjoy the freedoms and liberties that I have. Here is why I will fight for rights for all:

  1. Even if you are Pro-Life, I support your right to have access to safe and affordable birth control and abortions.
  2. Even if you are Pro-Big Business, I support your right to receive a livable wage so you don’t have to struggle working multiple jobs to make ends meet.
  3. Even if you believe that God gave Earth to man to reap wealth from its resources, I support your right to live in an unpolluted environment where you will be unharmed from cancer-causing industrial by-products.
  4. Even if you believe that taxes being taken from your paycheck to support government programs that care for the elderly, sick and needy, I support your right to receive money taken from my own paycheck to help you when and if you find yourself in a vulnerable position. 
  5. Even if you believe that the United States is a Christian country, I support your right to practice your religion freely so long as you respect everyone else’s right to practice their religion freely. 
  6. Even if you view Black Lives Matter as an Anti-Police movement… Well, I don’t really support you feeling that way because it’s not true. Black Lives Matter. They Matter. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6MVjwnNIg4

I’ve probably left some things out because I’m trying to write this as fast as I can before my baby needs me again. Hopefully I have another opportunity to get amped up on coffee and write soon.

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