Still Buzzing From the Women’s Marches? Here’s What to Do Next
Last Saturday, the day after Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, in over 500 cities across the country (and many more around the world), experts estimate that 3.3 million women and their allies came out in a massive show of dissent. It’ll go down in history as the largest protest of a new administration ever, and just for some quick perspective: crowd-science experts assert that for every one person attending the inauguration ceremony in Washington DC on Friday, there were three protest marchers participating in the Women’s March on Washington on Saturday. In other words, the inauguration was SAD!
I was at the sister march in LA, where organizers are putting attendance at 750,000, and reader, let me tell you: It was an experience of a lifetime. No one was expecting that kind of turnout, and to witness such a concentrated movement towards unity has left millions in this country buzzing. As Aziz Ansari put it in his opening monologue on SNL last week, “Change comes from large groups of angry people. And if Day 1 is any indication, you are part of the largest group of angry people I have ever seen.”
The key, of course, is channeling that anger into action, and four days into his presidency, Trump isn’t wasting any time; so far he has signed executive actions to advance approval of the Keystone XL pipeline an Dakota Access Pipeline (which was halted by the Standing Rock Sioux and their allies’ protests back in November of last year) and slash environmental protection regulations, as well as reinstate the “Mexico City policy” on defunding international abortion-related services, which is detrimental to women’s reproductive health around the world. He’s also indicated that the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities would be eliminated from the governmental budget entirely (which comprised a whopping .006 percent of federal spending in 2016), and he’s trying to push through a Secretary of Education who believes guns should be allowed in schools to guard against...grizzly bear attacks (never mind that she doesn’t seem to know anything about the essential education debate over growth vs. proficiency).
These are but a few indicators of what’s to come. There are infinite ways to get involved, whether it’s making phone calls to your representatives, raising public awareness, engaging in further physical acts of peaceful dissent, or donating your time and money to worthy causes. Here are a few resources to get you started:
- Call your representatives. It’s their job to listen to you and take your concerns into consideration. Your can find the numbers for your senators and house representatives at Who You Gonna Call? Not sure what to say? Don’t even sweat it; there are sample scripts you can read off of, and just keep in mind that whoever is answering phones at the office is very used to fielding calls like yours. A big item on the docket this week: Tom Price, selected by Trump to lead the Health and Human Services Department, had his second confirmation hearing today. He’s an adamant proponent of repealing the ACA and democrats have voiced substantial ethics concerns over stock market dealings. A date for a vote has not been set yet, so plenty of time to make sure your senators know where you stand. The senate committee is scheduled to vote on Betsy DeVos on January 31.
- Grab Your Wallet. It's a whole spreadsheet of companies to boycott over their financial support of Trump. There’s also a handy script you can use to take it one step further and make your boycott verbally known to the company.
- Set your sights on 2018. Flippable provides you with all the relevant info you need so you can cast an informed midterm ballot and support your preferred candidates in state elections, which are often overlooked but have a huge impact on the larger political system.
- Living in a blue bubble? The Sister District Project shows you your closest swing district so you can get out there and start talking to folks face to face in an area where it can make a difference.
- Be there for Black Lives Matter and other social justice causes. While it was absolutely inspiring to see the massive turnout for the women’s marches, it’s important to recognize the underlying factors that impact public perception of various causes and to examine how they are treated by the authorities. Look up your local chapter here and find out how you can get involved.
- The Standing Rock Sioux are no doubt about to face another fight as Trump seeks to resume construction of the DAPL. A new call to action has not yet been implemented on their website, but stay tuned on that front and be prepared to protest or donate.
- Run for office, Girlboss! Elect Her is a program that trains women in college to run for student government positions, who are then more likely to run for public office. Because despite the fact that more women attend college than men, our representation in the government remains pretty sparse in proportion to straight white dudes. In 2015, 76% of the participants in the one-day training session who ran for office won their election.
- If you’re not in college, EMILY’s List is a terrific resource for how you can support pro-choice democratic female politicians, and it can also set you on the path to running for office yourself.
-by Deena Drewis