Kevin L. Hoover
Mad River Union
ARCATA – While recent Women’s Marches swelled the streets with millions objecting to the direction President Trump is taking the country, participants were then faced with a challenge – how to keep the activism going.
“After the march, nobody considered that the end of something, but the beginning,” said Elizabeth Conner, co-founder of the new Power Lunch Humboldt group. On the group’s Facebook page, Conner and co-founder Nancy Stephenson state, “We are working collectively and inclusively on social issues by meeting weekly to focus on action projects.”
With focus on whatever issue or outrage seems most pressing, Power Lunchers will gather Tuesdays from noon to 2 p.m. at the Old Creamery Building to call legislators and agencies and give them policy direction. While on hold, they’ll be writing letters and postcards towards the same end.
“Our goal is to contribute to social change and resist the hostile takeover of our democracy while enjoying each other’s company and building community,” says the mission statement.
The effort’s first meeting took place last Thursday night, concurrent with that of the new Public Safety Task Force. Stephenson said discussion topics included ways to help those marginalized, and victims of discrimination; online resources; future meet-ups and internal demographics.
Conner said the group didn’t have one particular concern, but embraced the range of issues raised by Trump’s actions. Rather, she said, participants “expressed the need to work on many issues at once, and urgently.”
Upcoming demonstrations in which activists might participate include a Veterans for Peace event, a much-discussed science march, the April 15 march to pressure Trump to release his taxes, and the first Wednesday “Think and Drink” event at Blue Lake’s Logger Bar, at which 10 percent of profits will be donated to related causes, starting with Planned Parenthood, Wednesday, Feb. 1.
Conner offered some tips for effective activism when contacting legislators. They include:
• Know the issue you’re calling about and specifically what you want done about it;
• Be personable and polite to the person on the line, regardless of their response;
• Cordially ask the name and title of the person on the line, and address them by name during the conversation;
• Let your legislator know that your future vote hinges on their effective representation;
• If the person disagrees with you, ask them what would change their mind and tell them you will get back in touch with that information;
• Thank the person for their time.