This weekend marked the end of the first year of Trump’s disastrous presidency. Once again, people of good heart marched in the streets to show those in Washington and around the world that Trump does not represent us or our values! Signs ranged from “I’m Not Quietly Going Back to the 1950s” to “Hey Donald, Old White Men Can’t Stand You Either.” Perhaps what was the most heartening were the young girls who held signs like, “Girl Power” and “The Future is Female.”
This last year has been historic for both the awful things that the GOP has done and the amazing things that progressives and especially women have accomplished. Women of a wide variety of color and religions and gender identities ran for office and WON (click here to be reminded of all the great victories). There have also been historic court victories against the Muslim ban and gerrymandering; more and more states are bringing increasing numbers of lawsuits to stop the decimation of our society and our planet. And most importantly, more average citizens are involved in the political process than ever before. Many new progressive groups have sprung up that are doing everything from training women to run for office to registering voters. This year progressive groups like TWW and Black Lives Matter have brought discrimination to the forefront of social consciousness; real and difficult discussions are being had about issues facing people of color, people of faith, and LGBTQIA. But there is still a long way to go.
People are getting tired of the constant negativity we see in Washington. Tired of calling and visiting their Congresspersons. Tired of having to work harder than they ever have before to prevent a GOP led disaster. But last year was just a warm up! We had some great wins, but NOW is the time we must take a deep breath, a nap, or a bubble bath, and then jump back in with both feet. Midterm elections are only 288 days away. This is what we’ve been getting ready for–we must flip Congress!
EVERY house of representatives seat is up for re-election this year. An unprecedented number of House of Representative incumbents are not seeking re-election–95 (and counting). We must work to ensure that every Democrat who is retiring/leaving is replaced by a Progressive that shares our values. And then we only need 45 more seats to take back the House; that’s less than 10% of races. One third of the Senate is up for re-election in 2018 and we only need to gain 5 seats to ensure sanity reigns again.
To celebrate the year of hell, the GOP decided to shut down the government. That means that about 850,000 federal employees are out of a job and paycheck until the business of government resumes. If the shutdown goes longer than a week, it also means our military will be forced to show up for work but won’t get paid. If you wanted to visit a federal park, museum or zoo, you’ll have to take a raincheck because those are closed. If you want to apply for a passport or a gun permit or receive food through the Senior Nutrition Program, you are out of luck. But never fear, our illustrious leaders will still get paid–Congress is guaranteed their salary during a shut down! There is some good news though; Mueller’s investigation is exempt from the shutdown and will keep plugging away at investigating Trump and his cronies.
The Democrats have held out on voting for the Republican Budget Bill until the Children’s Insurance Program and the DACA protections are addressed. Trump claims to have drawn a line in the sand and refuses to address DACA protections.
Now is the time!
- Run for office! Local, state, or federal, it all makes an impact.
- Register to vote! Register others to vote!
- Find a candidate running in your district (or 2 or 3) and volunteer to help their campaign–donate money or time!
- Get involved in your local political party to help ensure more quality candidates run.
Ty Starks Morgan is an attorney who has worked in the foster care system for 24 years. She is the mother of two teen sons, two dogs, three cats, and a plethora of rescued foster animals.
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