Sunday, January 15, 2017
A Call To Action: Democracy Is Not A Spectator Sport
With this article, Wendy kicks off a new, periodic feature of BTRTN, “A Call to Action,” to celebrate volunteer initiatives in the Trump years, and to inspire all of us to act.
Democracy is not a spectator sport. So reads the bumper sticker that Tom and I received when we attended a meeting of Women On Watch (WOW) in Stamford, Connecticut this week. WOW is a grass roots group of women, mostly 65+, which advocates for political candidates who support its beliefs. The group has a strong interest in gun control, not surprising given that it's located just 35 miles from Newtown. They work to educate voters on issues and to get out the vote. They advocate for both local and national candidates. And from the look of their Facebook page, politicians are paying attention.
This month WOW's meeting was focused on polling, and Tom was invited by long-time friends to be part of a panel discussion. I went along for the excellent company and because I felt that being among like-minded women would be uplifting as we all slog through the demoralizing aftermath of November 8. To meet these women, in their late 60's, 70's and perhaps 80's, who feel so passionately about the direction of our country that they educate, advocate, and yes, march, was an inspiration and a reminder that if they can do it, so must we all. They are truly living their message that democracy is not a spectator sport.
Steve's recent post discussing Obama's farewell speech urged us all to "do something." I couldn't agree more. Like many others, since Election Day, I've called and written my Senators and Representatives, but being human, our tendency is to acclimate and adjust, to become somewhat inured to the new normal as we attend to other matters in our lives. But we do so at our peril. We all need to advocate for values we believe to be right, to protest actions we believe to be wrong. Sometimes we're motivated when we see others in action, as I was when I attended the WOW meeting. So in the hope that we can motivate each other, I invite you to email me (at firstname.lastname@example.org ) when you've taken action -- no matter how small -- to support what you value. And I will write about it, with or without attribution as you wish. My hope is that this small gesture on BTRTN will inform people about steps they might take or motivate them to raise their own voices. That it will lead us to live the WOW motto that democracy is not a spectator sport.
As a start, on January 21, women and men will be marching to support equality and civil rights, not only in Washington, but in cities across the country. If you want to march, but don't know where to go, this link will help you to find a march in city near your home. Go to: http://plannedparenthoodevents.ngpvanhost.com/