We are not the elected officials. We are grassroots power, and we are defined by the values we continue to struggle for. Sen. Bernie Sanders, author of Our Revolution, counsels us that resistance to fascism and to the erosion of democracy cannot happen within the beltway. It can only happen through grassroots: through you and through me.
We were all blown away by the millions of women and men who marched this weekend around the world in support of women’s rights.
Here is another grassroots win: Constituents were shocked and angered by the House Republican plan to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics. After countless phone calls to member offices, House Republicans dropped their gutting just minutes before the House was set to gavel in for the 115th Congress. Members reported that they had started getting a flood of phone calls from constituents concerned that Congress was neutering a key ethics watchdog. Each caller put a value on congressional ethics and raised a grassroots voice. Those voices won. Big time.
What are you willing to struggle for? What will define you in 2017? Each of us must act: march, tweet, post, email, sign petitions, call, or write. Each of our actions will add to the number and power of our collective voices. Our struggle in the next four years will be unprecedented, but we will triumph with grassroots. We will triumph with you.
Janie Hydrick is the former candidate for Arizona state Senate in LD18, is the current Chair of LD18 Democrats, and serves at the Arizona Democratic Party Education Coordinator. Janie taught for many years in Mesa School District.