Before our country was completely fucked, I was a single issue voter, channeling all my guilt, grief, and anger into gun violence prevention after a military grade weapon in the hands of a mentally ill young man mowed down classrooms of kids here in Newtown.
That was until President Trump began to dismantle all things American, all policies we have come to assume would be safe and secure, like um, safety and security.
You know it’s gotta be pretty bad when a mentally ill white American male legally armed with an assault weapon mows down 20 first graders and six teachers in less than 5 minutes, and suddenly that doesn’t seem like the highest priority to focus on. (FYI: DJT immediately lifted restrictions allowing mentally ill to purchase guns. Why? Because money.)
Sigh. And sobs.
Now there’s so much broke, and so much on the federal hit-list, that guns are taking a back seat to well, the air we breathe, federally mandated racism, pussy grabby freebies, and racism and sexism and mentally ill and education and travel bans and hoaxers and haters deciding who gets to stay, who gets a say, and who does not.
The safeguards assumed to protect are all being dismantled, one by one, and gun violence is no longer a top-ten reasons why I vote. Or top 100.
But DC is such a shit-show and even though I’m a nasty woman exhausted by 25 different secret facebook groups; writing postcards, letters, and emails; texting and apping (highly recommend totally cool 5 Calls App and ResistBot app), I have decided to look within for change.
Not within me, well maybe, kinda.
I’m not accepting that dark days are inevitable, but I am going hyper local with my efforts. I am meeting with like-minded people face-to-face in living rooms and coffee shops and bars about bigtime issues with local repercussions. There’s a lot to talk about.
And while I’ve never missed an election, but I’ve never joined the local town committee.
Don’t just stir the pot on Facebook: go to a meeting
I’m applying to join our local democratic town committee, which is something I thought I’d never do (especially since I wrote this calling out Newtown dems and GOPs), but I’m doing it, or putting my name in for consideration. I guess I need to be voted on. Or write a check. Probably both. Anyways, I went to a meeting and I wasn’t the only one. Surprise – a meeting that usually consists of 6-10, had 50 or so newbies show up.
People like me, sick over Washington and instead of flailing about what we can’t do, focusing on what we can.
Right here in Newtown. Maybe you can show up in your own town halls, town boards, and local committees as well. Just show up. Pay attention. Because not doing so leads to power-hungry chaos, uncontrolled egos with unlimited power to change the world in which we live.
Here’s what imagonna do: read the papers, talk to people. I’m still writing my senators and congressmen, but I’m spending a lot more time closer to home: investigating and supporting the Board of Education, the library, the finance committee, the first selectman – people in and about the town I live – about community issues that affect my family, neighbors, friends, and not-so-friendlies. And my state reps: they will know my name.
Because here my voice still matters.
It should in DC, but there’s just so much noise, so much broken, it seems impossible to make much of a difference, yet I’ll keep trying. Washington DC is a runaway train, and I’m not giving up, but it’ll take election cycle by election cycle to fix that shit show, if people, if white women, care enough to vote and fix it.
Local town politics should receive a groundswell
What I can do is act local. I will think nationally, globally because what is happening in DC is affecting the world in which we live, but I do feel powerless to stop it. What I can do is stop the trickle down effect that emboldens state and local representatives to bring the hateful policies home.
I’m going to Hartford to make sure Connecticut doesn’t begin dismantling the smart, safe gun laws enacted after Newtown. The NRA bought & paid for President Trump, but hopefully attempts to hijack CT’s laws can be thwarted with the voice and testimony of the people.
We the People. Like me the people. (Live in CT? Learn more about this here.)
But who am I? I’m nobody, but I can’t do nothing, so this is what I’m going to do. Act locally. Often.
PS: Here’s video of yours truly giving my little I’m Nobody speech way back when, before we had so much at risk, so much to fight for. Take a listen, if you want. Or don’t. But I do talk about the power us nobodys have, should we decide to use it.
I just read your piece, Shopping Local for Hope and Change, and what you said has such importance for each of us. I have become involved in my state, New Mexico’s Legislature session this year, supporting Mom’s Demand Action for gun sense, as well as, other bills that insure things like Patient Safe Staffing in our hospitals and women’s access to health care. Your writing is an inspiration for each of us.
I found your speech, I am Nobody, particularly moving. Thank you for encouraging each of us to finding our voice and our way to action!
Thank you for your generous comments, and thx from my Newtown heart for your GVP work. New Mexico is lucky to have you. ?