On January 28, 2017 our local chapter of Indivisible held its first chapter meeting at the Santa Barbara Unitarian Society. As you know, Indivisible is a nationwide movement of over 4,500 chapters that are using localized political tactics to work against the passage of potentially harmful legislation proposed by the new administration.
Close to 200 people attended our first public meeting, where the gathering was standing room only. Local chapter leaders Christina Eliason, Jennie Reinish, Loretta Smargon, Jachwa Dolne, and Laura Smith led the meeting, first highlighting the executive orders that President Trump had already signed in his first seven days in office, including the start of dismantling the Affordable Care Act, a directive to build a wall along the border of Mexico, an indefinite suspension of refugees from Syria, and the reinstatement of the “Global Gag” rule that eliminates all government funding from NGOs that allow abortions.
Laura Smith, who worked on the presidential campaigns for both President Obama and Hillary Clinton, was encouraged by the turnout for the meeting, “We know that many people are concerned about President Trump’s proposed policies and how they could affect not only their own lives, but also the lives of their neighbors and community members. It was exciting to see so many people from Santa Barbara show up to see how they can take action.” Jennie Reinish, a small business owner, commented, “There was definitely an energy in the room. People were asking questions, making suggestions, and already starting to organize efforts in a tangible way. As this was only our first public meeting, we are looking for more ways to let people know about our group and get people involved in lobbying their government representatives in order to try and prevent some of these troubling actions already taken by the new administration.”
“The first meeting had great turnout and we want even more people to get involved,” said Christina Eliason, Indivisible Santa Barbara’s founder. “People from Santa Maria, Santa Ynez, and Ventura attended tonight’s training session, and we are actively seeking ways to attract more diversity. It’s important we come together, because as long as we continue to engage in circular firing squads, conservative extremists will win.”
The Santa Barbara Indivisible chapter plans to hold regular meetings to organize for action. They can be reached for comment or questions at email@example.com. If you are interested in learning more, you can sign up for the local chapter’s newsletter.
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Reminder about the Indivisible Guide: The “Indivisible Team” refers to a group of former congressional staffers who wrote, ”Indivisible Guide: The Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda”. Since the guide’s release, it has been downloaded more than a million times and more than 4,500 local groups have started chapters in nearly every congressional district in the country. The Indivisible Team created the guide to demystify congressional advocacy and to support the community of local groups putting the Indivisible Guide into action.