For those who voted for Hillary Clinton and vehemently opposed Donald Trump, the raw emotions of Tuesday’s surprising defeat are starting to wear off.
Now some Clinton supporters, particularly women, are getting restless and asking themselves: What can we do now?
The answer for many: Let’s organise to win the next election — and get more women involved in politics.
Men in my life are apologizing and saying it will be OK.
Women in my life are donating, volunteering, researching running for office.
— Alice Goldfuss (@alicegoldfuss) November 10, 2016
For instance, a friend of mine posted to her Facebook page:
“When Obama was elected in November 2008, his opposition formed the Tea Party and were ready to mobilize and make change happen. They elected people to school boards, city councils, and state legislatures. They showed up. They worked, and they changed the landscape of American politics. Let us seize this moment.
“March, yes. Protest peacefully, of course. But unless we DO something, the grief, mourning, and outrage will be wasted. Trump proved that the easiest emotions to mobilize into action are fear and anger. Angry and afraid? Good.”
And she’s right, of course. That’s the beautify of democracy. Our government does not consist of people with inherited positions. It consists of citizens who run for office, volunteer for candidates, and financially support the non-profit organisations doing the change-the-world work that they support.
Clinton, in her concession speech, called out to people, particularly to one of her online fan clubs, to do just that. She said,
“To the millions of volunteers, community leaders, activists, and union organisers who knocked on doors, talked to neighbours, posted on Facebook — even in secret, private Facebook sites — I want everybody coming out from behind that and make sure your voices are heard going forward.”
That secret, private Facebook site is a 3-million-person strong group of mostly women called Pantsuit Nation.
And there’s been rumbling on Pantsuit Nation that it’s time to become a political action group, perhaps one with its own PAC. As one member wrote, “Dear Pantsuit Nation: How can we turn this group into one that gets more women elected to Congress and the White House going forward? Let’s organise and get it done!”
Other people feel the same urge, but have no idea how to begin. One of them wrote back to my Facebook friend.
“I think you are so right. Having never been involved in politics beyond trying to stay informed, I’m not even sure where to begin. Thoughts?”
Yes. The groups listed below are working to get more women elected, to encourage young women to get active in politics and to otherwise help women’s voices be heard. Check it out:
She Should Run, is a non-partisan organisation working to help more women run for office. It is holding a national event on December 6 in Washington.
People can urge a woman to run for office (or put their own name in the hat) and the organisation will offers training and a network of other women also running for office. Its network spans Democrats and Republicans.
Emily's List is dedicated to helping more getting pro-choice Democratic women elected to office. It holds events in major cities and trains women on how to run for office.
It says that between 2001 and 2014, EMILY's List has held over 243 training in 36 states, and trained over 9,000 people.
Higher Heights for America is a research and advocacy group that helps more Black women into leadership roles.
It is currently asking Black women across the country to take part in its 2016 Presidential Post-Election Survey. It will compile the responses and send an open letter to to President Elect Donald Trump and to Congressional leaders.
The NFRW helps to recruit, train and elect Republican candidates and provides a forum for women to serve as leaders in the political, government, and civic arenas.
Chances are, your political party will have a county chapter that works to find candidates and get them elected from the local through the national level.
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