About fifty people showed up to last night’s first meeting of the Northwest Chicago Indivisible group. The meeting took place in Old Irving Park and started with a structure review. Initially there was ONE group for all of Chicago. As you’d expect, organizers realized pretty quickly (as the FaceBook group grew to over a thousand — sound familiar?) that they would have to subdivide. NW Indiv is now one of two splinter groups on the Northwest side and represents the 4th and 5th districts primarily.
Next we heard some encouraging words from Molly McGing Dunn, a former Legislative Correspondent for Senator Durbin. Ms. Dunn announced that the work we’re doing is definitely working, degrading the political capital of 45 and his minions. She reviewed two basic strategies currently in play:
- Blue state play: Keep calling reps, even those on our side, because they’re getting calls from the ‘other side’ (downstate voters, for example) and we need to counter that.
- Red state play: Keep pressure on representatives to block the worst of 45’s agenda.
Ms. Dunn also offered some advice for calling representatives, as follows:
- Read the Indivisible Guide — good stuff!
- Personal letters are better than email; email is better than clicking on surveys and such; but CALLING is the best (can be weeks before letters are logged, for example, but calls are logged within days).
- When you call, report that you are representing a group (like Ottawa Indivisible) as well as that you’re a constituent.
- Have a specific ask (e.g., vote yes on X).
- Check the “5 Calls” website (linked above) for daily calls to action. [And check our very own “5 Minute Impact” recommendations, as well.]
- Where possible, speak to a specific legislative correspondent, since all staffers are not as well versed on specific issues.
- Important: If the rep you call is on the same side, ask what you can do to help.
On the topic of building the movement, Ms. Dunn recommended the following:
- Practice “followship” by working with those who are more experienced than you.
- Live the values that are under attack (volunteer for a soup kitchen, do a park clean up on Earth Day, etc.).
- Prioritize those who have the most to lose, reach out to them, work on their behalf.
- Self care: Have a personal strategy, short and long-term goals — don’t burn out!
For the remainder of the meeting, we broke out into working groups and got busy choosing specific tasks to work on — elections, research, communication/tech, outreach (very similar to the OI working group structure).
Anyone interested in getting involved with NW Indivisible can contact us directly here at Ottawa Indivisible. See “Contact” above.