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Adventures in Government - Meeting Indivisible

 

This week I attended a meeting of the group Indivisible Southern Arizona, which is a grassroots organization affiliated with the national Indivisible Movement. The purpose of the movement is to stop Trump's more radical policies by building local organizations that engage with members of Congress.

In practice, this means engaging regularly with representatives and senators, and encouraging them to account for themselves to the public, especially through town hall meetings and other face-to-face interactions.

The meeting was fairly straightforward. It was held at a church that happened to be conveniently close to my house, so I was able to bike there. (Why waste gas, eh?) The meeting room turned out to be more full than I think they were expecting, so they had to pull out more tables and chairs as folks kept filing in.

After a calming group meditation, the meeting discussed upcoming events, and then began planning long-term strategy. In particular, with summer coming up marches and other outside, daytime demonstrations will become dangerous due to the heat, so they started discussing alternatives.

The brainstorming session reminded me a lot of similar meetings I've had at my business, with many of the same concerns: What's effective? What's feasible? What would be fun? As with any proper brainstorming session, the wildest ideas were encouraged, with the practical details and objections mostly put off for a later time.

Simply put, this group is awesome. I’m impressed by any group that effectively keeps people politically active and engaged, but Indivisible Southern Arizona in particular seems passionate, strategic, and inclusive in a way I haven't often seen. Their goal is clear, and because they’re non-partisan it seems like both Democrats and Republicans are potentially receptive to their message, whether as voters or as legislators.

Their focus on transparency and engagement aligns with my own ideals for what it means to be a public servant, so I would heartily support what they do, even if it did not benefit me.

Their efforts do benefit my campaign, though, albeit indirectly.

As it turns out, Martha McSally is the least transparent and least likely to engage of the five members of Congress that Indivisible Southern Arizona focuses on. Senators Jeff Flake and John McCain and Representatives Tom O’Halleran, and Raul Grijalva all either actively oppose Trump’s agenda or at least engage with the community on the subject.

Martha McSally is the only one that seems to actively disdain community input. So, Indivisible Southern Arizona ends up being de facto anti-McSally, which is great news for my campaign.

However, they are not in the business of vetting, endorsing, or supporting candidates, so their efforts only support me indirectly. And, given the fact that my first hurdle is winning the Democratic primary race, their efforts won’t actually help me personally unless and until I win the nomination.

That said, getting to know them has been a pleasure so far, and I look forward to continuing to meet with them. And, if I do somehow win this race and become one of their representatives, I look forward to having a group like this holding my feet to the fire, keeping up the pressure to engage with the community.

I, for one, welcome an engaged and passionate constituency.

Upcoming Indivisible Southern Arizona events include:

  • A march outside of John McCain’s office on April 15 asking him to get Trump to release his tax returns.
  • An art exhibit outside of Martha McSally’s office on April 18, which is focused on pressuring her to be more transparent.

The April 15 event in particular looks like it will be a lot of fun. There’s a Monopoly theme to the signs, and it sounded like many people will be dressing up in costume, complete with top hats! I don’t think I’ll be there, since I’ve got to spend my weekends walking around neighborhoods and introducing myself to people.

However, if you want to get out there and make a statement, I recommend checking out the Indivisible Southern Arizona website and getting familiar with their upcoming events.

-Charlie