It’s been a bumpy road to say the least and with #Trump looming, threatening, barking at the gates of the White House just to get in, I found myself both eager to activate and disappointed with road ahead. Something inside me, though, pulls to the perspective of those who may feel the most isolated or the most at risk. I see you every day and enjoy your presence and couldn’t imagine a life without #ImmmigrantLA; yet, the results of the election have cause so many different reactions it’s hard to imagine what it feels like to be singled out and told you will have to leave your home. I recall so many conversations with people, young people, old people, all of whom weren’t allowed to vote in the #election2016 who desperately wanted to but felt they would be turned away or deported for trying. I recall their pain and fear then, so what it must feel like now. Just yesterday there was an opposition to an organized call by #PaulRyan to Repeal Obama Care, where Paul Ryan’s office was trying to show that there was more support to terminate than to keep. I felt empowered to leave my feedback, but then couldn’t help but think about how left out it must feel to see all this activity and think you can’t participate because your voice doesn’t matter: Well, It Does Matter.
As my research turned to action and that energy turned to activism I couldn’t help but seek out what Immigrants can do to make their voices heard. And you CAN be heard! The U.S Constitution ensures that all people living in the United States have equal representation no matter their race, gender, sexual orientation, age, or Immigration Status. That means that all the politicians whose job is to represent the people would be misrepresenting the very people of their districts if they did not listen to the voices of Immigrants too. Not only that but: Immigrants have the right to have their voices heard by their representatives in Congress. America, unlike most of the countries from which many of our brothers and sisters who have immigrated to here from, is not ruled by one man. The President does not control nor does he rule the entire United States alone- in fact, the members of Congress (whom are obligated to listen to you) have the power to over rule and stop the president. Now, of course we do have a Republican majority in Congress but that does not mean that they can disregard your opinion in their districts.
A perfect example of this was seen just this week when Republicans tried, to eliminate the House Ethics Committee in perfect timing with Jeff Sessions’ Congressional Review coming up next week. The Ethics Committee was created to conduct investigations of Members of Congress who were committing crimes and acting unethically. Monday, they tried to sneak the vote in and instead the vote was rejected because of people like you and me: from the NY Times
People literally called their Members of Congress non stop and insisted that they not allow this to happen, and you know what? It worked.
As a Non-Citizen it can be worrisome to reach out to government officials, almost like volunteering to put yourself in harms way. But, you are only obligated to provide them with your name and zip code as identifying information. That’s it. Then you can tell them about the cause you believe in, why you are calling, what they need to take action against, and They Will Listen To You. Every time a person calls their Member of Congress they write that call down, and take notes, and they keep tally’s. Karen Bass was on MSNBC and she was just talking about the stories, real people’s stories from her district, the district of Los Angeles, because she listens.
Here’s the other thing, the part I have to remind myself of almost every day too: Trump is not popular. More people think like you than against you. More people are with you, are willing to stand up for you and with you, more people will sympathize with your story than will persecute you for it. Trump victimizes us, and singles us out and that is why we feel so badly about who we are. But we believe in protecting our values, protecting each other, and standing up for ourselves don’t we? We will defeat Trump and we will do it together. Trump sought to silence our resolve: stand up to make Congress listen to you.
Here’s What To Do:
- Organize: Local discussion groups work. Track developments in Washington, attend Town Halls, and Advocate to Your Members of Congress. (To find Your Reps. by district)
- Make Them Listen:
- Show up to Town Hall Meetings and Demand Answers
- Show up to Members of Congress Office’s and Demanding Meetings
- Coordinate Mass Calls to Congressional Offices at Key Moments (to find their #)
- Demand That They Listen: Their focus is on Reelection so don’t stop showing up and stay on their mind.
For All Those Questions:
Pretty Easy no? For intricate details including exactly what to say, what they’re thinking, download the Indivisible Guide
We can defeat Trump and his agenda. I hope that you can now take action in the activity that you see and as we build towards #Inauguration2017 Immigrant Status will not affect whether your voice can be heard loud and clear!
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