Written by Xaver Kandler
On a beautiful Sunday afternoon, when most people would usually be taking a long walk or sitting in the sun on their porches, over one hundred community members, students, and staff filled one of the largest Bard College lecture halls to discuss how to resist together. The event, titled Resisting Together: Symposium on Grassroots Political Action in the 19th Congressional District, brought together almost a dozen local activist organizations in a single space.
With all of the new energy surrounding social justice, it is vital that groups work together as well as avoid individually “reinventing the wheel.” After a brief introduction of the participating groups, groups broke out to target specific issues, which was a good first step in remedying that potential pitfall.
Breakout groups included:
- Climate Change led by Jan Storm (firstname.lastname@example.org) and other members of the Citizens Climate Lobby
- Racial Justice led by Shelley of Citizen Action of New York
- The Affordable Care Act led by Hudson Valley Strong (email@example.com)
- A Civics Lesson and Path to Victory— led by Elisa Sumner, the Chairwomen of the Dutchess Democratic Committee and Chris Munn, the treasurer of the Dutchess Democrats
- Money in Politics— led by Joan of Democracy Matters
- A Twitter Lesson— led by Patrick Sullivan from Hudson Valley Strong
Despite having only forty-five minutes to discuss their topics, groups developed action points and a better understanding of the issue at hand. Through meeting their fellow involved citizens, participants can keep up energy while making concrete steps forward. This is only possible within a structure that ensures that groups stay informed and involved in each other’s actions. Therefore, the symposium discussed The 100 Days Initiative’s shared calendar (email firstname.lastname@example.org) and website as well as possible future events— especially surrounding civics. The event was a great jumping off point for future local work that demonstrated the enormous fighting power of responsible, collaborative efforts.