by Jeriel Brammeier, WCC Organizer
Since the dawn of the pink hats at the Women’s March in January, a movement has emerged with passion and direction. Some have organized before, but many are brand new to the world of activism. They’re sticking with it and are now asking, “what’s next?”
The marches amassed people and welcomed them into the democratic process, but it’s time to set aside the picket signs and build real political power; to expand our energy beyond protests and into activism.
Imagine democracy as an iceberg. At the tip, above the water, is the obvious – national elections. However, activists and organizers know the mass and power of the iceberg lies below the surface. National elections are the crucial end-result of leadership development, political awareness and engagement, and community-driven policy.
Grassroots Democracy is that significant dimension of the iceberg, and WCC is elevating its importance by further developing it as a program area and dedicating more staff time and resources to it.
Grassroots Democracy means working with individuals and organizations, old and new; strengthening relationships with groups and elected officials; finding common cause; and building collective power in our actions. We must hold our elected officials accountable by making calls, visiting their offices, demanding town halls, and insisting they give answers. An equally important component of Grassroots Democracy is training anyone with the desire and drive to organize effectively in their community.
With its depth of organizing experience, WCC is partnering with budding activists and groups like our local Indivisible chapters, D3 Indivisible, and Western Colorado Days of Action. These groups are intent on bringing power to the Western Slope. For example, D3 Indivisible is leading the charge on issues in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, which is served in the US Congress by Rep. Scott Tipton (R).
When D3 Indivisible suggested holding the first Western Colorado summit for leaders in this movement, WCC said, “We’re in!” We worked with D3 Indivisible to make this summit even more impactful by sharing organizing tools that attendees can take back to their communities.
The mission statement of Western Colorado Congress ends with the emphasis that we work together to create a “truly democratic society,” and Grassroots Democracy is aimed at doing just that. Our participation in the D3 Summit is only the beginning. Looking ahead, we’re focused on building relationships with our elected officials through continuous in-district meetings. We’ll mobilize groups by engaging them in active participation at town hall meetings. And we’ll work to develop leaders and support communities with ongoing trainings led by our members.
So, now, we need to hear from you. What are your local needs? Give me a call at (970) 256-7650!