Saturday was a day of service for me. In the morning I volunteered with one of my favorite local non-profits: NOMAD Art Bus (blog post here). In the afternoon I met some friends for a postcard writing party.
This party was small. There were three of us. But between us three, we wrote 25 postcards to our Senators (Bill Nelson & Marco Rubio), our House Representatives (Charlie Crist for me, Kathy Castor for my Tampa friend), the White House, and a couple of different Senate Committees. We used Countable to remind us what bills or nominees will be voted on in the near future. Topics ranged from the Muslim ban, to the repeal of portions of the Dodd-Frank Law, to Congressional overreach in limiting governmental agencies.
Some politicians, my lovely Senator Rubio included, think that the heavy amount of phone calls, e-mails, faxes, and postcards are coming from paid protestors. Last night, there were three concerned citizens sitting at a bar, drinking good beer (Cycle Brewing), and writing postcards to our elected representatives expressing our displeasure with the way our government is currently being run. Those who are empathetic to our concerns (e.g. Nelson, Crist, Castor), we asked to keep opposing harmful executive orders, nominees, and legislation. To those who seem to be less empathetic (e.g. Rubio and the White House), we asked that they cease creating and/or voting for harmful nominees and legislation. We reminded them that they may want to keep their jobs in four to six years, and we are watching them and will hold them accountable.
While at the brewery, one of my friends ran into other friends. We got to talking, and the woman said, “Something has changed in me since the election. I feel different.” And she wants to do something about it. She added a card (addressed to the White House) to our pile, making the final postcard count 26.
I put those postcards in the United States Postal Service blue mailbox this morning. I thought, “This is what democracy looks like.” Three or four people coming together in coffee shops, breweries, book stores, etc… across the nation. Pulling together and fighting in the face of an Executive Branch that is trying to create an America that is not American. We aren’t fighting with bombs and bullets. We are fighting with our pens. We fight with our bodies when we march and protest.
And we don’t get paid for our time writing postcards and attending protests. Perhaps someone put an ad in the paper to try to make a buck, but most of us are doing this because we care about an inclusive America. We do it because we want to serve our country and make it better. We are doing it on top of our paid jobs because we care about what America actually stands for: a land of opportunity for EVERYONE.