Indivisible Eugene is playing defense against the Trump administration. The local chapter of a grassroots effort of politically active individuals looks to pressure Oregon’s political representatives in Congress to continue their opposition against the new president.
“We’re going to give people the tools to get a hold of their members of Congress and influence them,” says Marcus Kauffman, media organizer for Indivisible Eugene. This includes organizing and attending town hall meetings with congressional reps and sending them letters as well as setting people up with apps like 5Calls, which uses your location to find out who is your congressional rep and provide phone numbers to contact them.
Indivisible Eugene is one of over 5,300 Indivisible groups across the nation, all taking inspiration from Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda. Written by former congressional staffers, the guide details how to employ the organizational tactics that Tea Party Republicans used to obstruct President Obama — but now against President Trump.
According to Indivisible’s founders, Tea Partiers were successful because they were entirely focused on saying “no” rather than pushing their own policy agenda. They rejected concessions and called Republicans who accepted them traitors while focusing on local members of Congress.
But Indivisible differs greatly from the Tea Party movement. Instead of radically conservative ideals, Indivisible focuses on government transparency, accountability and inclusiveness.
And while Tea Party Republicans would obstruct Obama even if he wanted to pass something conservative, Kauffman says that Indivisible Eugene would work with Trump if he does try to pass something that they approve of, such as an infrastructure bill that would pay to improve Oregon’s highway system.
“A lot of Democratic voters have a tendency to get depressed when they lose. It’s disempowering. What I think people need to realize is a good tonic for that is getting together with other people who feel the same way you do and doing something,” Kauffman says.
Indivisible Eugene had an “Ides of Trump” event March 14 in conjunction with a national movement to bombard the president’s office with postcards of resistance at the Federal Courthouse.
The group will join the Community Alliance of Lane County April 15 for a tax justice march and will join 350 Eugene on a sister event with the nationwide People’s Climate Marches April 29.