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United we stand - Meet Laura (45/52.2)

Meet Laura:

In her own words -

"Since 2016, I have been a grassroots organizer and activist who has been resisting the agenda of the Trump administration and helping progressive Democrats get elected as one of the co-founders and co-leaders of Indivisible Evanston. As I write this, we’re just about 100 days away from the 2020 presidential election -- and our chance to remove Trump from office, save our democracy and continue the fight to make this a better country for all.

The morning after the 2016 election, I woke up feeling horrified and outraged by the outcome and frightened not only for my children’s future, but that of our country and planet. And I regretted not doing more to help Hillary Clinton win. Like many women, I was galvanized by the first Women’s March on Washington to channel my outrage into something productive and impactful. It was both cathartic and empowering to march through the streets of D.C. (and up to the White House!) chanting: “this is what democracy looks like!” But it was just a start.

Shortly thereafter, I discovered the Indivisible Guide, an online document that went viral in late 2016 with a blueprint for peacefully but effectively resisting Trump and the GOP. Modeled on the Tea Party’s strategy, the guide spawned a massive, progressive “Indivisible” resistance and activism movement across the country. Indivisible Evanston is now one of 5000 local chapters nationwide.

Indivisible is one of several grassroots resistance groups that sprung up in the wake of the 2016 election. These groups have made a significant impact on both the inability of the GOP to pass major legislation and helped the Democrats win back the House in 2018’s “Blue Wave.” This year, we are working hard to keep that House majority, take back the Senate, and win the White House as part of the Indivisible Chicago Alliance’s 2020 Three States - One Mission strategy.

In the almost four years since the 2016 election, my personal life has also evolved significantly. Some changes were anticipated, like turning 50 and my twins going off to college. Others have been unexpected, like getting divorced, closing my jewelry business and doing this work full time. And now, everyone’s lives have changed drastically due to the coronavirus pandemic and the thousands of lives lost and altered forever by COVID-19.

The pandemic has also changed how we vote and the ways that organizers like me can reach voters. Normally, Indivisible and campaigns would be engaged in lots of in-person activities in the months leading up to the election, like canvassing, rallies and registering voters. Now, we are limited to doing this virtually, and contacting voters by phone calls, texts, and mail to get out the vote. One of our group’s favorite projects is sending handwritten postcards to voters in Wisconsin and Michigan with Postcards to Swing States, a nationwide campaign sending 13 million cards to voters in ten states. Our goal was to write 100,000 postcards by October, and we’re already well over that amount!

Four years ago, it would’ve been hard to believe that both my life and this country have changed so much. Four months ago, it would’ve been hard to imagine that we all need to wear face masks and stay “socially distanced” from each other to stay safe. Or that the simple act of going to the polls and voting in person could be potentially deadly. I am grateful to have the experience and the opportunity to work with incredible people to help protect and get out the vote (by mail!) for what will be the most important election in our times. Most of all, what gets me out of bed every day is the thought of waking up on the morning of November 4, 2020 with a big smile on my face and the knowledge that I was one small part of making that happen."

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. -President Barack Obama

*** Please follow along on instagram as well and learn more about Laura. 52 Phenomenal Women is now in its second year! This is week 45 of 52.2.

Participants in this project will be supporting the efforts of Dress for Success Worldwide – Central. We are all stronger together and it is my sincere hope that we will be inspired by each other’s stories. Now is the time to celebrate as well as encourage one another. Tell your story!

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