Grassroots advocacy groups grow in response to Trump election
The election of President Donald Trump got many First State residents - like Wilmington resident Debbie Silverman - worked up. Worked up to the point of action.
After attending a women’s march, Silverman felt compelled to do more.
“You know, it’s great that we’re going on a march but what are we going to do long-term? You know, I want to be involved in something that’s sustaining and impactful and has a life after the march," Silverman said.
So she created Delaware Women for Inclusion. Silverman says it started with 20-30 women of all ages meeting on Saturdays at Grotto’s Pizza in Wilmington.
“But a lot of the people who’ve came are similar to me. Like a lot of women who came to that first meeting – and who have continued to come – introduced themselves saying things like, I’ve never been that involved in politics, I thought it was enough to vote in the election and I’m just horrified now and I feel like I have to do something," Silverman said.
Silverman says the group frequently partners with other groups like the ACLU, Delaware United as well as Action Together Delaware and Resist on grassroots projects around the state.
To date, the group has mobilized over 350 members to write letters and make phone calls on issues ranging from the death penalty to women’s rights to immigration. Andy Greenwood is among those involved, and feels their work is making a difference.
“From what I hear from the other groups and the folks they’re talking to – that yes, the voice is heard. What I have learned again and again from the people at the ACLU, Planned Parenthood and others - is every call we make is heard and has an impact," Greenwood said. "Every postcard, every petition…so when you think these things don’t add up, that they do.”
Greenwood is also involved with the ACLU’s national People’s Power initiative that tries to harness the grassroots power of people like Greenwood. That spawned the Freedom Cities campaign, which helps mobilize people to meet with local law enforcement officers about immigration issues.