My Involvement With Blue Wave Postcards
I grew up in the 60's during the Vietnam War, with parents who were working artists but also progressives and politically engaged in our community. The kids in our family grew up discussing and being involved with local and national political issues. I remember going into the voting booth with my mother from a very young age, helping her canvas for the Democratic party in our neighborhood, and marching in local parades to support the library in our community. My siblings and I went to a Quaker school where activism and pacifism were ideals. I went to anti-war marches in Washington, went to the very first Earth Day gathering in Philadelphia, and watched the boys in my class face the horror of the draft. I embraced feminism, too. I had the role model of a mother who had been an equal bread-winner in our family at a time when very few of my friends had mothers who worked. I am so incredibly grateful for the upbringing I had.
After graduating with a BFA in graphic design from the Philadelphia College of Art, I moved to Colorado, and got busy with building my life here. I got a good job, built a house, met my husband, and raised my family, all while working full time. The Trump election re-ignited my passion to be an activist and a feminist. I was absolutely horrified by everything that he represented. In 2016, my daughter and I had spent time canvassing and making phone calls for Hillary Clinton, and I couldn't believe it when Trump won. I felt I had to do whatever I could to make a difference. I started going to marches again, made hundreds of pussy hats to give away at Women’s Marches, and hosted postcard parties where people came together to design and write postcards, which we sent to our legislators. These covered a range of issues: gun violence, immigration, climate change, women’s rights, and many other important concerns. I also started designing my own postcards to send to legislators, and distributed some of those through the League of Women Voters in Boulder.
I feel very lucky to have met some incredible people along the way, who have helped to give my activism a direction. I met Mindy Miller (now senior advisor to Steve Fenberg, Colorado State Senate Majority Leader) on election day, and she later recruited me to help distribute postcards to voters for the "Fab 5" State Senate candidates - Faith Winter, Brittany Pettersen, Tami Story, Kerry Donovan, and Jessie Danielson. We wrote and mailed roughly 10,000 postcards to voters, which seemed like a monumental feat at that time. They all won, turning the Colorado State Senate Blue in 2018! That led to me distributing postcards against the recalls of State House and Senate Democrats in 2019 - those recalls were all defeated, too. These experiences showed me the powerful impact of postcards. I first connected with Ning when I brought recall postcards to a postcard group she had started.
When I retired in December, 2019, from 43 years at my graphic design job, I had decided that I wanted to spend my time doing art and activism. Blue Wave has been a wonderful opportunity to do both of those things, and to use my energy to make the world a better place. I have so appreciated the opportunity to meet so many lovely and inspiring people who have come together to help with this movement.
Faith Gowan, Art Director and NoBo Coordinator [bio]
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