I moved to Colorado after college and began working as a software engineer for Bell Laboratories. Here I was subjected to sexism, sexual harassment and saw the glass ceiling. I joined the women’s movement and worked on committees to change working conditions at Bell Labs, and to a great extent, we were successful.
When Donald Trump was elected president, I was flabbergasted. I couldn’t imagine him as my president. I saw what can happen when you don’t make your voice heard. During his presidency, I continued to be astounded by his policies and actions. His behavior reflected so much of what I had worked to change. I could see the nation regress under his watch.
As the 2020 election cycle began, I panicked. I couldn’t believe it when I realized that he had enough support to be re-elected. I didn’t know what I could do, but I knew I had to do something. What? How? Who?
Adrianne told me about the Blue Wave Postcard Movement and how they were writing postcards to encourage people to “Go Out and Vote.” Voting, and the right to vote, have been important to me for many years, so that day, I took home 200 postcards and wrote about how crucial voting is to our country. Later, I joined the Saturday morning Zoom meetings where we wrote postcards while listening to speakers to learn more about candidates, proposed legislation, and activism.
I learned a lot and realized how much more I had to learn. There is so much one person can do to let our leaders know what’s important to us. I also learned what works; the squeaky wheel gets the grease. The more often members of Congress hear from constituents on one side, the more that opinion counts. If it’s important to me, I need to tell them. One person can make a difference.
As summer rolled on, I became more involved with BWPM. I attended the planning meetings, I formatted the first million (yes, million) address labels for the postcards, we wrote and rewrote wording for the postcards, we packaged and mailed postcards, and we argued. We saw the group grow at such a staggering pace that we suffered growing pains. How could we do more than we had time for? But we could and we did. Our work made a difference for the election and gave all of us a feeling of accomplishment.
I have always been quiet about my political beliefs; I worried about what everyone might think. This year I had yard signs for Biden/Harris and for local races as well. I didn’t get the negative reaction I expected, but found out a number of my neighbors agreed with me!
The push just before the presidential election was formidable and we watched the results come in ever so slowly. It took days for the decision to come down. Biden was President! But we hardly had time to take a breath before we were writing more postcards to Georgia, for the senatorial runoffs. 800,000 postcards were sent between Election Day and Christmas, again resulting in a win.
Deep breath. No time to rest, on to the next... H.R.1/S.1 here we come!
We have to keep the momentum of the Democratic blue wave going and continue to fight for our democracy. There are so many issues that must be addressed: COVID-19, climate change, access to healthcare, election reform, and the list goes on. We need to keep influencing our leaders to let them know how important these issues are to us. Join us; write postcards; call, write or text your federal and state representatives. You can make a difference for our future.