By Lynn Burton
Sopris Sun Staff Writer
By Lynn Burton
Following Donald Trump’s unexpected presidential win in November, online activists around the country – including those in Carbondale, Basalt and Aspen – started communicating via social media and email on how to counter his agenda and prepare for the 2018 congressional elections.
Thousands of those concerned citizens gravitated to Indivisible, a Washington, D.C. group founded by Dianne Stewart last July, according to a USA Today article.
The lead paragraph on the Indivisible website states, “It’s time to move past ideology to reality. Government is our tool, that when wielded properly can help the American people grow our economy and strengthen our nation. We cannot simply dismiss the use of government to help solve problems. Government is US – not something being done to US.”
By mid-January, a handful of Carbondale residents worried about the Trump presidency started e-mailing each other and posting opinions and observations on Facebook. Today, Indivisible Roaring Fork (IRF) numbers about 1,000 members. They put on a standing room only organizational meeting at the Third Street Center earlier this month, and plan to invite Colorado Third District Congressman Scott Tipton to hold a town hall meeting in Glenwood Springs in April.
“We’re a completely volunteer-led organization and there is no formal structure,” early IRF member Andy Zack told The Sopris Sun. “But there is a group of approximately 10 of us that have taken more responsibility in terms of organizing events and helping others get more involved.”
Gretchen Brogdon, another early IRF member, added “We are currently working on a structure now. … The community wants a place to be informed, sift through all the noise and feel like their individual action is contributing to the whole effort. … we are starting to sort ourselves into a steering committee and then will begin asking for help around each action like marches/rallies/protests, town halls, digital communications and community information events.”
Brogdon said that beside the town hall meeting in April, Indivisible Roaring Fork is streaming its digital calls to action that go out via email and Facebook, and aligning the actions with other regional groups. “We are connected to Indivisible Action and D3 Indivisible. By connecting all these together we will make a much larger statement.”
Brogdon, who works for a local nonprofit and is the mother of 7-and-10-year-old girls, concluded her Sopris Sun interview by saying in part, “ … I am so amazed and proud of our community. Indivisible means we will not be divided. While we all have specific issues we are passionate about, we understand that everyone’s rights are at risk if even one is being exploited. The greatest impact this movement is having on the United States is the unification of multiple causes around the deeper threats to human and civil rights. We are exploiting this unstable presidency and will push our society forward in ways that may not have been possible before. Change always happens in an environment of chaos and I think we can all agree our federal government is in chaos right now. We will not allow it to change without our input.”